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Fringe Authors General Chat > The only one star reviews I hate

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message 1: by Mark (last edited Jul 29, 2014 08:03PM) (new)

Mark I have no idea why people do this, but I just got another one today.

It's a one star review and here's what they wrote for the review: Haven't started it yet.

Thank goodness they don't seem to show up that often, but what the heck. I've had a few of these reviews that either say, Haven't read it yet, will start soon, or (and this is my favorite) wouldn't download for some reason.

Why? Why would you hurt an author's overall rating to tell the world that you haven't read something yet? What's the point? It's very frustrating.

message 2: by Yolanda (new)

Yolanda Ramos (yramosseventhsentinel) That's horrible and unfair Mark, it shouldn't be allowed. Have you checked other reviews the person has written?

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Roberts | 616 comments It could be a simple lack of understanding about how the system works. I am not sure if ignorance is better...

message 4: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 176 comments Honestly, I wouldn't be too worried about that kind of rating. Most people don't judge on the general rating of a book only, and will check a few reviews before deciding if they're interested or not. Anyone with a speck of neuron would clearly dismiss a "1 star: haven't read it yet" kind of review as useless. Anyone who wouldn't... well, you probably wouldn't care about such people reading your book anyway. ^^

message 5: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (ltg584) As a book blogger, I can assure you that a review like that doesn't mean much to most readers. On the rare occasion that I actually look at reviews before reading a book, I try to look at one 5 star review, and one 1 star review. But most importantly, I focus on the 3 star reviews.

message 6: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Podgorski (leighpod) | 10 comments Hey Mark and others commenting on this topic. I have one of these annoyances where the writer complained that the book was to long. (sic) The book is 238 pages. She went on to say that every time she thought it was going to be over-- something new happened. I thought twists and turns was a good thing in a mystery/suspense! But I believe Lindsay is correct-- most readers consider the source. Still-- annoying-- especially when we are trying so hard to build up our readership and our numbers! This is the gamble we take, however, when we expose ourselves to the world. Salinger couldn't take it....he hid in NH...Wrote and never showed the rest of his work to the world. Those are our choices. Tally, ho!

message 7: by Francesco (new)

Francesco (fdifrancesco) Hi all
something similar happened ti me before reading maxence fermine s "the beekeper". i read dome comments and one star was put for a non sence reason. i found it stupid and funny at same time but i cannot avoid to remark this…
however we could go ahead not considering them… superficiality is everywhere.. isn't it?

message 8: by Nathan (last edited Jul 30, 2014 09:17AM) (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments I mostly read one-star reviews. They're entertaining.

If they're mostly stupid comments, like the one mentioned here, then I read the book.

If they're essays where the reader is putting too much into the review, then it's most likely they're butt hurt by the author, the book, or something went over their heads and they feel the need to make themselves feel better. Then, I read the book.

If it's a succinct review (about 4 to 6 lines) about how the book was poorly written, had confusing plot (with a few examples) and unrelatable characters, then I heed the reviews advice and avoid the book.

The most honest bad reviews are the short and to the point ones. The reader finished the book, didn't like it, and moved on. If I get the sense they feel the need to destroy the author and/or the book, then they've lost all credibility.

message 9: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments More to the point, Mark, to make you feel better about it, is that while those ratings aren't pretty and are stupid, they won't really hurt you in the end.

As Yzabel stated, anyone stupid enough to be turned off by a star rating like that is not someone you want reading your book anyway.

It may suck to lose some of the readers who scroll down the Amazon list and only download the highest rated books, but those type of people will eventually come back to your book if it's good when the real ratings catch up with its quality.

message 10: by Melissa (last edited Jul 30, 2014 10:18AM) (new)

Melissa Veracruz (melissaveracruz) | 60 comments I accidentally clicked on a book while scrolling through. I didn't realize it at first. Had to go hunt it down later and remove the book. I'd never even heard of it before.

I have to say that if you're on a phone, it's pretty easy to click stuff.

