Tips for Writing an Amazon Customer Review

me-and-reviews

Authors love reviews. And, many of us are avid readers who write reviews when we read a good book. Most of us have forgotten our first time and assume everyone knows how to post a customer review on Amazon.com.

Everything is easy once you have the know-how. But, none of us have the know-how the first time. It’s acquired. And, the first time is always scary!

So, here’s a tip sheet for posting a Customer Review on Amazon.com:

Gather your thoughts. Some people write reviews that are similar to a book report. You don’t have to do that. Just imagine having coffee with a friend, tell her (or him) what you liked about the book. Writing a customer review is simple as that – share some thoughts to let a reader friend know you enjoyed the book. What did you like about the book that others might like too?

Go to Amazon.com and search for the book’s page.

When you reach the page, scroll down to CUSTOMER REVIEWS.

On some pages, you’ll see “Share your thoughts with other customers.” Just below that, click on the WRITE A REVIEW button. On other pages, the WRITE A REVIEW button is located below the existing Customer Reviews… Keep looking. You’ll find it.)

A new screen will open with a row of stars, a box for the title of your review, and a box for the thoughts you want to share.

Follow the steps – first step, click on the stars to rate the book. (Authors love four star reviews and adore five stars.)

After you write your review, below the box you’ll see PREVIEW AND EDIT. Click that and check your review.

If you like it, click PUBISH and you’re good to go.

A short time later, you will receive a message that your review is live on Amazon.

And some time after that, the author will see your review and do the happy dance, rain or sunshine. Maybe he or she will take a bow and prepare for an encore. Want to encourage an author to write another book? Post a review.

 

Myrtle Hill — Where is it?

[amazon_image id=”1481167367″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Wren’s Nest[/amazon_image][amazon_image id=”B008VTNT2S” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Rogue Trust (Ordinary Days in Myrtle Hill)[/amazon_image]

Rogue Trust, Wren’s Nest, and Lucy’s Mansion (coming soon) are stories about the residents of Myrtle Hill, Oklahoma.  You won’t find the small town on any map and probably can’t pinpoint the location if you try. It’s all a figment of my imagination and not to scale.

I chose the name for a couple of reasons. My grandmother’s name was Myrtle, and, Crepe Myrtle’s grow well in the area and give summer a blast of color. Also, the general area is a mix of rolling hill pastureland and wooded areas. So, Myrtle Hill just seemed right.

My books are about a community and the people who live there… All sorts of folk living in a small town where you never know what might happen to change an ordinary day into a memory or a headline. A history teacher becomes heir to a fortune. A retired cop and his buddies spring into action to prevent crime. And a twelve-year-old, exceptional and wise beyond her years, adds flair and flavor while she stirs the conflict. There’s romance and a little humor, suspense and a little mystery, and people I hope you’ll love facing some unsavory characters displaying behaviors to hate. And… Uh… Pray for. (This is Christian fiction.) Rogue Trust is romance with a little suspense and mystery. Wren’s Nest follows chronologically while the romance is on hold and strangers bring suspense to Myrtle Hill along with a touch of romance. Lucy’s Mansion continues the romance as Becca and J.T. join forces to fight City Hall and save the women’s shelter. Future editions, with residents of Myrtle Hill waiting in line to tell their stories, will be a mix of romance, suspense, and mystery but not always in that order. I will write the chapters of the books as the characters tell me their stories. Anything can happen on an Ordinary Day in Myrtle Hill.

The ages of my core characters range from Amy K (12) to Jim Harrison (a wealthy CEO of a restaurant chain coming to the end of his days). However, there is a newborn passing through town in Wren’s Nest and a romance in Rogue Trust and Lucy’s Mansion that might result in marriage and expand the population in a future book.

I hope you’ll love my characters as much as I do and enjoy their stories. If you like my books, please help me spread the word. Tell a friend on FaceBook or Twitter. And write a review on Amazon.com and Goodreads. Not only will I love you forever, but I’ll be inspired to write another book.

A Day of Remembrance

Edward P. Durrett was born on September 13, 1894. He lived a few months short of 100 years. He is my husband’s father and became my father-in-law in 1959.

I met him one spring day in 1959 when Dan brought me home from college to meet his parents. They lived on a farm nine miles out of town. On the way, I kept asking Dan, “Are we about there?” I wanted to touch up my lipstick and be sure every hair was in place a few minutes before we arrived.

As Dan pulled into the driveway at the white house on the hill with a windmill turning in the breeze, a swarm of nerves buzzed in my middle. First thing, he took me by the hand and led me toward the barn where his dad was working on his tractor. I think we caught him a little off guard. He turned toward us as we approached, Dan had probably called to him. He smiled and pulled a handkerchief out of his back pocket to wipe the grease off his hand before extending it to me in greeting. The image of this tall, handsome farmer has remained in my memory more than 54 years.

