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message 1: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Iles (patriciailes) | 17 comments I notice that a lot of authors post a review of their own book. I have not been able to bring myself to do that: of COURSE I like the book. I wrote it!

What am I missing here?


message 2: by Nicki (new)

Nicki Markus (nickijmarkus) Yes, I have seen that too and find it odd. It's hardly an unbiased review and I would never take an author's own review of their book into account; I'd want to read those by outsiders.

Now, my hubby always gives my books five stars, and I'm sure other author's family members are the same, but to write one yourself is a little strange. In my opinion anyway....


message 3: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 7 comments I never write a review of my own book. Somehow it doesn't seem right to write your own review.
Pam


message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Iles (patriciailes) | 17 comments I agree. Although, I have to admit it: my sister doesn't like romances so she only gave me 4 stars. LOL. Up until my first negative review a few weeks ago, she gave me the worst rating of all--25+ of whom are bona fide readers who don't know me. Ahhh. I love my sister. :D


message 5: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Puddle (trishapuddle) | 240 comments Just popped in to answer your question. The reason some authors probably review their own books is because when we first post them a window opens up and asks the author about the book. Some may not realise it's actually a review of their own book and write why they wrote it and what inspired the story. Goodreads asks the question and new authors to Goodreads just probably answer. That's why I did and just haven't got around to deleting them yet. Maybe I should. I'll see what others say.


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Pamela wrote: "I never write a review of my own book. Somehow it doesn't seem right to write your own review.
Pam"


I second that.
On the first book when I joined the Authors Program I did like Patricia (above me), but I immediately deleted it! ;-)


message 7: by L.E. (new)

L.E. Fitzpatrick (l_e_fitzpatrick) | 60 comments I would never be able to write a review of my own work, although when I first joined Good Reads I did add the book to my read list and tagged it as "author," I didn't star rate it because that would either be wallowing self-pity or inflating my ego (both of which I am entirely capable of, but try to steer away from publically).

Basically in the review section I wrote something along the lines of "I wrote this book enjoy," but in the end I took that off as well.

I couldn't review my book acurately anyway, some days I think it's brilliant, other days merely electronic toilet paper - let the readers review they're much better at it.


message 8: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Thorson (jennthorson) | 65 comments I've seen that, too. My approach is to totally keep my hands off any reviews. I want readers to have unbiased opinions on my work, for good or bad, and it seems odd to see the author reviewing his/her own material.

It looks even worse when there are only a few reviews and the highest rating is from the author. :)


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

If they just rated it, as opposed to writing an actual review, they most likely just wanted to claim it as their book. The process to claim your own books is a little confusing on Goodreads, so I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Most of the time. . .


message 10: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Iles (patriciailes) | 17 comments I agree with what everyone so far is saying. I also was surprised by the pop-up after I added the book to GR.

Reviewing your own book must be a marketing strategy, but it just seems unprofessional at best, and an attempt at deception at worst. IMHO.


message 11: by John (new)

John Ford | 14 comments I don't think I am even capable of giving anything I've written an honest review. I wouldn't give anything more than three stars, because I only see the parts where it doesn't measure up to what I had in mind. It's like the woman who perpetually thinks she's fat.


message 12: by James (new)

James | 11 comments Well... I'm guilty as charged I'm afraid... When the pop-up came up, I just couldn't resist, but then I'm a bit OCD about filling in forms. (I'm the only person I know who goes through every section of a 26 page tax return writing 'not applicable'!)


message 13: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Landmark (clandmark) | 242 comments The idea of reviewing and rating my own books feels sort of strange and...icky. I think I would be a little...oh, I don't know, biased maybe? Sure, a 5-star review would look good and boost my ratings, but what is it really worth when it's coming from me?

I feel very strongly that the true measure of my merit as an author will come from those readers who don't know me from Eve and who will rate and review my books based on their honest, heartfelt opinion of them.

I'm not bashing those authors who do review their own books. To each his or her own. It's just not something I feel comfortable doing myself.


message 14: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Thorson (jennthorson) | 65 comments Cheryl wrote: "The idea of reviewing and rating my own books feels sort of strange and...icky. I think I would be a little...oh, I don't know, biased maybe? Sure, a 5-star review would look good and boost my ra..."

