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Bulletin Board > Book reviews - What matters to you?

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message 1: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rcraft) Hey folks,

I thought this could invoke some interesting discussion. When someone reviews your novel, what do you try to take away from that review? Also, when you receive a review - as a writer - what kind of reviews do you like to receive?

The easy answer would be "good reviews!", but I want you to really think about it.

If you receive a bad review, how does it make you feel? What's your immediate reaction?


message 2: by Patricia (last edited Nov 27, 2011 01:36AM) (new)

Patricia Puddle (Trishapuddle) | 240 comments I've received many 5 star reviews for my self-published children's books, but I've also received a three star and some two star reviews. The two star ones don't always seem genuine as they didn't say why. I suspect an ulterior motive when folks leave a bad review and don't say why, just click on the ratings with no comments

However, all reviews are welcome. If I get a bad one and it's honest, it's good feedback, I suppose. Plus sometimes bad reviews sell books. I don't know why but they sometimes do.


message 3: by Patti (new)

Patti Roberts | 93 comments have your say here on the review subject.... interesting comments here!

http://paradox-theangelsarehere.blogs...

love to hear you thoughts too :)


message 4: by Suki (last edited Nov 27, 2011 05:20AM) (new)

Suki Michelle (SukiMichelle) | 83 comments Hi Ronald,

Yes, a good topic.

I believe it's very important to get a range of reviews. Five-star gushers are WONDERFUL causes for celebration, but if a book as ONLY fives, a potential reader might suspect the author kept friends and family very busy.

Four-star reviews usually expound on elements that were loved and those that were less satisfying. These are JUST as important as the gushers because they are thoughtful and insightful. These are also credible because your mom, sister and best friend would NEVER give you less than a five.

Three-star reviews are also of extreme value. If a reviewer didn't particularly bond with your characters or enjoy certain plot elements, it's possible that another potential reader would find those very same elements attractive.

For example, Kirkus described our story as "breakneck paced". Some love that - but it might deter those that prefer more gradual development.

We haven't gotten any twos or ones yet, but if (and when) we do, we'll take the criticism gracefully after we finish destroying our lamps, punching our hands through windows, and frightening the cats.

Suki


message 5: by Kat (new)

Kat (KatZombie) Suki wrote: "Hi Ronald,

Yes, a good topic.

I believe it's very important to get a range of reviews. Five-star gushers are WONDERFUL causes for celebration, but if a book as ONLY fives, a potential reader m..."


Poor kitties! What did they ever do to you?!

I'm going to jump in as a reader/reviewer - as a reader when I see just 5 star reviews, I get a little wary.

Not because I don't believe the book could be the Next Big Thing, but because not everyone loves every book. I'd rather see a bunch of 4 and 5 star reviews, with some 3 and even 2 star reviews mixed in - but only if those reviews are justified. If, for example, someone gives a 2 star review to a book titled, say, Space Zombies Kill Puppies, and then complain about the SF, gore and animal cruelty, I'm going to pretty much disregard it. If on the same hand I see a review for the same book where the reviewer didn't connect with the characters, or found the story too slow for their tastes, I tend to take more notice.

From my review personality, I always try to find some kind of positive to the book - even if I didn't like it, and when applicable emphasise that certain things I didn't like are only because they didn't appeal to me personally. And I try not to gush - I'm far too sarcastic to pull it off without sounding, well, sarcastic :)


message 6: by Suki (last edited Nov 27, 2011 06:01AM) (new)

Suki Michelle (SukiMichelle) | 83 comments Kat wrote: "Suki wrote: "Hi Ronald,

Yes, a good topic.

I believe it's very important to get a range of reviews. Five-star gushers are WONDERFUL causes for celebration, but if a book as ONLY fives, a poten..."


Hi Kat!

Yes - a wide range of responses is invaluable. It informs potential readers and establishes credibility. Authors must trust their readers. Every review - positive or negative - not only thickens our skin but makes us better writers. The sequels will benefit!

