In North America tipping is a common (in most cases, expected) thing in restaurants. You get good service, you leave a gratuity for the server. The theory is (created by and propagated by the hotel and restaurant industries) that serving staff is making minimum wage, works hard and should have their income subsidized by tips.
Before you go thinking I am anti-tipping, I’m not. I was a server in my youth and I was making minimum wage. The tips made a difference. It’s just unfortunate that this is a manufactured thing much like *name that Hallmark Holiday*.
Today, I’m going ask you to consider tipping those authors whose work you enjoy. Not in cash or cheque but in reviews.
This is because the book industry has changed and changed in a big way. Online retailers like Amazon flourish (good), books can stay in print indefinitely through the magic of Print-on-Demand (also good) but the market is glutted with books of various qualities (questionable).
That glut means reviews are even more important. How is a reader to know if a book is good or not? And then, if you look at some of the promotional algorithms used by online retailers, your book won’t ever receive extra attention until it receives a certain number of reviews.
It can be heartbreaking to have everyone who reads your book tell you how terrific it is and still have an infinitesimal number of reviews. You know the broader reading audience won’t ever have the chance to discover your book because it is buried under all the other ones out there.
Now, before you say, “I simply don’t have time to review books,” let me ask you to stop and hear me out.
You have likely invested hours to read the book. The author has invested dozens, maybe even hundreds of hours to write it, revise it and promote it. A few more minutes of your time will really help to ensure that author invests more time for your future reading enjoyment.
Wait…did I say minutes?
In fact, I did. A review doesn’t need to be pages and pages long. Something as simple as: “Reading Michell Plested’s book, <insert name here> was time well spent. His characters were vivid, his plot interesting and setting somewhere I would like to visit again. I give this book # out of 5 stars.”
Not too hard, right? In fact, if you want to cut and paste the above and use it verbatim, please be my guest (just change the author name if you are using it for someone else – having my name attached to everyone’s books would just be embarrassing).
Let me make it even easier. I will attach links for each of my books below. Thanks for your time. 🙂