In fact, I just scrolled through My Books here on Goodreads and saw that one of my To-Read books has been marked one-star somehow. This isn't hateful; it's an accident very, very most likely. I know for a fact I didn't purposefully mark Emma Chase's Tamed as one star.

message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Veracruz (melissaveracruz) | 60 comments BTW: There's a tiny "clear" button beside the rating thing, in case anyone else notices this on their own shelves.

message 12: by Mark (new)

Mark Yeah, it doesn't really bother me too much, it's more annoying than anything else.

The only part that does bother me is that certain free advertisements require you to have a minimum amount of reviews and a minimum star rating. If it drags me down below that threshold it would bother me a bit.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Mark wrote: "I have no idea why people do this, but I just got another one today.

It's a one star review and here's what they wrote for the review: Haven't started it yet.

Thank goodness they don't seem to s..."

Hello Mark.
One thing an author did recently on a review they left me was they wrote other titles of other books telling people they were better than mine. I thought how can they even dare to do something like that. Others have insulted me and called me an illegal alien. It's really have gotten out of hand with some of the reviews. I don't know why even bother to write anything at all if they are so displeased. I learned that despite all the negative low stars my sales haven't been affected at all. People from all over the world read my work and I'm so grateful for that. I'm writing a lot now. I don't have that much energy to focus on these type of things. Not long ago I got into a discussion about one of the reviews and it didn't go well. I had to report it and their hostile comments were deleted by amazon. I guess that when hostility happens it gets noticed. This brings more peace since I don't have time to think of anything that anyone like those reviewers think of me or my writing. I got a few good comments from the whole reviews, but lately now I'm asking that no one leaves a comment since I'm never going to use it to propel my writing career. I'm just writing for the joy of writing. Have a great day.

message 14: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Podgorski (leighpod) | 10 comments Lindsay wrote: "As a book blogger, I can assure you that a review like that doesn't mean much to most readers. On the rare occasion that I actually look at reviews before reading a book, I try to look at one 5 sta..."
I find your comment fascinating, Lindsay. I review books and I have a blog, but by no means would I dare call myself a book blogger--- Can you go into a little more detail about why you concentrate on the 3 star reviews? And what exactly do you look for?

message 15: by Bradley (new)

Bradley Poage | 10 comments I hate one star reviews myself. As a writer/author, nothing is more frustrating than getting a one star review. I totally understand that someone might not like a story, but what always gets me are the one stars that are left with no explanation.

I always wonder, why did they give it a one star? Was it perhaps the story, something about the story?

Additionally, it always baffles me when those same readers that gave the one star before, come back over and over again. Surely if they didn't like a story, they wouldn't keep reading new releases? I've been at a loss there.

message 16: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 154 comments Mark wrote: "I have no idea why people do this, but I just got another one today.

It's a one star review and here's what they wrote for the review: Haven't started it yet.

Thank goodness they don't seem to s..."

Maybe they approach your work with trepidation and up their rating after being bowled over by your genius?

message 17: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1398 comments Mod
You think 1 star for no reason is bad? Try having your book in folder names like, "asshat", "when-hell-freezes-over" and my personal favorite "wouldn't-touch-it-with-a-ten-foot-pole".

message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim Peterson | 42 comments I think Sarah is right that the user just has no clue about how GR works.

If I were you, I'd ask a friend to send this person a message saying he/she should change it and why. Better yet ask someone here to do it, preferably someone who is not a GR friend of yours.

Hell, I'll do it if you write the message for me ;)

message 19: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments The only ones I hate are the ones that are given to you because you gave their book a low rating. Then, you're sent a message saying that if you take down your review, they'll take down theirs.

THEN, they have their friends rate your book. And you can tell it's their friends because they joined Goodreads just to rate their book...and yours.

message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim Peterson | 42 comments Nathen, wow. Never heard of such bickery.
Some authors are just a bunch of shit-flinging monkeys, aren't they?

message 21: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Scott | 25 comments Nathan wrote: "The only ones I hate are the ones that are given to you because you gave their book a low rating. Then, you're sent a message saying that if you take down your review, they'll take down theirs.


They're called "vendetta reviews" and it's a very real thing. It's one of the reasons that I don't review as an author. I just wrote a blog about the problems with reviewing as an author. On Goodreads, I rate books between 3-5 stars. If it's below that, I save it for Amazon and change my name on the reviews so I can be honest and fair without retribution. I've run into authors who have issues with a three.

