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message 1: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments Hi, I am curious with all the threads about reviews, which seem to go back and forth I'd like to ask some questions which anyone is welcome to answer. People review for all sorts of reasons - but are there similarities? (There are no right or wrong answers.)

Please copy and paste the questions with your answers. I'd love to know.

Name:
Reader/Author/Both

Why do you think you review?

Do you look at other reviews before you buy?

What is the first thing which attracts you to a book?

What turns you off?

Do you rate all books in the same way? (SPA/Trad Pub/Various Genres? Please elaborate - especially if you review different genres in different ways.)

Sort these into order of importance - great plot, great world building, technically perfect, great reviews, factually plausible.

Would you buy a book with no reviews?

Would you buy a book with ONLY 5 star reviews?

Do you have a list of criteria when you review or is it more about how the book made you feel?

Do you follow particular reviewers on GR (don't have to mention names) - do their reviews influence you?


message 2: by Jason (new)

Jason Crawford (jasonpatrickcrawford) | 62 comments Name: Jason P. Crawford
Reader/Author/Both: Both

Why do you think you review? Because I know how important reviews are to authors, especially independent ones.

Do you look at other reviews before you buy? Not extensively. I generally look at the aggregate, and if it's less than 4 I'll check the review titles to see if there are any I need to investigate.

What is the first thing which attracts you to a book? Genre and blurb

What turns you off? Poorly made cover, info-dumps in the first pages, tell rather than show

Do you rate all books in the same way? (SPA/Trad Pub/Various Genres? Please elaborate - especially if you review different genres in different ways.)
Yes, because I'm rating whether I enjoyed the book, so the criteria for that are the same (except if I were to review nonfiction, which I have not done)

Sort these into order of importance - great plot, great world building, technically perfect, great reviews, factually plausible: plot, worldbuilding, technically perfect, reviews

Would you buy a book with no reviews? Yes.

Would you buy a book with ONLY 5 star reviews? Yes, if I looked at the sample and thought it held up.

Do you have a list of criteria when you review or is it more about how the book made you feel? I review in 4 areas: Characters, Plot/Storyline, Flow, and Spelling/Grammar.

Do you follow particular reviewers on GR (don't have to mention names) - do their reviews influence you? No.


message 3: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 491 comments Name: GG Atcheson
Reader/Author/Both: Both

Why do you think you review?
I review for other readers mostly. I also do it to help the authors when I like their books.

Do you look at other reviews before you buy?
Yes. Sometimes it's for a feel of the book or a little more info because the blurb doesn't tell me what I want to know.

What is the first thing which attracts you to a book?
Genre, cover, and blurb.

What turns you off?
Ugly covers might make me completely skip a book. My biggest pet peeve is the overuse of the word 'as' (not the 'like' as but the 'as' as with doing two things at a time.) Obvious mistakes in the plot, accessories or names of characters can also irritate me when it's too obvious (or too frequent). Some examples would be such as TV supposed to be off suddenly on, or someone driving a car but arriving in a taxi. However, when it’s a self pub, I'll give the benefit of the doubt and pm the author about it. In a traditional pub, I wouldn't be as forgiving.

Do you rate all books in the same way? (SPA/Trad Pub/Various Genres? Please elaborate - especially if you review different genres in different ways.)
I barely ever review traditional published books. They already have their fans, their word to mouth and at that point, people don't really care what anyone may say about the books. I'll rate with stars for reference only.

Sort these into order of importance - great plot, great world building, technically perfect, great reviews, factually plausible.
1- great plot/great characters
2- factually plausible, or should I say, believable.
3- great world building
4- technically perfect
5- I really don't care about great reviews at all. Sure if a book has only ones and twos, it might scare me away, but whether a book has 100 five star reviews or none, won't change anything if the blurb appealed to me.

Would you buy a book with no reviews? Yes. I tend to go for the underdogs to begin with.

Would you buy a book with ONLY 5 star reviews? Yes, if the blurb appealed to me.

Do you have a list of criteria when you review or is it more about how the book made you feel?
More how the book made me feel. Let's be honest. I review but I'm far from being a good reviewer, so for me some books are easier to review than others.
I'm not one that will note all the mistakes in a book, unless they are too obvious to a point of being irritating. When it's not a genre I usually read but was drawn by the blurb, I'll state it in the review.

