It’s come to my attention that while many people love to read, not many like to leave reviews. I have been guilty of this in the past, having written only a handful of reviews in my lifetime. A book report here or there for school, a blog post about a book I loved (or didn’t love) and that’s about it.

Things were different back then, weren’t they? Not only did we go to libraries or bookstores as our primary source of new reading material, but we also didn’t have online access to the authors who wrote those books. At the very best we had a postal address to send our fan mail to (hello, Sweet Valley Twins? I’m Pami, and I LOVE your books!) But things have changed.

Amazon is now one of the largest ‘bookstores’ in the world. With the book industry moving more and more online, it is becoming increasingly algorithm focused. The challenge for a modern-day indie author is not so much to write a fantastic book; it is to get people to review it. Becasue without those reviews our poor unknown indie published book is lost in the internet noise before it even had a chance to make itself known. Our success is in your hands.

I’m not saying you have to review every book you read, but if you do happen to download a book, and you happen to quite like that book, the new honourable thing to do is to leave the author a positive review.

Just like tipping the waitress.

It’s not asking much really, and if you’re a standard 10% tipper, you might want to consider giving that book you liked a standard three star. You need not write a lengthy review. Just a few words will do. ‘Great story,’ for example, or ‘Enjoyable read’. This is a bare minimum 10% to show that you appreciate all the hard work we authors put into your reading experience. Because we put a lot into that book – blood, sweat and tears. Missing out on sleep. Not being present. Burning the dinner. Being late for the christening. We sacrificed more than you will ever know to get those words onto that screen of yours, and all we are asking for is the chance to do it again.

Of course, if you really did love the book, I would say consider tipping with four or even five stars. Just imagine how much your generosity will help the author! We live for those reviews, and without them, we literally cannot afford to keep writing.

So please. Give a book a fighting chance. Tip the waitress.