Until I became an author and was faced with actually trying to drum up book sales once my book was published, I never new how big Amazon.com was. I never knew about book reviews. I had never written a book review and found out that most of my friends and the people I know didn't either. The only "book reviews" I ever did were book reports in school.
1. It encourages others to read the book so you're helping the author. One of the first tips that my publisher told me to do was to actually ask people I know to review my book on Amazon after reading it. Having reviews helps to get others interested in buying the book if they see others liked it and especially see a lot of people giving it 5 stars (the highest rating on Amazon). I never even went on Amazon until I got My Funny Dad, Harry published.
2. It's a nice thing to do that makes the author feel good. I always get a thrill when I see a good review of my book and am encouraged by that, especially if it's someone I don't know personally. A good review makes my day when I see people actually reading my book and liking it! At first, I would check every day to see if there were any more but now, after 1 1/2 years, I check only now and then. At first, it was people I knew who were willing to do me a favor and help me out, with my husband being first, then my cousin Roger and Jan, one of my co-workers. The first one I got from someone I didn't know personally was J. Kaye Oldham who gave it only 3 stars (liked it) but wrote a very good review. I knew people who knew me would be kind but was nervous about what strangers would think of it--still am!
3. It helps you to remember what you thought of books you read. This is helpful for recommending books to others. Sometimes I'll be reading a blog post and something will remind me of a book I read but I can't always remember the author or the specifics. sometimes I'll come across a discussion thread on a forum about reading or a book and I'll want to look up something quick about it. Then I just go to my "books" document on my computer and look it up. I list all the books I read by author. I can also be blunt here if I didn't like the book and didn't post a review on Amazon or write it here and spell check it and then copy and paste it into Amazon. It's also helpful when discussing books in an online-forum because I can look books up quickly to make sure I get the title right and the author.
Coming up in this series:
How To Write a Book Review
How To Post a Customer Review on Amazon