Down to Brass Tacks. What does an awesome review look like? I’ve been grateful for every review that I received on DARTS and RINGS. Each review helped me see my work from a different angle and improve my approach to SWORDS. Here are a few (of the many) reviews that hit on key points:
SAMPLE REVIEW #1 (DARTS)
Star Rating: Four Stars of Five
Tagline: Hero and protagonist not always the same person
Date: October 23, 2015
Amazon Verified Purchase
Review Text: DARTS is a solid introduction and does a good job of building the world and establishing the characters for future installments. The main character Teacup is enjoyable as an atypical protagonist who does a few dastardly things during the course of the narrative, yet still manages to retain our sympathies with his basic decency and familial responsibilities. He is not actually the hero of the story, though, and is an observer of the plot rather than its driving factor. In the future I look forward to seeing him become more entwined in the various intrigues that surround him.
While generally a low-key and character focused work framed around a game of darts in a fantasy tavern, the narrative occasionally touches on larger issues and features some interesting and unexpected twists. The writing is clear and efficient.
The review above is packed with information about the story. The tagline highlights for shoppers that the protagonist (Teacup) isn’t the hero, and drives this home with words like “dastardly” and “atypical.” It describes several strengths of DARTS—“clear and efficient” writing, sympathetic characters—and expresses a clear interest in reading further (referral).
I particularly like the words “low-key and character-focused.” The reviewer states that he’d like to see the protagonist “become more entwined in the various intrigues. . .” It’s a gentle nudge for the author to pay special attention to improving the action in future installments, and giving Teacup a more direct role. The review uses keywords for the genre (fantasy, tavern). This helps elevate DARTS ever so slightly among the millions of other self-published fantasy works available on Amazon.