Ed Durrett was a gentleman’s gentleman with a sense of humor that put a sparkle in his blue eyes. A man of patience and understanding. Wise and intelligent with the ability to make each of his children feel they were his favorite. This extended to his daughter’s-in-law.

I never heard him speak ill of anyone, except politicians. And, the story goes that he said a curse word when his eldest grandson hit him in the head with a hammer.

The best thing I remember about Ed Durrett is that he gave me the greatest gift. He taught his son well and I have a husband who is almost a blue-print of his father’s character. (I think my sisters-in-law will say the same about the son of Ed Durrett they married.)

So You Want to be a Writer

I received a reply to one of my Tweets. “@DeanneDurrett, follow me back, I want to ask about writing.” I visited his Twitter page and found a young man who wants to be a writer. We exchanged a few tweets about writing. But there is so much to tell a young aspiring writer. Tweets of less than 140 spaces are not enough to even begin. So, @Leorachadian, this is for you. I’m passing on some advice I received when I was a young woman who wanted to be a writer.

1. You have to read to learn to write. Read. Read. Read.

2. You have to write to learn to write. Write. Write. Write. (I was told I would have to write a million words before I could expect to be published, so I started writing my million words.)

3. Learn your craft. Learn grammar and put it in practice. Every aspect of it. Spelling, punctuation, and the rules of grammar.

4. In the beginning, write what you know. Later you can learn what you want to write.

5. Writing is rewriting. To create a publishable piece requires many revisions. Keep revising until you reach the point where you can’t find anything to change that would make your writing better.

6. Join a critique group. Listen and learn from the critiques. Some criticism of your work will hurt. Develop a thick skin. Only make changes when the change will make your work better. Make sure your work remains your work. All changes should be your decision.

7. If you are writing fiction, learn the basics of creating plot, characters, dialogue, scenery, and environment. Do your research, be sure your facts are correct.

8. If you choose to write non-fiction. Learn the elements of an article. Do your research. Make sure your sources are reliable and you writing is in your words but remains true to the source.

9. Wait to submit your work to an editor until you’re sure it’s ready. As near perfect as you can make it. (It won’t be perfect in any editor’s eyes, even one that accepts it.)

10. For most, not all, the road to publication is a long journey with steep hills, sharp curves, and some places where the bridge has been washed out. FOLLOW YOUR DREAM. The want-a-be writers who get published are the ones who don’t quit. If you want it bad enough, work hard enough, and overcome discouragement, you’ll reach your goal.

 

Made My Ordinary Day Special

I was having one of those days when I wonder if I ever did anything right. I’ve tried to do things to help others. But did I help? Did anyone notice?

My sister let me know that the answer is yes. Sometimes at least.

We both remember that summer our mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I think it was about 1968. I’m not sure of the year. I know I was very frightened as was the rest of the family. I was raised and grown but I still needed my mom. But my little sister had a ways to go and she REALLTY needed a mom. I knew my little sister was my mother’s greatest concern when she faced that major health crisis. Still, we all had to manage the ordinary challenges of daily life kept rolling our way.

Mama always made Debbie’s school clothes (and had made mine years before), but she was facing an ordeal and major surgery that summer. I lived 1400 miles away and couldn’t help much. I really wanted to though. I knew shopping and sewing school clothes would be hard and buying ready-made outfits would be an added expense on top of the medical bills. So, I volunteered to make Debbie’s school clothes. Mama told me to use a girl’s size 8 pattern. I’m not sure she gave any other instructions… she wasn’t feeling all that well. I’m pretty sure she was a little nervous about how this project would turn out. Sewing clothes usually involves a lot of measuring and trying on. I had a lot of guesswork to do.

I shopped for fabric and patterns for my sister and my daughter that summer. I cut one outfit out, did the machine sewing, the handwork, and the pressing. And then, cut out the next one. With the change of seasons and a new school year, the two little girls needed about seven outfits each. One batch had to be mailed and time was running out.

I sewed a lot when our kids were young. That summer, I sewed more. And, I finished ahead of the deadline.

It took a while for Mama to recover. She was still weak when she thanked me for my work and assured me that the clothes fit. But I always wondered if they really did… I was far away and I never saw the clothes on my little sister.

But, the other day while we chatted on the phone, my sister remembered that summer and the clothes I made her. She told me she loved them and that they fit. The fitting part was an eight-year-old’s opinion but the “loving them” is a memory that lasted more than 40 years.

A little appreciation goes a long way and her memory turned my ordinary day into a special one. It’s okay to say thank you although it’s already been said. You just never know when a few words of appreciation will make someone’s day.

Thanks, Debbie!