I support a lot of indie industry. Indie game designers, indie music, even indie companies.
There are a lot of platforms to get these things out. Games are the easiest with Steam, Xbox, PSN, iOS and Android market places. Companies and product makers have Kickstarter, Etsy and Ebay. Musicians have iTunes, and other platforms. Even indie film makers have a wonderful platform on You Tube.
You can tell quickly if you enjoyed one of these products, and their platforms make it incredibly easy not only to get the new games, music, or film, but to rate them as well.
The rating system is front and center with most of the platforms, and many games have pop ups reminding you to review. Several have emailed reminders to review, or account information that includes a “awaiting feedback” page.
Books, on the other hand, do not. It may be weeks or months from the time you buy a book to the time you finish it. If you have a hard copy you may not even remember to review it later when you’re near a computer again, and leaving a review via your phone is clunky and awkward.
Amazon sometimes sends out reminder emails, but they are usually right after purchase, and getting to the “items you’ve purchased” page isn’t always easy, especially on phone or tablet.
The easiest way I have found to write a review is just to search for the title I want to review and go to the reviews from there. This is sometimes a problem since there are several versions of different books.
Amazon needs to add an “awaiting review” page, and it would be amazing if they’d send out a reminder email a month after I buy it with “did you like this?” Until they do, let me just say this: Your reviews matter.
Writers, especially unheard of indie authors, really make it or break it because of reviews. Good, honest reviews are incredibly important for them, and sometimes hard to come by.
If you read a book or ebook and you loved it, or even if you kind of liked it, let other people know. Tell them why. Write a review so others can find the little gem you enjoyed.
Don’t be afraid to email authors and let them know specifics either. We authors love to hear why you liked something, or why it didn’t work for you. In this ebook era I, personally, like to know when somethings off so I can quickly fix it. (It’s so easy to get a name mixed up.)
Many authors can be reached through Twitter, Facebook, and personal blogs, too. Many of them have very interesting and insightful (non book/writing related) things to say.
For more information on how you can support and help your favorite new authors get noticed check out this article.