Re: your rhetorical question about my kitties - thanks, I needed that. It inspired a plan - IF (IF IF) we get 1 or 2-star review and I feel a tantrum coming on, I'll hold off long enough to put some Meow-Mix in their bowls, tiptoe out of the house, and have my shit-fit in the yard.

Then I'll appreciate the feedback and move on.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Ronald wrote: "Hey folks,

I thought this could invoke some interesting discussion. When someone reviews your novel, what do you try to take away from that review? Also, when you receive a review - as a writer ..."


Hi Ronald,

I'm lucky becuse all my amazon reviews have been positive. A lot of my success is due to members of a writers group I joined. They did not flatter, they commented honestly and it helped me to improve my writing.

If I received a bad review now, I'd feel upset. Not with the reviewers, but with myself, becuase I would feel I'd failed. However, I know that not everone is going to enjoy my books, and as long as the review was fair, I could accept it.

I put my first novel Vissi d'arte on authonomy, a site run by HarperCollins. The comments were valuabe and I rewrote part of the first chapter because of them.


message 8: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rcraft) Interesting responses so far. I notice that the people that piped up pretty much all said they had 5 star reviews. It's less likely that someone that's had bad reviews would want to talk about it publicly, but it would add an interesting contract to this thread.

Also, I agree with the line "There's no way to please everybody."

One thing I think you have to expect as an author is to get blasted now and then. Even writers like Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, etc. all receive 2 and 3 star reviews.

Personally, if I get a review where someone points out something they don't like in my novel and I have the capacity to speak with them, I'll do so. None of us are perfect writers, and there's always something that can be gleaned from a review. If someone says, "I can't stand this part because of that" it gives me something to think about as I'm writing the next novel.

Sometimes, as writers, we become so absorbed in our worlds that we can no longer see things from a readers perspective, so it's nice to get that from an honest review whether good or bad.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Ronald wrote: "Interesting responses so far. I notice that the people that piped up pretty much all said they had 5 star reviews. It's less likely that someone that's had bad reviews would want to talk about it p..."

Hi Ronald,

I'll confess that when I started reading something from my novel at a writers group, someone, whose opinion I respect, stopped me and said, 'I'm going to stop you becuse what you've written is rubbish. It's all tell, tell, tell and full of exposition.'

This may sound rude of him, but he was right. Because he'd told me what was wrong, I was able to put it right. I read it out the next week and he said it was excellent. I said, 'It's all thanks to you!'

My experiences with the writers group is why I'm getting good reviews.


message 10: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 583 comments Ronald wrote: "Hey folks,

I thought this could invoke some interesting discussion. When someone reviews your novel, what do you try to take away from that review? Also, when you receive a review - as a writer ..."


Honest reviews. I pride myself on being an honest reviewer, and it is possible to be honest without be snarky. I have seen plenty of reviews that said "This book sucks" with no explanation as to why, along with an accompanying low rating. I always suspect some kind of ulterior motive in those cases.

I don't let negative reviews (of which I have had a few) get to me; as authors, we would naturally like for everyone to love our work. That's just not realistic. Some will like it, some will hate it, and most will fall somewhere in between. If you look at review averages here on Goodreads, even for traditionally published bestsellers, you'll see the numbers hover around 3.5 ... which kind of proves my point.

That said, a review and a critique are not the same thing. One should not be looking for feedback from reviews; that should have happened long before the book was out. I consider myself blessed to receive a detailed rejection letter once upon a time (as opposed to the form "thanks but no thanks" letter). Once I got my ego out of the way, I took the feedback therein to heart and had a much stronger manuscript. That led directly to my UK publishing contract, which in turn led to a US publishing contract.


message 11: by Suki (new)

Suki Michelle (SukiMichelle) | 83 comments Sharon wrote: "Ronald wrote: "Hey folks,

I thought this could invoke some interesting discussion. When someone reviews your novel, what do you try to take away from that review? Also, when you receive a review -..."