I'm right there with you about the appreciation for those honest reviews from strangers.

I got a three-star review today from someone on Amazon that was honest, fair and offered some good insights. It was actually more helpful to me than the five star reviews the book had previously gotten. Hopefully it will be helpful to potential readers, too. You just can't beat that!


message 15: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Landmark (clandmark) | 242 comments Jenn wrote: "I got a three-star review today from someone on Amazon that was honest, fair and offered some good insights. It was actually more helpful to me than the five star reviews the book had previously gotten. Hopefully it will be helpful to potential readers, too. You just can't beat that!"

My sentiments exactly, Jenn. I've also had several 3-star reviews and none of them have been nasty or mean-spirited, but have contained very helpful suggestions that I've taken to heart to improve my future writing. Hey, don't get me wrong! Four and five-star reviews are great, as long as they are as sincere and honest as the 3-star ones.


message 16: by J.T. (new)

J.T. Wilson | 6 comments I've star-rated mine for the promotional/marketing reasons stated above, but to actually write a review of the book when it's obvious that the reviewer and the author are the same person is a bit too indulgent for even my liking.

I feel anxious enough about accusations of bias when the majority of reviews on, say, Amazon are from my friends; not least if the review betrays the fact that the book hasn't been read before the review was written!


message 17: by Barry (new)

Barry James (mondragoran) | 18 comments When I added my book to the "library," I was prompted to review it. So I gave it 4 stars and then just cut-and-pasted the reviews from Amazon.


message 18: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 182 comments I am turned off by self reviews, but what about an author deliberately giving themselves a tongue-in-cheek, truly awful and pointless review? (For comic effect, obviously.) Or is there a danger some readers might not get the joke and it backfires? I am aware that there are people out there with no sense of humour...


message 19: by Kenechi (new)

Kenechi Udogu (trixycae) | 25 comments J.T. wrote: "I've star-rated mine for the promotional/marketing reasons stated above, but to actually write a review of the book when it's obvious that the reviewer and the author are the same person is a bit t..."

I also star-rate my books as a promo thing (I know I wrote them but I do think they are good books so why not) but I don't review them (that's going a bit far I think). Thankfully I've had a few ratings and reviews from other readers which balance out the personal ratings so it's okay for now. Except for that one book that no one else has rated except for me...


message 20: by Karen (new)

Karen I'm not an author, but I'll chip in my two cents here. I think that readers expect that the author's spouse, mother, and dog will all add 5 star reviews; if I see a book with only a few reviews and they all rave like it's the best book since Gone With The Wind, I (and I expect other readers as well) tend to look at those reviews rather skeptically. But what I think is helpful, if your book has been reviewed elsewhere (a blog, on Amazon, wherever) it's nice to see those reviews (or just an except) with a link to the original review. That might be something you want to put in 'your' review, if it's not already in the description of the book.


message 21: by Gordon (new)

Gordon Wulff (wulffhuman) | 4 comments I agree that a few 5 star ratings would all belong to family and friends . Independent review is best but not always easy to achieve . A lot of the conventional means are overloaded . Any suggestions of methods you have used ?


message 22: by S. (new)

S. Bailey (sthomasbailey) | 8 comments You wonder why this industry is in such a mess. If you get a five star review, it must be from a friend or spouse...WHAT! Maybe you wrote a good book that people enjoyed...IMAGINE!
So please tell your friends not to give you five stars and help the rest of us who get good reviews because (God forbid)we might have written a good novel.
Also, maybe get better friends!
Cheers, Steve


message 23: by S. (new)

S. Bailey (sthomasbailey) | 8 comments Sorry I forgot one thing..could you please get your dog to write me a review?
Just enjoy the ride and realize that being a writer is a great thing, despite what everyone tells you.
I'll stop now, Steve


message 24: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Andrews (httpwwwgoodreadscomandrews) | 11 comments Barbara wrote: "Pamela wrote: "I never write a review of my own book. Somehow it doesn't seem right to write your own review.
Pam"

I second that.
On the first book when I joined the Authors Program I did like Pat..."


