Authors, do you appreciate people who sacrifice their time to review your books?
Contemplate this question in your mind, while reading a real story with the reviewer as a main character:

November 8th 2013, I’ve sent a thank-you note to the nice guy who gave an honest review of my latest book.

I was impressed and you can clearly see why from the text of my email:

Thank you note

Thank you so much for your honest review of my book, Learn to Read with Great Speed!

I’ve been publishing my books since May 2013. I’ve given away for free about 2000 copies and I’ve sold more than 150 copies and your review is the first which meets the 3 important criteria:

– it is not written by my friend
– it goes into the details of the book
-you had no personal interest in writing it (review swaps etc.)

I appreciate it VERY much.

(Me being me, I’ve checked my numbers for the purpose of this post once again. I’ve given away more than 2000 free copies and sold exactly 166 books at the moment of writing the above mail).


And it’s just sad. Hundreds and hundreds of people read my books and only one person actually sacrificed some time to gratuitously write about his experience. Contemplate on this, too. I bet you read a lot of books. How many did you review?

The reply

But it’s nothing compared to the reply I’ve got from the reviewer:

It has been my privilege to promote good books, and yours is almost the 300th book that I reviewed in 2013. Except for the 6 or so many books that I reviewed for strangers (not my friends) at their request nobody else has written a single word to thank me, thought my reviews go a long way to promote their sales. Moreover, often mine is the only review they get.

You are the first person who wrote to me to thank for a review that I did without a personal request.


I was shocked! Are you not? I can understand that big shots, who get a hundred reviews a day don’t reach out to their reviewers. I can understand it’s hard to contact people on Amazon; there is no universal contacting system which can connect authors and reviewers. But my reviewer has put an email address in his profile! Contacting him was a no brainer.

Gratitude shortage

It seems everybody is ungrateful nowadays. Everybody has a tendency to use you, but a very few are willing to give back.
What are your thoughts about the matter? What are your experiences with reviewers? How often do you review a book you’ve read and why?

Please, comment below.

A call to action

Dear reader of this post, please sacrifice a few minutes of your time for the heroic reviewer.
Visit his Amazon profile. Scroll down through the reviews. Visit some of the book’s pages. Find his review and click the “Yes” button next to the “Was this review helpful to you?” question. Show your appreciation for his selfless service.
If you are too lazy, too busy or have some reservations about the moral aspect of such a venture, then just click “Yes” for the review I’ve got from him. I assure you it was thousandfold helpful.

The heroic reviewer

4 thoughts on “The heroic reviewer

  • November 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I love this article Michal. So few people take the time to do what both you and Dr. Phillip have done, take a moment out of your lives and do small things for other people.

    One of my “best” book reviews was in fact a “negative” one I got a couple of years ago. It was a 4 star review that pointed out good things in the book, but also mentioned the need of editing and some alignment issues.

    That sparked me to get all my books professionally edited since then and I think has helped my sales a lot over time because it helped to make ME and the products I put out better.

    Like you, I sent a personal note after such a special review.

    I know I, like many other people, can get wrapped up with being productive with time. (rightfully so) But sometimes being selfless and taking a moment to help or thank a stranger mean a lot even if it is over the most minor issues.


  • November 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Michal, I know that often times people dont get along with each because the efforts come only one way. The same that Doc Johnson did. He basically spent time to write all those reviews for the 300 people and most of them never replied.
    The situation is different in your case and hopefully this gives you a better insight on gratitude and on how to build long-lasting relationships, either of friendship or professional relationships

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you Michal for talking about something that never gets talked about-Real Gratitude for the commitment that anyone makes to help you, the writer, become successful. I’ve heard it said many times that getting people to actually write a review is so time consuming yet it is the very thing that consumers look to before making the decision to buy or not. Reviews, good, bad or indifferent are probably the most critical element to sales but even more critical is getting the word out especially if your words are meant to inspire or help others in some way.
    Authors Need reviewers, not the other way around because the reviewer can always find something to write an opinion about & not necessarily a book.


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