I agree with Jim - have someone send a private message to the individual and explain the issue.

message 22: by David (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments This is why I NEVER do book review exchanges. You're just opening yourself up to trouble. There are better ways to get reviews from actual reviewers where there is no quid pro quo involved. I hate exchanges because I always feel obligated to be less than honest, especially in the event that a particular book is REALLY bad (copious misspellings, bad grammar, plot holes, no indentations or paragraph breaks, etc.)for fear of the very thing you mention. I think it's much better to get feedback from other authors when your book is in the Beta stage - BEFORE you publish. The insights of other authors can be invaluable and there's much less likelihood of retribution while the other author still has the option to revise or rework any problems you point out. In general, I think people are too quick to publish without getting enough eyes on their work first.

message 23: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) Justin wrote: "You think 1 star for no reason is bad? Try having your book in folder names like, "asshat", "when-hell-freezes-over" and my personal favorite "wouldn't-touch-it-with-a-ten-foot-pole"."

Interesting comment, Justin. How do you know when someone has shelved one of your books?

message 24: by Fredösphere (new)

Fredösphere (fredosphere) Thanks, Nathan, for starting this thread. I had no idea "vendetta reviews" would be common enough to warrant a name for the phenomenon.

message 25: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1398 comments Mod
I don't know when they do it I just remember going to my books shelves one day and seeing all the nasty named one's.

message 26: by David (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments Every major site has trolls and if that is the reason for a 1-Sstar review, you shouldn't let it get to you. Reviews are only really meaningful in aggregate anyway unless it is from some major website or publication. Even if that isn't the case however, not everyone is going to like everything. Just look at popular works like Harry Potter or Hunger Games - even they have 1-Star review in the THOUSANDS. Take a look at Twilight some time, the 1-Star reviews on there are take-your-skin-off scathing.

message 27: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments David wrote: "Every major site has trolls and if that is the reason for a 1-Sstar review, you shouldn't let it get to you. Reviews are only really meaningful in aggregate anyway unless it is from some major webs..."

I think the sting is a little less when it comes with a multi-million dollar movie deal, and a high priced book contract.

If you're an indie, all you have are the reviews.

message 28: by David (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments Nathan wrote: "I think the sting is a little less when it comes with a multi-million dollar movie deal, and a high priced book contract.

If you're an indie, all you have are the reviews.

My only point is that everyone gets them. If you are going to be in any sort of entertainment/arts field, which literature and writing certainly are, you have to be thick skinned. Even if it's excellent, there will be people whop don't like it.

If you get cheesed off and go on a crazy rant every time someone doesn't like your work, you are only going to hurt your brand and get a reputation as being hard to work with. This will then make getting reviews harder for you in the future and your later work will get less exposure.

A good rule of thumb is never to respond to a negative review with anything other than "thank you for your time". A clean pig rolling in the mud doesn't make the mud cleaner. It just makes the pig dirtier.

message 29: by Anne (new)

Anne Berkeley (aberkeley) I really hesitate posting this, but I recently got low review. I can handle it, really. No book is EVER going to be everyone's taste. What bothered me was that they said they would've returned it if it wasn't beyond the return date. I'm honestly torn over how to feel about that. The way I see it is that if I went to the theater and wasn't happy with the movie, am I free to ask for my money back? I mean, you've read it. I'm sorry it wasn't to your liking, but that's why the 20% sample is for. Try it before you buy it.

The other part of me says whatever. Perhaps if they got their money back, they might be inclined to try a different book in the future. Doubtful, but I try to think positively. I want my customers to be happy.

I guess I'm a little off topic because it's not about the review. It's about returns and morals over your purchases.

That said, I will never reply to a bad review. Ever. It's the reader's opinion. Some like chocolate and some like vanilla.

message 30: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 519 comments I tried replying to a bad review and got flagged. >_> (I wasn't snarky. I was just pointing out the reason the reader's kid didn't understand the story. Though it was intended for a YA audience, the story was written over 15 years ago and the slang outdates him.) I don't worry about 1 star reviews or bad reviews in general anymore. when i review books, i give my impressions and a technical review. even if the book was bad in some way (usually a technical problem) then I explain why. I rarely give anything higher than a 3 and warn folks about it. some authors had the nerve to complain if they ask me knowing this and then want to retaliate if I don't give them a high rating. >_<
But yeah, most people are dicks. Don't sweat it. and I've learned in my 10 years in the biz, it's not a moneymaker, as most readers are fickle with short attention spans.

message 31: by David (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments There is no way to come off looking good griping about a bad review. You really are best off just saying "thanks for your time". Being gracious makes the ungracious look bad.