Ditto Ditto I third that!


message 25: by David P (last edited Feb 27, 2012 08:54PM) (new)

David P Forsyth (daidpforsyth) | 111 comments I gave the intro (30,000 word) teaser of my book 4 stars (all the other reviews on GR are 5 so far), but I wanted to explain that the teaser version wasn't perfect (that I actually edited some of it before releasing the full book) and that readers (if they wanted to read the book) were better off saving 99 cents and buying the full $2.99 edition (100,000 words).

I'm not reviewing the full edition myself. It's got all 5 stars on GR so far (but some people are telling me that is not a good thing because lots of readers think 5 star reviews of indie novels are fakes or plants). I'm looking for more reviews; critical reviews, if that is how the ball bounces. The only caveat is that you need to be open to liking an original twist on the classic zombie apocalypse genre. If so, take a look at Voyage of the Dead. Thank you for your interest.


message 26: by Heikki (last edited Feb 27, 2012 09:52PM) (new)

Heikki (heikkihietala) | 4 comments I don't think it appropriate to review my own books. Moreover, I do not like it when indie publishers review books on Amazon without making it explicit they published the book.


message 27: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Cutts | 3 comments I get exasperated when everyone assumes that a five star review would only be from friends and family! let's face it, there are some great authors out there, give them five stars if they deserve it!

I represent a couple of authors and will add reviews, the reason being that I too and a reader and whether I know the author or not I still might have enjoyed or disliked the book.

I love engaging with other people that have read the book. I can end up so close to it that it is refreshing to be reminded why I fell in love with it in the first place or to give me a different perspective. So, although another review never hurts and helps the PR, I review it as the reader. (In fact, any press releases etc are always a million miles from my reviews.)


message 28: by Lana Bradstream (new)

Lana Bradstream | 145 comments I have not written a review of my own book. I find it distasteful when authors do that for their own books. To me, it screams arrogance and desperation.


message 29: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Moorer (sherrithewriter) | 143 comments I'll give myself a 5 star review, but admit in the review that it's my own book. I mean, politicians vote for themselves, right? Why can't we?


message 30: by Jade (new)

Jade Varden (jadevarden) | 42 comments I agree, Sherri. Some seem to have passionate feelings about this, but I don't see anything wrong with writing a review of one's own work. I've almost done as much, myself. I was staring at my empty B&N page earlier today. Is it "arrogant" and "desperate," as some have suggested?

I don't know. Maybe. I've felt true desperation and burning desire to have my work reviewed. Not everyone has a bunch of friends and family who own e-readers and understand technology enough to figure out how to write a review, and I've stared at my book page and yearned to hear something from anyone.

Is it arrogant to write your own review in hopes of getting someone else to do so? I don't think so. Every writer is a brand, every book is a product, and in self-publishing we're all responsible for self-marketing. It would be wonderful to sit in a quiet room all day and think about plot and characters and chapter outlines, but that's not the reality of self-publishing. We have to get out there and "press the flesh," albeit digitally. If I'm going to Tweet about my book in order to get people to buy it, maybe I'll write a review, too. I don't think we should impugn writers who take that route. Maybe it's not the type of marketing you want to do, but so be it. Don't hate the player. Hate the game.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I didn't think you could write your own review. I tried it once on Barnes and Noble and got a message that they were blocking it as per my contract. How do you get around that?


message 32: by Adam (new)

Adam Spielman (adamjay) | 5 comments If the leader of the free world can vote for himself, I can give my book a few stars.


message 33: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Hayes | 155 comments I've always felt strange about writing a review for my own book. If I didn't think it was good, then I shouldn't have put it out there for the world to see.

As for the comments about politians voting for themselves...I don't see it as the same thing at all. If my book was in a contest and I were able to vote for myself then sure, I'd vote for myself. If you want to compare writing a self review to politics, then I'd view writing a review of your own book to when politicians try and tell us what to think about a certain policy. I have my own mind and my own opinion, thank you very much. Tell me how you stand and let me decide on my own.

