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message 1: by Midu, loves Ratatouille (last edited Jun 03, 2012 12:53AM) (new)

Midu Hadi | 6726 comments Mod
So, Peg posted How to Respond to Negative Reviews in the thread Dear Time-Traveling Goodreads Reviewer, (which by the way has new info you should check out) and it gave me an idea for another discussion topic.

Jane in What Is Wrong With the C Review says:

"I've come to the conclusion that a C grade means a failure to many authors.

I thought Lara Adrian’s first book, Midnight Rising, was a snoozer and her third book, Midnight Awakening, a wonderful take on a tired genre. I loved Angels Fall and High Noon by Nora Roberts but was less than enthused about Tribute. I’m not going to stop reading either author simply because one of their books didn’t resonate for me.

One average graded book means so little to me. It means that this one book didn’t work for me, but I bet I would try the author again under the right circumstances (cover, blurb, recommendation, availability).
"

Considering the GR rating system, a C would mean 3 stars, right? I think 3 stars to me mean something similar as to Jane but even better. I'd definitely try another book by that author.


Michelle Scott gives 5 reasons Why a Bad Review Can Be Good for You:

"Bad Reviews Can Give You Good Feedback
Bad Reviews Can Make You Mentally Tougher
Bad Reviews Make You a ‘Real’ Author
Bad Reviews Will Make You Less Suspicious
(and readers too)Fake Reviews
Bad Reviews Will Keep You Grounded"

A good piece of advice from her:

"One thing to keep in mind when you’re reading your negative reviews is to look for patterns. For example, if your critics are complaining about spelling or grammar errors, it might be a good idea to employ a proofreader for your next project."

From Review for "Don’t Stop Now by Julie Halpern":

"So, I don’t really much to say about this one other than the negative. The plot and characters completely let me down. Even if you’re normally a fan of road trip books – I don’t recommend Don’t Stop Now. If you have read and enjoyed it – make sure and let me know what I missed! I love talking to people with different opinions."

and then there is:PC Cast INSERTS HER DEFENSE IN HER BOOK!!!

"So what have I learned from this? Cast is an insensitive author who writes really banal dialogue and has no ability to construct a logical defense. I can’t tell if she is defending rape here or suggesting that upper class mommies are wrongly offended by the word rape. It’s a muddle. Further, Cast is using Aphrodite as a mouthpiece, thus breaking the fourth wall, and now anyone who reads her and knows this can equate Aphrodite’s words and actions to Cast. Way to go Cast. And Harlequin? MacMillan? This is your book. Your YA book."

Then there's weird reader behavior:

description

and weirder author behavior towards a 3 star reviewer: Author DeborahAnne MacGillivray Harasses Amazon Reader

"2c. Re: vote down this bitch please
Posted by: "DeborahAnne MacGillivray"
writer@DeborahMacGIllivray.co.uk scotladywriter
Date: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:17 pm ((PDT))
Well, thanks to XXXXXX our PI , we now have her name, her husband’s
name, her chidrens’ names, her grannies and great grannies name. Her
address phone number and email
lol-quite interesting.
"



So tell us:
What goes into a review? What marks like the line between a negative but constructive review and a personal attack on the author? And of course, how should an author respond to such reviews? Do they ignore it? Do the rules changes when you, the reader, have promised a review in exchange of a copy of the book?


message 2: by Lola (new)

Lola (lolasreviews) I think it's important to be clear in your review that the book wasn't for you or what you personally don't like about it. I for example love world building, so if I don't like a book because it has too less world building then that doens't mean other people won't like it. I also think it's important to not just sum up all the bad points and use bad language to make your point. But also point out what the book did good or why you started reading it to begin with (there has to be something that attrcated you to read the book, because else you wouldn't have read it). And maybe try to make clear that it's your opinion and not the truth. Authors can indeed learn from constrcutive reviews, but when you are attacking the author that goes too far.

I actually like it when an author responds to one of my reviews. I just wrote a critical 3 stars review, it was a nice book, but not for me. The author still thanked me for reading it, he didn't took offense and was glad I wrote a critical review.

I also think that reviews should be honest, so it doens't matter how or where you got the book (if it's for review or not). You should just write down your honest opinion, because else why write a review at all?


message 3: by Mirvan. (new)

Mirvan. Ereon (mirvanereon) | 31 comments I always take time to write critical reviews of books that really caught my interest, especially Goodreads authors. I want these authors to feel that i really took time to review their books because I actually read them. I am very open-minded so there is really no genre which I prefer. I try to read all and give all my honest opinion. I rarely leave a negative review. If there is a negative thing about a book, I message the author directly about it. I do not think i should include it in the review of the boo.. I always try to focus on the good and the beautiful in each book. I do not want to be a snooty know-it-all critic who bashes everything he reads.

