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Writing > Why are some reviewers so cruel?

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message 1: by Mackenzie (new)

Mackenzie Brown (mackbrown) I'm interested in the views of anyone from the group who is regular reviewer which I assume is most if not all of us.
When I launched my first book I made a fatal error and posted the wrong version. As a result a particularly malicious review was posted and in all probability, from somebody who downloaded the book to their kindle for free.
I've learned from this and moved on, but I wondered if anyone can tell me why such a review is necessary? Why not as I try to do, accentuate the positives and avoid any damaging words? Am I perhaps too fair minded?

I'd be very interested in hearing anyone's views on this topic.


message 2: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Hay (wwwthomaslhaycom) | 36 comments Most of us Authors do ask for an honest review. Sometimes bad reviews can be good. That way readers know the reviews aren't all sugar coated or bought.


message 3: by M. (new)

M. Lewis (mlauryllewis) There's always going to be people out there who basically enjoy beating others down (or their work). All reviews are good in their own right, even those of low ratings. Hopefully the reviewers who leave the less than shining reviews will leave you with feedback that you can take and turn into a good thing. It was awhile before my first book got anything less than 4 or 5 stars...and that first 3 star stung. However, that review (which was constructive, not cruel) led to some great ideas for book two. I'll always be grateful for that. The truly cruel reviews - well, it's hard to say what drives people to cross a line. Best advice is to ignore it, unless of course they have constuctive cristicism that is actually useful. And, lastly, know that reviews left that are in an outright nasty light will be seen as such by other readers.


message 4: by Literary (new)

Literary Well of course not every person will enjoy every book but when writing a review I think people should be considerate and respectful. There is no need to be cruel. A good review should contain the pros and cons if any, for both the reader and the author. Definitely anyone reading a review should always take it with a grain of salt. Often I have read books that I enjoyed that others seemed not to and vice versa so, if you think the book might interest you give it a try.


message 5: by Cheree (new)

Cheree Smith (chereesmith) | 5 comments I agree, bad reviews can be helpful, but only when they're offering feedback and looking at both positives and negatives.

Reviews that are written mainly to be cruel and attack the author are ones that I don't understand, but these ones also don't persuade me not to read the book either. It's easy to spot reviewers who just want to bash the book/novel, and it's best just to try and ignore these reviews and not take it personally.


message 6: by Court (new)

Court (courtyoung) | 89 comments Mod
I think momma said it best... It's not what you say, it's how you say it. I welcome good and bad reviews. I have seen some pretty nasty ones ... One to the point where a reviewer told the author to go kill herself. Reviews like that are unnecessary and not a review at all. Whenever I come across a cruel review that is downright belligerent, I go to the users other reviews and see if it is a trend. On goodreads, most of the really hateful people review all novels they read the same so I've come to ignore them completely.


message 7: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Hay (wwwthomaslhaycom) | 36 comments Holy Cow! What a wonderful world we live in.


message 8: by John (new)

John Jr. (arievlex) | 12 comments I am into doing reviews right now.

I put anywhere from 500 to 1000 words into the review. It helps the author and the potential readers. I have a system that helps give the rating. I use 5 elements of the story to correspond to the 5 stars. I assign each star as I go. At the end I sum them up and have a tie breaker conclusion if their is a 1/2 star in their.

I am fair and honest. I know I don't give the highest rating but I think it is best if very few reviews get 5 stars and most get like 3, that way we can truly get the best idea of a books rating not just over rating.


message 9: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Jones (darlene_jones) | 3 comments I don't understand why some readers feel compelled to be mean. There's a difference between critical and constructive criticism that can help an author.
www.emandyves.com


message 10: by Larry (new)

Larry Kollar (lkollar) | 12 comments You're going to get those. Neil Gaiman's 10 ann. edition of American Gods is available on Amazon now, and there's 97 1-star reviews out of just over 1200. Stuff like "this was a total waste of brainspace" and "boring, unenlightening, dismal, dreary, depressing, and pointless." I mean, if Neil Freeking Gaiman gets reviews like that, what hope do we have of avoiding them? I've had two out of thirty 1-star reviews on one of my books, a similar ratio, so I'm in good company. ;-)

To answer the original question, some people have to tear down other people to feel better about themselves.


message 11: by Kayla (new)

Kayla De Leon (kayladeleon) When I do reviews, I try to include both positive and negative feedback when reviewing books I didn't particularly like. Some reviewers tend to be prejudiced towards an author and channel their negative feelings in their reviews. I've seen some reviews that attack not the book but the author. I guess I don't like being mean to an author because I always think about how much work they put into their book and it wouldn't be fair for me to tear it down in less that 1000 words. Haha:)


message 12: by K.S. (new)

K.S. Daniels (ksdaniels) No matter what we say about bad reviews and how we justify their necessity, they still hurt. You need a thick skin to be a writer, because like someone pointed out earlier even Neil Gaiman gets 1 star reviews so it is gonna happen to us all. I haven't got one yet, but I know it is coming. I'll probably cry, then do a lot of swearing, maybe some more crying, then convince myself the person is clearly an idiot and move on haha. =D


message 13: by Mackenzie (new)

Mackenzie Brown (mackbrown) K.S. wrote: "No matter what we say about bad reviews and how we justify their necessity, they still hurt. You need a thick skin to be a writer, because like someone pointed out earlier even Neil Gaiman gets 1 s..."

I agree we will all suffer bad reviews and readers are entitled to their opinion. I just have a problem with malicious reviews.


message 14: by Kay (new)

Kay Bolton (toodlesandbinks) | 2 comments I try not to be cruel or personal. I just give an honest appraisal of how I found the work being reviewed.

I try to give a positive as well as a negative, and never get personal about an author ... after all, what meat to one man may be poison to another.

I also try to list errors/bug bears where possible, and give some feedback on them, but don't tend to add them to the on line reviews at Amazon or Good Reads (just mention that if there were any they are included in the blog review).

Sometimes it works the other way with authors leaving negative feedback votes, just because they dislike what you have said, which can be difficult for a reviewer.


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