Hi Sharon - total ditto, especially re: the difference between critique and review. When my co-written novel was in critique mode, harsh criticism was far more valuable than the praise-filled responses. It brings to mind the adage: The sting in any rebuke is the truth. If that sting is in the form of a review, the author has the choice to apply that feedback to future works or simply move on.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

When I get a "bad review", I get pretty upset at first, but then again, I think that anyone would. After that, I try and look at the review and see if I agree with any of the points the reviewer made, if maybe there is something that they saw in the novel that I didn't see. I also do this for "good reviews" if anyone thought that part of it could have been better, or if there is something that they didn't like.

When I review, I try not to give the story away. I really like to point out what I liked about the book, what cons I had, and maybe what could have been improved. Basically, the same things I look for when someone reviews my work.


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 29 comments So far (still early in the reviews list), I've seen lots of 4-5 stars which tend to gush a good bit. The 5's tend to be ecstatic. The 4's seem to be people who genuinely enjoyed the book and have good things to say overall.

Then there's my 1-star. I was prepared for a bad review here and there. It's to be expected, especially if you write weird stories like me. You just have to be ready for it to come eventually...there's bound to be SOMEONE who hates any given story. What I didn't expect was someone who not only didn't seem to have tried to read it, but refused to justify their position when other people started asking.

Oh well. Trolls are everywhere. However, it doesn't mean I don't panic if I see a bad review.

What I look for and hope for (besides the reviewer actually having read the book) is honesty based on what the story is, not what the reviewer wanted the story to be. Good reviewers seem to judge a book on its merits and will talk up those qualities, even if they themselves would not say they enjoyed the story for personal reasons. A bad reviewer projects their personal like/dislike onto the story itself, such as claiming the story is awful simply because it's not a style they enjoy.

But that's all my rambling opinions. Your mileage may vary.


message 14: by Suki (new)

Suki Michelle (SukiMichelle) | 83 comments Jim, I just read your one-star. Don't let it bother you at all. It says nothing and, in fact, motivated another reader to buy your book. This is a perfect example of the value of a wide range of responses - one person's hate is another's love.


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 29 comments Agreed, it all worked out for the best. However, it makes a great example of what I think most of us don't want to see in a review. :)


message 16: by Suki (new)

Suki Michelle (SukiMichelle) | 83 comments Jim wrote: "Agreed, it all worked out for the best. However, it makes a great example of what I think most of us don't want to see in a review. :)"

lol . . . word!


message 17: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rcraft) Ah Jim, it's good to see someone that doesn't have all glowing reviews chime in :)

Also, a good point was brought up, the difference between critiques and reviews. I'm pretty sure that anyone that's a serious writer has gone through critique groups of some kind and have gotten authentic reviews from quality readers before they put their book out into the wild.

Once it's already been purchased and read by people it's a bit too late to worry about revisions.

I'm waiting on reviews, so hopefully I'll be able to chime in on this regard in the near future. I, as of right now, have 0 reviews - so, it's just one of those nail biting times where you can't help but wonder, "What do they think? Will they like it?"

So, here comes the waiting game. :)


message 18: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Thorson (JennThorson) | 65 comments I look at reviews as an interesting look into the psychology of the reader. Often a review is every bit as much about the reader as the book they're reviewing.

I find value in any review where thought is put into it-- whether it's a three-star or a five-star-- as long as some reasoning is involved. And I've found things that one person might mention they dislike is just as likely to be embraced by the next reader.

I'm still new in the game, but the reviews are finally coming in. I want to go check out Jim's one-star because I'm wondering if it's by the same person who left me a pessimistic review having admitted he hadn't read the book yet. :)


message 19: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Smith (KathleenSmith) | 31 comments My book has only received about 5 reviews 4 of them good. The good ones I enjoyed reading naturally. The bad one I must say did hurt very much, but after reading the reviews this particular person gave to other authors over the same contents I didn't feel so bad. Obviously I would love for my book to received as many good reviews as possible, but what I mainly want is for my book to be able to help other women and their husbands. I also want it to be able to help these women's friends to better understand what they are going through. Here is a link to my book http://bit.ly/mamkindle also here is my books trailer if anyone is interesed http://bit.ly/mamvideo

Kathleen


message 20: by Suki (new)

Suki Michelle (SukiMichelle) | 83 comments Jenn wrote: "I look at reviews as an interesting look into the psychology of the reader. Often a review is every bit as much about the reader as the book they're reviewing.

