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The Importance of Online Book Reviews

Gary J Byrnes, Thriller Writer
Why you should give reviews and ratings online.

When I write stories, it's hard to know why or if people will enjoy reading them. I write and I hope, because that's why all writers write. Hope.

And it's the best feeling when somebody reads one of my stories and loves it. Doesn't always happen, but often enough to keep me writing. And some people don't like some of my work. You win some. But unless all readers - the lovers and the haters - give their opinion equally, online ratings can go arseways. Case in point: My short story mini-collection 9/11 TRILOGY is free on Amazon and all other online bookstores. It's got some great reviews, particularly at, and has been downloaded many thousands of times. But just two people have reviewed it on Amazon here, from the almost thousand (as of today) who've downloaded it from that site. 

The reviews read:

"First story is brilliant but goes down hill after, play read for free. I do believe the first but is taken out from a full copy" Sorry?


"Thank goodness this was a free book. The book had 3 short stories and only one was a little bit worth reading. Don't waste your time." But which one was a little bit worth reading? Sigh.

Now I don't agree with these reviews, for a multitude of reasons, but I'm honour-bound not to give opinions on my writing unless specifically asked.

So, if you can take a minute to download the stories from Amazon, here, or from anywhere else that you find it, including Smashwords here and Barnes and Noble here, then go back and give a review and rating once you've had the chance to form an opinion, I'd appreciate that. The stories are challenging, but that is always my intention. The first is set in Afghanistan, the crucible of 9/11 and its message is, if anything, that the planned western withdrawal is a big mistake and that a quick descent into Dark Age savagery and misogyny is almost assured. The second story is set in Manhattan on the 11th of September, 2011. I've lived and worked in New York, so my aim here was to capture the grandeur of the city and the diversity and valour of her people. Finally, there's a ghost story. The three stories are very different, but they're connected. Go try them.

If you can review any of my thrillers, that would be great, but please also consider doing it any time you read, hear, taste, experience, see and enjoy something good. Give feedback, ideally positive and constructive. Do it every day. This gives all talented people everywhere the chance to compete globally, to become.

9/11 TRILOGY from Amazon
9/11 TRILOGY from Smashwords
9/11 TRILOGY from Barnes and Noble

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