Why Your Two Cents on My Novels Are Worth a Small Fortune - Mo Fanning Author

Why Your Two Cents on My Novels Are Worth a Small Fortune

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Husbands by Mo Fanning - Love and Lies in La La LandToday, let’s chat about something close to my heart—and no, it’s not just about my upcoming book or my unhealthy relationship with Cadbury’s Whole Nut.

It’s about reviews. Those tiny nuggets of wisdom left online with the power to make or break an author’s day—or diet goals.

The art of reviewing

To be clear, nobody is expecting you to score a job at the Times Literary Supplement based on your latest Goodreads review. Forget  iambic pentameter and fancy literary jargon. But if you are going to share your views, here’s how to make those words count for readers AND the author who will claim they never read reviews … but scour them in the small hours when the moon is high and darkness all around.

  1. Start with what hooked you: Did the book make you laugh? Did it keep you up at night, turning pages under the covers? That’s your opener.
  2. The good, the bad, and the ugly cry: What worked for you? Did the characters get under your skin? Was there a plot twist that caused you to gasp? Equally, if something didn’t sit right, tell the world. Did the story drag like a Monday morning meeting? Was the villain as intimidating as a yappy handbag dog? Constructive criticism is the breakfast of champion writers.
  3. Recommendation time: Above all else: would you recommend this book to others? Is it perfect for fans of tragic romance, or spot on for those who love dark comedy? Say so.
  4. Spoiler alert: If you’re saying anything that might ruin the book for future readers, add a spoiler warning. Otherwise, you’re just being mean. It’s not a homework assignment. Nobody needs a summary of the plot. That’s the job of the publisher/author/publicist.

Why your reviews are my lifeline

I get it. You’re busy. There are cat videos to watch and, presumably, lives to lead. But reviews are more than just words…

  • Visibility: More reviews mean more attention from potential readers and algorithms alike. Amazon starts promoting independent readers when they see traffic on a page. And I can’t be the only one who pays attention to reading suggestions when I’m done with one book and casting for my next. I don’t stick to a tiny bunch of authors I know and love.
  • Feedback loop: Reviews are how I learn what works with readers. They’re the applause at the end of a performance. Or the table of punters not looking up from their drinks.
  • Connection: Every review is a conversation starter. It’s you telling me what you think – and feedback is a way for me to know what to do more of/less of with what I write next. And then you let me know if I got it right!

So… the next time you close one of my books (or those of any writer) with a satisfied sigh (or a bewildered shake of the head), consider posting a few words online. Whether it’s a hearty commendation or constructive critique, your words are invaluable.

Plus, you’ll get good karma, and maybe even a character named after you in my next book.

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By Mo Fanning

Mo Fanning is a British author of dark romantic comedies including the Book of the Year nominated bestseller 'The Armchair Bride', 'Rebuilding Alexandra Small' and 2022's hit holiday romcom 'Ghosted'.

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