I find value in any review where th..."


Wow, Jenn. I just read the review of your book by the clairvoyant who hasn't read it. Awesome! lol.


message 21: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Thorson (JennThorson) | 65 comments Suki wrote: "Jenn wrote: "I look at reviews as an interesting look into the psychology of the reader. Often a review is every bit as much about the reader as the book they're reviewing.

I find value in any re..."


Ha, yes. I actually had to look and see if it was someone I knew just trying to be funny, but apparently it wasn't. :)


message 22: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 583 comments Jenn wrote: "I look at reviews as an interesting look into the psychology of the reader. Often a review is every bit as much about the reader as the book they're reviewing.

I find value in any review where th..."


A review in which the person admits they have not read the book violates Goodreads TOS; I recommend you report it.

That said, be advised that they may come back and say you cannot really prove the person never read it. I was one of *six* people who had an ARC of a book that received a 1-star review prior to publication -- by someone who did not have an ARC. Goodreads' response to the author was there was no way for her to know who really had the book. :-/


message 23: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 29 comments Sharon wrote: "Jenn wrote: "I look at reviews as an interesting look into the psychology of the reader. Often a review is every bit as much about the reader as the book they're reviewing.

I find value in any re..."


Yeah, mine was one of that sort. She never would admit she didn't read it. Reader put up the review of a 200k word book within about two hours of shipper reporting delivery. A picture may be worth a 1000 words, but a cover is not quite worth 200,000 words.


message 24: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Thorson (JennThorson) | 65 comments Sharon wrote: "Jenn wrote: "I look at reviews as an interesting look into the psychology of the reader. Often a review is every bit as much about the reader as the book they're reviewing.

I find value in any re..."


Well, mine did openly say in his comment that he hadn't read it. But he didn't select stars for it to actually rate it; he seems to have just wanted to express his feelings of deep foreboding.

I honestly got more of a laugh out of it than anything else. People never cease to surprise. :)


message 25: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 59 comments I think the odd bad review is inevitable, no matter how popular the author. I find that extreme pre-publication hype doesn't help me love a book - it raises expectations to an impossible level and I end up disappointed. I prefer to seek out less well-known authors - finding someone virtually unknown whose writing and story deserve five stars is like uncovering hidden treasure.

Writing a review is something I take seriously and spend time on, but not everyone does - there are some very casual comments thrown out there in the big wide world.

Having written the above though, it's worth bearing in mind that a review is always pretty subjective - I've had a few negative comments but have mostly found that they're worth leaving to study later.

And don't forget that almost anything is better than being completely ignored - except of course, being told more than once that the book is badly written, which should set alarm bells ringing and prompt the writer to seek a professional opinion.


message 26: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Place (Neftwink) | 7 comments Ronald wrote: "Hey folks,... When someone reviews your novel, what do you try to take away from that review? Also, when you receive a review - as a writer -what kind of reviews do you like to receive?"

I like to see that the reviewer was not only able to relate to my story on some level, either personally or through friends/family, but also took it (unconsciously?) as an invitation of sorts to look at their own fiters/feelings/thoughts regarding the subject matter. My intention when writing it was to take the reader on a ride - of sorts - through my experiences. And not a very pleasant ride. I think the reviews I've received so far testify to my having accomplished that. I couldn't ask for anything else - even if the reviewer disagrees with my choices or thinks my book is unfinished - and says as much.

Utimately the review is about the readers experience.


message 27: by Henry (new)

Henry Mosquera | 12 comments Henry Mosquera The way I wrote Sleeper's Run was meant to allow the reader to bring their own thoughts into the book. So when I read reviews, I'm always curious to see what that particular person got from the story.

The reviews I like are the ones that get to the core of the novel. It irks me when a critic skims through the book and delivers a preconceived, dismissive, and at times, inaccurate assessment of my work. This last point particularly irritates me.

