I decided today to talk a little bit about reviews. They really are the life-blood of Indie authors (or any author, for that matter). If you enjoy a book, be it an epic novel or a short story, the best way to give your thanks to the author is with a review. You only need to leave a sentence or two to go along with your whatever-number-of-stars-rating. Something as simple as "I really enjoyed this story. The main character was fun to follow." Tailor it to your own tastes, of course, but that shows you how simple writing a review can be.
Sure, that's great for mainstream or genre books, but, come on, if you're reading this, we're pretty much talking about erotic stories, aren't we? It's silly, as there should be nothing wrong with reading about sex, but society often frowns upon it. I hear you. This may shock you, but Clara Zaynn isn't my real name. A pseudonym? For an erotica author? Unheard of, right? (Okay, get your laughs in now. 😁) What I'm saying is that you may be unsure about leaving reviews for sexy books. I have some easy ways for you to do it, however.
(Note, these work for you non-erotic readers and writers, too, of course, if you have reasons for wanting to leave reviews under a different name.)
Let's start with Goodreads, as this is easy to get a new account with your pseudonym. All you need is a different email account from the one you used to sign up with your real name. If you're simply a reader who wants to leave reviews, you're pretty much good to go. Set it up how you like, but as long as you have an account, you can start adding books to your list and reviewing them. One thing about Goodreads, too, is you don't need to leave a written review; you can simply give a book a rating from 1 to 5 stars and be done with it. Personally, I try not to do this and give a written review to everything. If you're an author, I'd advise setting up an author account, as it's easy enough to do, but that's a topic for another time.
Smashwords is another easy one. I personally don't use Smashwords often, but I have set up a pseudonym account, and with the same email account I set up my Goodreads, it went nice and smooth. With that account, it'll be nice and easy to leave reviews.
Now, let's talk about the biggie in Indie Publishing: Amazon. With as easy as Amazon makes it to publish, as well as the Kindle Unlimited program, reviews are probably most important for authors on Amazon. The problem with this is that Amazon, while it makes it easy to publish under a pseudonym, it's much harder to leave a review under one. You can change the name you leave reviews under, but as far as I can tell, it changes the name for every review you've ever written. Not ideal. It's also easy to start an account, but you can't start leaving reviews right away. No, Amazon says you need to spend $50 or more before you can start leaving reviews. (I believe they had all sorts of problems when they didn't do this, so it became a necessity. That's fine, but still a pain in the butt.)
So, what can you do? Well, if you don't see yourself spending $50 with Amazon, you probably aren't interested in leaving reviews on their site anyway, so problem solved. Stick with Goodreads, Smashwords, and the other retail sites (though, to be honest, I have no idea how easy it is to set up a second account with B&N or any of the others). If you use Amazon anyway, start buying from that account. You can purchase items and then send them to your real name and address. I did this, and I also found you could gift things to your other account. $50 proved no problem, and I didn't even splurge. Depending on your spending habits, it may take a few months or longer (or a few minutes), but you'll get there. Stick to the other sites until you pass the $50 threshold.
Why go through the pain? Because authors will love you for your Amazon reviews. Yes, a Goodreads review still makes us smile, but Amazon is the gold-standard at the moment (and for the foreseeable future).
So there you go. Tips on leaving reviews for erotic stories. Make an author happy and leave reviews. Leave a multi-paragraph recap or give your thoughts in a sentence or two. Either way, you'll make an Indie author a happy camper!