I must say that calling most people "dicks" is probably not the most tactful stance you could take on the matter.

message 32: by Laura (last edited Sep 28, 2014 11:39AM) (new)

Laura (blueeyebooks) | 21 comments I'm going to jump in here as a reader and reviewer for indie and mainstream books. I do agree with most of what is being said (yes a lot of readers have short attentions spans - myself included in some scenarios). After I read an indie book, I usually check out what other people thought and see if I agree with anything anyone else has said. I've banned myself from looking at reviews of any book before I've read it so my opinion isn't influenced. That being said, if I ever give a low rating on an indie book I always feel awful. I mean, you all have a passion for writing and I do try to give constructive criticism but if I've had a nice chat with an author it is really hard for me to give a low rating. Maybe that's just me. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that a lot of readers (or I'd like to think that a majority of readers) don't give low reviews just to be mean and the best response you can give us it to take it graciously and just say thank you for your time.

Sorry that was really rambley :)

message 33: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Why is everyone hanging out on this thred? lol

The original gripe that started this thread a while ago was 1 star reviews from people who hadn't read the book.

So... yeah.

message 34: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1398 comments Mod
People tend to get caught up over 1 star debates and it sometimes brings up side topics. But yeah, stop loitering people lol.

message 35: by Yolanda (new)

Yolanda Ramos (yramosseventhsentinel) Am always amazed by sour grapes from indie authors re low reviews or perhaps its just an over inflated ego - I'm a writer, woohoo, my book is awesome, dont anyone tell me different. Yes, low reviews hurt and can make you feel very disheartened (I know!). But we have to realize that our work isnt perfect, that its a learning curve and there's room for improvement and be humble enough to learn from what out readers tell us. I'm not saying that we have to agree with everything readers say, but should look at their comments with an emotionless(ok,thats hard)and analytical mind and see how best to improve.
We need to take low reviews on the chin(there might be a bruise, but it will fade)and stop grumbling. Anything/anyone that's out in the public arena will come under fire, why should indie authors be the exception? (please don't throw any rotten tomatoes at me).
I know, a bit off topic, but there you have it. Yes it would be nice for readers to give explanations for 1 star reviews and even better if they didn't give 1 star reviews for a book they haven't even read. Short of staging a protest march, there's nothing we can do about it so we need to man up, move on and write better.

message 36: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments Who cares where people are commenting? If the people debating are enjoying themselves, then what gives?

The topic of the thread is "The only 1 star reviews that I hate." If only the person who started the thread gets to decide what types of 1 star reviews to hate, does that mean we have to start a new topic? Would be an awful lot of new topics.

message 37: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments David wrote: "Nathan wrote: "I think the sting is a little less when it comes with a multi-million dollar movie deal, and a high priced book contract.

If you're an indie, all you have are the reviews.

My onl..."

Then you missed the point completely of my first post. If you get a 1-star review after you give a poor review, and then immediately get a follow up email from the other author saying "You take down yours, I'll take down mine," then you have a reason to be miffed. The other person didn't read your book. They just rated it poorly to get you to take down yours.

I don't care if I get a legit one star review. You're not going to please everyone. A shakedown, however, is a different story.

message 38: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Nathan, the poit is, skimming causes confusion. Read the topic, read the first message, see a long thread of various comments that has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of the topic. As far as I can see, the OP pretty much gave up.

No one has a problem with any kind of discussion, even if it evolves into various related tagents, jokes, what have you. Go right ahead. Anyone is free to disccuss anything. But in my honest opinion, this topic has rapidly devolved into a random bitch fest.

message 39: by David (last edited Sep 29, 2014 06:04AM) (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments I think it is important to keep discussions on-topic, but I also think I agree with Nathan that since the thread is "The Only One Star Reviews I Hate" that the discussion IS still on topic.

message 40: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) "The Only One Star Review I Hate." Okay, fine. What's the type of review the OP hates and how is complaining about one star reviews related? Please read the first comment.