I actually wrote this blog entry regarding reviews: http://henrymosquera.booktrib.com/201...

I hope you enjoy it.


message 28: by Philippa (new)

Philippa (PJBallantine) | 1 comments Anyone who takes the time to read your book and review it, even if they don't care for it, is at least someone taking the time to talk about your work. In fact, I read that even low star ratings help- since if readers see nothing but a screen of 5 star reviews, they suspect the authors friends and family are loading the dice.
The only kind of reviews I dislike are when people write a review, and actually say in it they didn't read the book. 'I skimmed it' in other words...


message 29: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rcraft) Philippa wrote: "Anyone who takes the time to read your book and review it, even if they don't care for it, is at least someone taking the time to talk about your work."

Very true, and a great point. Often times someone will be like, "I hate this book." and then someone will be like, "I need to see for myself." So, yeah, that works. Though, it would certainly not be fun if your book was selling just because everyone wanted to see why it sucked. ;)


message 30: by L.S. (new)

L.S. Burton (lsburton337) | 22 comments I just had a review swap with another author, and initially I loved what he said. After the excitement wore off, I stepped back and took a look at his other reviews, and they're all 5 Stars, and rather gushy.

Now, I appreciate that he read my book, and genuinely seemed to enjoy it, but it also might be a good idea to tone it down a little.


message 31: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rcraft) L.S. wrote: "I just had a review swap with another author, and initially I loved what he said. After the excitement wore off, I stepped back and took a look at his other reviews, and they're all 5 Stars, and ra..."

See, that's why I won't do a review swap. People are afraid of saying bad things about one another, and so you tend to end up with exaggerated reviews, or reviews that aren't exactly truthful.


message 32: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 59 comments Ronald wrote: "L.S. wrote: "I just had a review swap with another author, and initially I loved what he said. After the excitement wore off, I stepped back and took a look at his other reviews, and they're all 5 ..."

It's possible that he only reviews books he loves here - most of my reviews on Goodreads have four or five stars as I tend to ditch books I dislike rather than than have them taking up space on any bookshelf - real or virtual. I guess though that a swap would almost certainly modify the reviews exchanged.

One way to (partly) overcome this here would be by a ticket system - you apply for a ticket for a review, it's put into a pool and every week or so someone is given a book to review. Then again, it would difficult to give a bad review to someone one knew, even if only online.

I don't think that receiving a a bad star rating on its own would bother me - it's the odd negative written review that one tends to dwell on, especially since a writer can easily do more harm than good by replying to defend their work rather than by standing back and moving on.


message 33: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Storrs I agree that there is a big difference between a critique and a review. When I had a book critiqued prior to publication I handled all the confusing feedback by analysing my emotions when hearing 'constructive' criticism. I likened it to the stages of grief: denial that there was anything wrong with my writing; anger that the reader 'didn't get' what I was trying to achieve, and then depression - haven't we all been there? Then I entered the bargaining stage where I considered what was valid and what I simply had to reject. Often I came to accept that some of the harshest criticism was the most useful. 'Murder your darlings...' etc As for reviews post publication - I guess you have to let your 'darling' go out into the world and fend for itself. Being philosophical doesn't stop me being stung by a poor review though:)


message 34: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) Elisabeth wrote: "I agree that there is a big difference between a critique and a review. When I had a book critiqued prior to publication I handled all the confusing feedback by analysing my emotions when hearing '..."

I think that is a wonderful description and look at things Elisabeth. You are very right about the stages of grief. Beautiful Insight, and honesty thank you.


message 35: by Lana (new)

Lana Bradstream (lanabradstream) | 145 comments I have not had a critique or a review on my book yet. I'm anxious, because there are some reviews waiting in the wings.


message 36: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Storrs Hugh (A.K.A. Hermit the Curmudgeon) wrote: "Elisabeth wrote: "I agree that there is a big difference between a critique and a review. When I had a book critiqued prior to publication I handled all the confusing feedback by analysing my emoti..."

