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ABOUT BOOK REVIEWS > Tell us your thoughts about book reviews

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

ABOUT BOOK REVIEWS. I've been trying to figure this out since I started writing - so far unsuccessfully - why people write or don't write reviews on books. Book reviews are feedback for the author, that's how we know if we created something that the readers enjoy or not. There are readers who obviously like my books - which makes me very happy - because they post about on FB and other social sites how much they enjoyed reading them, but they don't write a review on the sites that sells the books. Some readers on the other hand seem to use the option of writing a review almost like an attack on the author. I'll tell you why I think that. I was browsing on amazon and looked up a few books I read and really liked. Although these books had many 4 or 5 star reviews posted and reading the reviews proved to me that the readers read the books and enjoyed them, I found a few 1 or 2 star reviews as well. Some of the 1 star reviews were just one line - no mention of the story whatsoever - just a line written in profane language about how much the book sucks, and it was very obvious that the person behind that fake name and picture never even laid eyes on the book they wrote the review on. I found others that although they seemed to read the book - mostly given to them as free promotion - they seemed to expect from a mellow romance novel to be an action hero story with lots of fights and murder instead of soul searching and relationship issues, or not enough sex scenes in the book being a romance novel. I also found reviews written on the first book of series that the reader gave a 2 star review - although they liked the book - all because they didn't find out the whole plot and secrets were mentioned but not revealed in the first book, they only found hints about what is coming in book two or three. Help me understand this. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT BOOK REVIEWS?


message 2: by Brian (new)

Brian Benson (bknight47) | 10 comments I agree with you Erika. Book reviews are important. When I read a book, I always make sure to post a review on Amazon, Twitter, Library Thing, and here on Goodreads. Unless the book is horrid, I try to find something positive to say about the book. Writing is hard work. Authors pour their heart and soul into their stories, so I don't agree with bashing, to score points as a critical reviewer. I read for enjoyment, to get involved in another persons world. While I enjoy a good positive review, I also realize not everyone may be a fan of my genre. Thanks for your opinion on reviews...B


message 3: by Diana (new)

Diana Febry (dianaj) | 8 comments I am quite new to writing reviews. I try to be as honest as possible.
If I've really enjoyed the book there is nothing I like more than writing a 5 star review. Most books I give 3/4 star reviews to.
As a writer I have a real headache when I come across a badly written book. I spend twice as much time worrying about what to say. Luckily I haven't come across many but knowing how much time and effort we all put into making our books the best they can be - what should I do if I come across something which would put anyone off taking a chance on a new writer?
I always try to say something positive but I also want my reviews to be worthwhile.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Brian wrote: "I agree with you Erika. Book reviews are important. When I read a book, I always make sure to post a review on Amazon, Twitter, Library Thing, and here on Goodreads. Unless the book is horrid, I tr..."

Thank you Brian, I really appreciate your input and value your opinion. This is how every reviewer should look at writing a review. I learned something new as well, I didn't know that the low rating is looked at as critical review just because the reviewer rates a book low. Hmmm... perhaps this is the reason for the 1 or 2 stars reviews? You really got me thinking here


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Diana wrote: "I am quite new to writing reviews. I try to be as honest as possible.
If I've really enjoyed the book there is nothing I like more than writing a 5 star review. Most books I give 3/4 star reviews ..."


That's exactly how I feel about Diana. It is hard judging other's work as a writer, because it's always in the back of my mind that how much work I put into my books and how it would make me feel if someone would write badly about my books. However, I've read excellent books and very bad ones too, but I always found something good or new even in the worst I read. An author always gives a little of themselves in the story and every person have something in them that is worth paying attention to.


message 6: by Brian (new)

Brian Benson (bknight47) | 10 comments so true Diana...B


message 7: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Steele I don't like to review books I didn't enjoy, if I can't give a book 4 or 5 stars I won't review it at all. I know that's a cowardly approach, but I also know how much of a person's soul went into the writing, even if its awful. If I have promised a review I produce one of those craven pieces of subterfuge where I find something to like and concentrate on that. I do know that this is not helpful to readers, but it seems to be ingrained too deep to change. Of course when people don't review my books I then assume they hate them, not that they are busy or forgetful.


message 8: by Brian (new)

Brian Benson (bknight47) | 10 comments That's not cowardly at all, more like respectful of people's efforts...B


message 9: by Diana (new)

Diana Febry (dianaj) | 8 comments Thanks for being so honest Carolyn. When people don't review my books I automatically assume it was because they hated it. So good to know I'm not alone.


message 10: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Smith (httpwwwgoodreadscomcindysvoices) | 7 comments I agree that we need reviews. I also will not post a bad review. I do, however, tell the author why I did not write them a review, in the hopes that they can understand my problem with it and see if others agree. I have found that being honest does not fly too well with some, they expect a glowing review even if the book is bad...and I have read a few that did not even have spell check run on them. I hope if anyone figures out how to get people to write them, they will share the secret!


message 11: by Brian (new)

Brian Benson (bknight47) | 10 comments That is why I will never publish without an editor again...B


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Carolyn wrote: "I don't like to review books I didn't enjoy, if I can't give a book 4 or 5 stars I won't review it at all. I know that's a cowardly approach, but I also know how much of a person's soul went into t..."

Thanks for your input Carolyn, I don't have a heart to post a bad review either. I always think that just because I didn't like a story, there are thousands of others who do like it. I do however - if the author asks me for a review - give my honest opinion in private message.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Do you agree with Amazon's return policy? There is a petition circling on Facebook against book return at Amazon. I never really paid attention to this policy, until the other night my coworker was just finishing a book on her Kindle, she said, "It was a good story, I'll return it tomorrow." I was stunned. "Why are you returning it if you liked it," I asked. her answer was, "Why would I keep it? I'm not gonna read it again," I tried to explain, "Do you know how much work and money goes into a book until it's published? You are cheating the author, publisher editor and everyone else involved bringing you this book out of their money" She said, "Well, but Amazon let's you return it and then I'll get another book. Why wouldn't I do it?" Mind you, this woman makes a very good living, she could afford any ebook on Amazon, but she takes advantage of this policy without giving it a second thought.


message 14: by Diana (new)

Diana Febry (dianaj) | 8 comments Hi Erika
I would be totally dismayed if that was my co-worker. It's a terribly selfish attitude. But I guess some people do it all the time - return clothes they've worn, download pirated music etc. It's just a sad reflection of the way some people are.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Diana wrote: "Hi Erika
I would be totally dismayed if that was my co-worker. It's a terribly selfish attitude. But I guess some people do it all the time - return clothes they've worn, download pirated music etc..."


Indeed. The saddest part is that she refuses even to think about how amoral this kind of attitude is. In her mind she's doing the right thing, and she is not bothered by taking advantage of others.


message 16: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Smith (httpwwwgoodreadscomcindysvoices) | 7 comments Erika wrote: "Do you agree with Amazon's return policy? There is a petition circling on Facebook against book return at Amazon. I never really paid attention to this policy, until the other night my coworker was..."

Amazon should rescind this policy, Try returning a magazine or newspaper to the store you bought it, it won't fly. There is no way to "accidentally" purchase a book on amazon and no one should be able to return them.

Your coworker is part of the problem. How would she feel if her boss said I liked the work you did today but it is done now so I won't be paying you.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Cindy wrote: "Erika wrote: "Do you agree with Amazon's return policy? There is a petition circling on Facebook against book return at Amazon. I never really paid attention to this policy, until the other night m..."

I totally agree Cindy, well said.


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