Writing a review of your own book just feels pushy to me.


message 34: by John (new)

John Ford | 14 comments Sherri wrote: "I've always felt strange about writing a review for my own book. If I didn't think it was good, then I shouldn't have put it out there for the world to see.

As for the comments about politians vo..."


Reviewing your own book is more like a politician doing a commercial touting the fact that he is endorsing himself. Not really "wrong" so much as "silly." (IMO) Of course, if you don't make it evident that you, the author of the book, also wrote the glowing review of the book, that crosses a whole different line. (again IMO)


message 35: by Libbie Hawker (last edited Mar 05, 2012 09:01AM) (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 14 comments I'll throw in my two cents, for whatever they're worth. Reviewing one's own book looks extraordinarily tacky in my eyes, and I believe it works against the author. It gives the impression that the author had to review it because nobody else was willing to. What message does that send to potential readers?

It is true that every writer is a brand, but what message are you sending about your brand when you put up such a loud, flashing sign over your book that reads NOBODY ELSE WOULD READ IT! Is a browsing reader going to be moved to read it? Think harder about your brand. Think long-term, not right-now, which is difficult for most self-published authors to do, since so many of them choose the self-publishing route because of a lack of patience. But if you want to find sustainable success with your writing, you MUST think long-term and forget your desire for instant gratification.

Beyond those points, what does it give you on a personal level to review your own book? You've got five stars next to it; congratulations. You put them there yourself. It feels much better when somebody else likes your book enough to rate it. Have a little patience, get a little smarter with your promotional tactics -- and, oh yes, write a damn good book in the first place, and the reviews will find you.

I often discuss topics like this on my blog: http://lavenderironside.blogspot.com


message 36: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 14 comments S. wrote: "You wonder why this industry is in such a mess. If you get a five star review, it must be from a friend or spouse...WHAT! Maybe you wrote a good book that people enjoyed...IMAGINE!
So please tell..."


Yep. I sure wish I could get my family and immediate friends interested enough in my writing to read and review my book. I am pleased to say that of 15 ratings so far, 14 of them are 4- or 5-star ratings, and exactly zero are from personal friends or family. Two are from people I know vaguely from a writers' forum I occasionally drop into, maybe a couple times a month. The rest are from readers I found on Goodreads or through my blog. I don't know them -- or didn't when they first read my book; they didn't know me. But they loved my book!

In some cases my readers are also authors and I have read their books in turn, but if I review them they are honest reviews. I insist on honest reviews in return. I think the practice some authors have of arranging to swap high ratings with one another, sometimes without even having read the book (I've seen at least one author offering this "deal" on Goodreads Groups), is really despicable. It's misleading to readers. You know what will get readers to read your book? Write a good one in the first place. It may not happen instantly, but if your book is good, word will spread. It always does.


message 37: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Anderson | 19 comments Reviewing your own book is, indeed, silly. I don't even encourage friends and family to review my book. I don't want there to be any question as to the integrity of the reviews my book received.

Jeff


message 38: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Anderson | 19 comments Patricia wrote: "I notice that a lot of authors post a review of their own book. I have not been able to bring myself to do that: of COURSE I like the book. I wrote it!

What am I missing here?"


I had never seen this before, but I'm amused at the silliness of the idea. Authors are like anybody else. Some of them come up with some bad ideas to help promote their product.

Jeff


message 39: by John (new)

John Ford | 14 comments Lavender wrote: "S. wrote: "You wonder why this industry is in such a mess. If you get a five star review, it must be from a friend or spouse...WHAT! Maybe you wrote a good book that people enjoyed...IMAGINE!
So p..."


Going off topic a little, but my mom (bless her heart) is terrible with things like this. Not only doesn't she write reviews, she keeps loaning her copy of the book to people so they don't have to buy it. MOM! WHAT IS THAT MATTER WITH YOU??? I'm never going to get to quit my day job with family like this.

(And this was said as loving teasing, btw.)