Thanks Hugh
The main thing is to perservere, I guess, despite all the times you have to go through the 'grieving' process. The pleasure of receiving a great review after publication can certainly make up for some of pain!


message 37: by L.S. (new)

L.S. Burton (lsburton337) | 22 comments Some good advice in this thread.

As regards to the fellow with whom i've swapped reviews. Seeing that his review of my work is rather ecstatic - even though, I mean, my book, of course, is fabulous, obviously - now I feel obligated to give him a very quality review of on par.

Though there is some truth that you only pick books to review that you like, and our styles were similar, the highest I will give him is a 4 rating. 5 stars I'd reserve for books that have changed my life. Nor do I think a 5-star would do any true favour to him.


message 38: by Ronald (last edited Dec 01, 2011 06:12PM) (new)

Ronald (rcraft) H.H. wrote: "Reviews. I never thought I would be the type to live or die by a review, and I still don't feel that way. I would, however, be eternally grateful for constructive criticism prior to releasing a n..."

Constructive feedback is actually incredibly easy to find. I've been a member of a website called Critique Circle for years now. All the work posted in the queues is kept off search engines. They break everything down into different genre and people crit one another.

The experience varies on there, but you're generally guaranteed to get 5+ critiques on each chapter you post.

Also, premium members can create private queues, trade whole novel critiques with other members, and so on (it's free, but these are just some extra things you can get if you want to donate a little money to the site).

The one thing I absolutely love about the critiques is that, by default, the critiques are setup to be inline - so you can just read through your chapter and compare notes from all of your critiquers to find patterns and the like.

Overall, it's fantastic site. Lots of great writers on there with years of experience in both traditional and self-published writing. I highly recommend it.


message 39: by David (new)

David Gregory Lloyd (dlboker) | 7 comments I have a problem with five star reviews. If you give a book a five star review and then you read something much better, where do you go from there? I am not dismissing five star ratings altogether, but I do think they should be reserved for something exceptional.

I have also wondered whether the five star rating rather limits the versatility in the rating procedure. Might not a ten star rating scale allow us to be a little more discerning?

What do you think?


message 40: by Cyndia (new)

Cyndia Rios-Myers (goodreadscomcyndiariosmyers) | 6 comments Hi folks!! It's my first time posting here as an author!

As far as reviews are concerned, I'd welcome ANY review, truth be told. My Wolf series gets good sales, but I have yet to receive a review on book two of the series.

I have received a couple of reviews that were kind of a mixed bag; I took the constructive critiques under consideration and applied what I learned to other books.

I'm also of mixed emotions with five star reviews! I know how I feel when I read a book that has received a bunch of accolades and is a on a few best-seller lists; I am expecting to be impressed in the first chapter.

But if I could ask my readers to do anything (which I am not sure I have a right to do - they bought my book(s) to begin with) it would be that they please leave me a review.

Thanks for writing such a great discussion question!


message 41: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rcraft) David wrote: "I have a problem with five star reviews. If you give a book a five star review and then you read something much better, where do you go from there? I am not dismissing five star ratings altogether,..."

Rating inflation - it happens everywhere, even at jobs. When I was in the military we had Enlisted Performance Reports and if you weren't given the top score, then it would be looked down upon and prevent you from getting promotions and the like. Thing is, the top score was supposed to be someone that was absolutely outstanding during the course of the year. However, everyone was getting them.

Same thing for book reviews.


message 42: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) | 29 comments So true. Had a friend a while back throw a small fit because he got a 3-star review on Amazon. Very odd to me, since 3 is sort of the "overall decent, but I'm not bouncing up and down wetting myself with joy" rating. Unfortunately, both authors and readers kind of have it stuck in their minds that if it isn't a 5-star, it sucks, which just isn't true.


message 43: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 583 comments David wrote: "I have a problem with five star reviews. If you give a book a five star review and then you read something much better, where do you go from there? I am not dismissing five star ratings altogether,..."