It's important to see that there's no way to show the whole topic based on the title alone. Just like you can't know a whole book based on the title alone. It seems to me that many people, by skimming and jumping on the bandwagon, defeated the OP's questions.

The last thing I want to do is discourage anyone from free speech or argue about being on topic. At the same time, I find encouraging this level of randomness is feeding off misery, and that's simply not the topic.

If anyone really wants to have that kind of bitch fest, go right ahead. No one is stopping you. By starting a new topic, it clears up confusion, and it also gives members the choice to not participate. as it stands, no choices are allowed. This is the same principle as the mob mentality.

message 41: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments How is this a bitch fest? I'm confused.
I read the original post. He said clearly the only one star review he hates, but there are countless other types of one star reviews to hate.
I don't think anyone here is bitching about "oh, people don't get or understand my book. They don't appreciate my artform."
They're simply stating the TYPES of one star reviews they don't like. I think most people would genuinely appreciate a true one star review. If someone reads a book, and doesn't like it, they'll probably still be thanked and appreciated for the effort.
As with literature, once a topic is out thete, it's open for interpretation.

message 42: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments I would argue, after having re-read the OP'S first comment, that these comments are in line with his discussion.

message 43: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) What's apparent to me is lack of understanding from the consumer's perspective, which is the real answer to the OP's questions.

Buy a book online. Digital books can't be returned. Get harassing emails from the retailer demanding to a post review. I would say it's 50/50. 50% post 1 star review just because they gave in to the harassing emails. 50% post 1 star review because they have no idea how digital books work.

It concerns me when I see indie authors who don't seem to have any appreciation for the consumer's perspective. How many of you are actually buying books? I have to wonder...

No one is out to get you. Reviews are not personal. Bad reviews will never be the reason you're not rich and famous. I'm not closing this topic and I never will. I'm not saying no one is allowed to say anything else. I'm saying that this topic has been let go for too long and it's seriously gotten out of hand. No more arguing. Please and thank you.

message 44: by David (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments I just don't agree with your evaluation of the discussion. If anyone has posted a hateful or spiteful comment, I haven't read it. If you feel like indy authors should take more notice of the consumer's perspective then that is a fair claim to make. However, it is also a fair claim to make that a number of one-star reviews are unreasonable or spiteful in nature. It is further fair to say that many Indy authors act in an unprofessional way and react emotionally to reviews when they would do better to let things go. All of this is in line with having a frank discussion about a controversial topic. Just because we don't all agree with everything we each post doesn't make it an argument. For the most part, I think this thread has been very civil and I don't understand your objection.

message 45: by Lily (last edited Sep 29, 2014 07:59AM) (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) There's a lot of irony in this. So I tried to be nice and just give a nudge to try to get back on topic. And people argue off topic...

Discussion = finding out WHAT is right.
Argument = finding out WHO is right.

The nudge was an attempt to go back to a discussion. In this case, I don't feel there's anyway to decide who is right, but there's still plenty of room to discuss what is right.

message 46: by David (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments I don't think anyone is arguing.

message 47: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 182 comments A bad review given to even out the odds for a different poor review, followed with an email to take down both reviews should qualify as a review you can hate.
I'm talking about authors poorly rating other authors because they got a poor review in a swap.

It appears Lily knows all. The "stay on topic" missile is so random. It favors the submissive.

message 48: by Yolanda (new)

Yolanda Ramos (yramosseventhsentinel) Neither do I. I hope my comments were'nt taken as argumentative, its not what i intended.

message 49: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) *headesk*

I repeat, no one is out to get you. I gave a nudge, as a moderator, that is all. If those who want to continue posting on this topic choose to ignore the nudge, there isn't a damn thing I, or anyone else can do about it, and no one will do anything about it. It's not an order, an encouragement, nothing more.

Out of respect to other members, if anyone has a personal problem with me or anyone else, I would appreciate a private message.

message 50: by David (new)

David Meredith | 52 comments Could you point out what comment you feel was a personal attack? I must have missed it.

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