(Well, mostly...)


message 40: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Iles (patriciailes) | 17 comments John, you made me laugh. Family can be more hindrance than anything! :-) For quite a while, I had all 5-star ratings except for one--from my sister. Thanks, sis! She could only see her way clear to 4 stars. LOL.


message 41: by Denise (new)

Denise Mitnick (httpgoodreadscomdenisemitnick) | 2 comments Actually, I took that space to tell potential readers WHY I wrote the book and what questions the writing of it answered for me. I'd love to know why some authors invested time telling a story.


message 42: by Adam (new)

Adam Spielman (adamjay) | 5 comments I want to clarify something. I would never write a review of my own book, partly because it would be the worst review I ever got. I just gave it five stars when I imported it to goodreads. Actually writing out a review IS very strange.


message 43: by Marla (new)

Marla Blowers I don't think we should review or rate our own books, we are getting enough bad responses from indie haters the way it is. Why give them one more reason to put us down?


message 44: by David P (new)

David P Forsyth (daidpforsyth) | 111 comments I only rated/reviewed the intro edition of my first book and I give it the lowest rating yet (4). The reason I wrote something was that I wanted to warn the readers that the "First Look" edition was NOT perfect, that edits had been made since then, and that they should save 99 cents and buy the full book instead. You can see my review at Voyage of the Dead Introductory First Look and also see that I did not review the full edition at Voyage of the Dead

I'm not quite sure what I will do when I release the second book in 2 weeks... Probably just give away the first one for free for a few days. ;)


message 45: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Noren (marciaquinnnoren) | 50 comments Reading all of your responses, I have to agree that it felt strange to review my own book, and unfortunately that post went up not once, but twice (when I added the eBook, for some reason my review went up a second time.)

Notice that when the names of nominees for Golden Globes or Academy Awards are announced, 90% of these individuals applaud. I surmise that the reason is related to their gratitude to those they worked with on the film.

When a book is newly released and there are no reviews in, perhaps it helps readers understand why an author takes pride in the work they've completed but on the other hand, it may appear egoistic. If it is possible to take down the reviews I wrote, I will do so.

Thank you for opening this discussion, Patricia. You certainly received a lot of answers to that question!


message 46: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Iles (patriciailes) | 17 comments This has been very interesting and eye-opening. On one hand, I understand the desire to get interest going for a book. In that way, it's a lot like putting a few of your own dollars in the tip jar, just to seed it.

In the end, though, reviewing my own book (and for that matter, even just giving myself a star rating on it) would feel strange to me. I can't figure out if it feels self-aggrandizing or desperate. Either way, reviewing my own book is not for me.


message 47: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 101 comments Look, I appreciate the good sentiment here and agree with most of it, but people have to understand that people are eager sometimes, that's all. I published my first book, loved it -- I wrote it, after all -- gave it five stars because I love it, and then said in the review space "well of course I love it, what do YOU think."

I don't know. Whole thread seems a little judgmental. It's hardly deceptive to like your own book.


message 48: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Noren (marciaquinnnoren) | 50 comments I don't judge what individual authors choose to do, either way.

As writers, we are observers of human behavior. Two of my earliest observations were 1) human beings view things very differently, and 2)yes, L.H., people are by nature, extremely judgmental!


message 49: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Iles (patriciailes) | 17 comments I'm sorry, L.H., but I disagree. It seems to me that reviews should be given by unbiased persons and there is no way I can look at my own work from a completely objective point of view.

The fact that I released the book for public consumption is my statement that I like the work. If I reviewed it too, that would be a marketing move. Some authors are clearly comfortable with that. I'm not. It seems unprofessional to me.


message 50: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 101 comments Patricia wrote: "I'm sorry, L.H., but I disagree. It seems to me that reviews should be given by unbiased persons and there is no way I can look at my own work from a completely objective point of view.

The fac..."


It seems unprofessional as an author, or as a marketer? Because "marketing moves" are actually required for people to sell books. I'm self-pub'd. I have to market my book. I hate it, too. But it's reality.

It may well be implied, but that doesn't mean people will stop at your book if no one's reviewed it yet.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I see nothing wrong in someone recommending their own book.


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