I think it depends on how someone goes about reviewing books, to be honest. Each person has a different methodology. In my case, I *start* every book with the presumption that it will be a 5-star read. Otherwise, why would I pick it up? What happens after that remains to be seen. Here is my blog post where I get into some of the particulars for what will cause an author to lose points.


message 44: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 59 comments David wrote: "I have a problem with five star reviews. If you give a book a five star review and then you read something much better, where do you go from there? I am not dismissing five star ratings altogether,...

Might not a ten star rating allow us to be a little more discerning?"


You're so right - it's a very much a comparative process. I've rated most books on my bookshelf with four and five stars, simply because I'm only uploading favorites read some time ago rather than recently. But I think that ten stars would certainly help to even things out a little.


message 45: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid Holm-Garibay | 63 comments It also depends on who makes the review or critique. Unless that person is an objective professional, normally someone who likes to read romanic novels is not going to like a true crime book or vice versa. We also have to keep in mind people with favoritism and personal agendas.
Having said that, it is always much better to have a bad review, than no reviews at all.
Remember my quote:
"The best reviewer is not a publisher, editor, or quirky literary agent, but the reader who pays for our books."


message 46: by Tui (last edited Dec 05, 2011 12:11AM) (new)

Tui Allen (Tuibird) | 41 comments One of the reviews for Ripple (my first novel) made me cry. The reviews all made me feel that people were responding exactly the way I had always dreamed they would. But reading this you've all got me worried that someone will think the 8 reviews of Ripple on Amazon kindle store (USA) are all written by my friends. Only one is from a person I've met and they come from people around the world. But though all 8 are 5-star raves, its the one written by the Swiss guy that was the most thoughtful. That was the one that made me cry. That review made some slight almost negatives (about the cover I think) yet it was the one that gave me the confidence to phone up the Listener magazine we have here in NZ and see if they were interested in reviewing it. They asked me to send in printouts of the review and a copy of the DTB version of Ripple. It was a REALLY THOUGHTFUL review and he has even put a copy of it here on Goodreads and on the UK Amazon.


message 47: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rcraft) Tui wrote: "One of the reviews for Ripple (my first novel) made me cry. The reviews all made me feel that people were responding exactly the way I had always dreamed they would. But reading this you've all got..."

Getting a 5 star review isn't bad. We've just become paranoid over the years as there are so many authors out there going the shady route in order to get their reviews.


message 48: by Vered (new)

Vered (Vered_Ehsani) As a reader and as a writer, I don't focus too much on the number of stars, but on the comments that go with it. It could be one sentence or a full out review, but that tells me a lot more than number of stars which can really be misleading. It's just way too subjective, while if I read that someone really liked the character development or didn't like the theme that happens to be one I do like, that helps me out way more.


message 49: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Gabelman | 23 comments I really want truthful reviews. I received some negative feedback a while back. To be totally honest it broke my heart, but once I got over it and really read it again I felt that the reviewer was absolutely right and I used it to make changes. After that I received much better reviews. So in truth it really wasn't negative feedback, it was honest and it helped me so much.


message 50: by Johnny (last edited Dec 06, 2011 01:04PM) (new)

Johnny Virgil (JohnnyVirgil) | 9 comments I'd rather have insightful reviews, regardless of the # of stars. I have a few twos and a 1. Unfortunately, only one of the two-star reviews is really a review from someone who read the book. I believe the other two are just fake reviews. The reason I think that is because someone pointed out that the same one sentence review (right down to the # of exclamation points) was written by a "different" person on The Oatmeal's "Five very good reasons.." book as well. The one star was barely coherent, so I don't give that much weight. The other two star had a good point -- there is profanity in my book. In my view, it's there for a reason. In her view, it made her unable to share the humor with her older children, and less able to enjoy the stories that contained it. (The words her older children say when they're out of earshot would be a surprise to her, I think.) But I just take them for what they're worth individually. I also got a 3 that was titled "the sample was a bit of a con" and said that I packed all the funny into the sample. I don't think the person realized we don't have any way of controlling how much or how little amazon decides to share with the "look inside this book" feature.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Vissi D'arte: A Story Of Love And Music (other topics)
Sleeper's Run (other topics)
Dance Of The Goblins (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Henry Mosquera (other topics)