Do you follow particular reviewers on GR (don't have to mention names) - do their reviews influence you?
No. When it comes to books, I rely mostly on my gut feelings. Someone recommending me a book won't make me read it. Sure, some people have great reviewing skills and I enjoy reading what they have to say, but it doesn't influence me.


message 4: by Jim (last edited Oct 30, 2014 01:34PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1036 comments Name: Jim Vuksic
Reader & Author

Why do you think you review?

My adult children, friends, relatives and acquaintances know me to be an avid reader with an eclectic taste regarding genres. Since they often ask for recommendations, I maintain a file of hand-written notes, expressing my personal opinion of each book I have read. I did not start to post reviews for the public until joining Goodreads. Currently, 25 members follow them.

Do you look at other reviews before you buy?

I occasionally read those written by professionals and published in newspapers and trade magazines. However, I ignore those posted on literary and vendor websites, because I believe most are blatantly biased or planted by sock puppets.

What is the first thing which attracts you to a book?

Usually the title or cover catches my eye first. Then I read the blurb.

What turns you off?

Authors who spam, rate and reveiw their own books, and/or self-promote in discussion threads other than those specifically designated for self-promotion.

Do you rate all books in the same way? (SPA/Trad Pub/Various Genres? Please elaborate - especially if you review different genres in different ways.)

Yes. My opinion is based upon how well the book is technically written, the author's narration skills, and how interesting and entertaining the story or subject matter is.

Sort these into order of importance - great plot, great word building, technically perfect, great reviews, factually plausible.

Great plot, technically perfect, factually plausible, great word building, great reviews.

Would you buy a book with no reviews?

Yes.

Would you buy a book with ONLY 5 star reviews?

No.

Do you have a list of criteria when you review or is it more about how the book made you feel?

Both. How well a book is technically written influences my opinion as much as its entertainment value.

Do you follow particular reviewers on GR (don't have to mention names)- do their revews influence you?

No and no.


message 5: by C. (new)

C. Coleman (kiousfedra) | 51 comments Name: C. Craig Coleman

Both reader & author

Why do you think you review?
I review since I discovered as a writer how important reviews are. They tell the reader what other readers see in the book. As an author, I need reviews and realize how important it is to help out other authors with reviews.

Do you look at other reviews before you buy?
Absolutely I do when buying online. I'm more likely to buy a book with many 5 or maybe some 4 star reviews believing they validate the book for readers. I discount one or two lower star reviews. No one can please everyone.

What is the first thing which attracts you to a book?
The cover, of course. How well the cover engages me determines if I will look further into the contents.

What turns you off?
Poor editing, difficult to read sentences, and too much boring detail dragging down the story when something should be happening.

Do you rate all books in the same way? (SPA/Trad Pub/Various Genres? Please elaborate - especially if you review different genres in different ways.)
If reading fiction, I rate most the same way. I want easy reading, to be involved in the story, and excitement. Non-fiction can be dryer, but it must still be clear.

Sort these into order of importance - (1)great plot, (2)great world building, (5) technically perfect, (4)great reviews, (3)factually plausible.

Would you buy a book with no reviews?
Only if I found it recommended by someone who promoted it or it was a sequel to a book I already read and liked.

Would you buy a book with ONLY 5 star reviews?
Depends on how many reviews there are. A few reviews, most likely would buy thought the first reviews might be friends of the author. The review itself should have substance. If there were many reviews, I'd expect a few lower star reviews. Some people end up buying books that aren't what they expect them to be. That's not a reflection on the book itself.

Do you have a list of criteria when you review or is it more about how the book made you feel? I write the review based on what about the book left an impression on me. As an author, I'm not likely to post a bad review. In that case, I contact the author via message and share my concerns hoping to help. Some get defensive and mad. I cut the exchange at that point. You just can't help some people.

Do you follow particular reviewers on GR (don't have to mention names) - do their reviews influence you?
No particular reviewers. I look at reviews based on the books I'm considering buying.


message 6: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments Any one who is JUST a reader?


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