Authors should be respected because they took the effort and time to write something from their hearts. They are brave enough to show their works to everyone and they are courageous in facing possible criticisms of their works. I myself am a writer so I know how it feels to be admired and also to be hated. I do my best to give authors a heads up in my reviews because I believe that all writers should write what they want without fearing rejection or abhorrence from others.


message 4: by Dana (new)

Dana Delamar (danadelamar) | 13 comments I agree with Lolita. When I write reviews (good or bad), I try to explain what worked for me and what didn't. Reviews are mostly subjective anyway; they're opinions. If we're talking about lots of mechanical problems, that's pretty objective, but again, what annoys me may not annoy you. Some people freak out about typos; others don't care. Some people hate swearing or sex in their books; others love them. I often use 1-star and 2-star reviews as a quick gauge of whether I'll like a book. Those reviews often sell me, because sometimes the thing that reviewer hates is something that I think is fine or even like.

As an author myself, I know that it stings to get anything under a 4 or 5, but I also know it's okay; if all we liked the same thing, the world would be a boring place.

I read all my reviews and try to learn from them. If there are themes that come out, I try to address those in my next book. For example, I noticed that several reviewers had trouble relating to the heroine of my first book. So I tried to step back and figure out why. I finally realized that her character arc wasn't well-defined and some of her motivations weren't well-explained. Lesson learned and applied to the next book.

I also try to remember that the lower reviews make the good ones all that more meaningful. If all we got were 5's, they'd all be meaningless. It's unrealistic to think that every person is going to love every book. I once read something about rejection that stuck with me: you could ask 100 women to choose between Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Some would pick Brad; some would pick George; some would pick neither.


message 5: by Peg (new)

Peg (pegrobarchek) | 14 comments I do NOT think of a 3-star review as negative. I give more 3s than any other rating. If you hover over the stars, a 3 says, "liked it" and a 2 says, "it's okay." I rarely give 5 stars, which to me means that it's right up there with "To Kill a Mockingbird" and homemade blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Giving a 5 -- and even a 4 -- for everything I like cheapens the rating system, for me, at least.

Maybe my perspective is different because in my former life as a newspaper editor/reporter, I regularly reviewed books, movies, theater and restaurants. I actually studied reviewing one semester in college as part of my journalism curriculum. So I take it seriously. As a reviewer, when I raved about something, readers knew it meant something. And when I didn't like something, I tried to give MY reason as clearly as possible, so people could make their own decisions. Believe me, it takes some courage to write a less-than-fabulous review of a local restaurant or theater production. So I have great respect for reviewers who are measured and thoughtful in their comments. Some of the immature comments I've seen recently do not qualify as reviews.

And for the record, I give George Clooney 4.5 stars and Brad Pitt 2 stars. I seriously doubt if Brad give's a rat's ascot what I think about him. :)


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments As a reader, I know every review is a subjective view of a book. I do read reviews and look at ratings, but since I tend to choose books from a genre that interests me, I rarely get a book I don't like, and never to the point of trashing it in public.

As an author, I think the line between a negative, but constructive review and a personal attack is stepped over when the reader tells everyone to avoid the book at all costs. That's not constructive. That's not reviewing. That's tantamount to hate mail. Using cuss words and the like, that can be a reviewer's style, and I try my best not to let that get to me (not always succeeding though). But telling other people that the book is such BS that even a garbage barge is too good for it? That's crossing the line right there.


message 7: by Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey), thinks midu and nikki are the coolest! (new)

Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) (mybookboyfriend) | 953 comments Mod
As a book reviewer, I always try to give constuctive feedback. My reviews are never mean spirited. Especially with indie authors, if I will contact the author to give more thoughts about the book than necessary for a review only to help them. But I'm only one reader. Just because I do or don't like something doesn't mean the whole population will agree. Typically, I give 4 or 5 stars, because I read what I like. But I have a splattering of 3 stars. Very few 1 and 2 stars, but I give specific reason for those ratings.


message 8: by ceeeeg (new)

ceeeeg | 26 comments i have written extensively about this on the other thread so i will not belabor it further here...

i will just say that i have adopted a specific policy for how i will rate/review in future...no rating if i feel it is anything less than a 3 star book, but i will review with an eye toward explaining what i did not care for with the book...

personally, i think this 1 star rating with no review and just to be hateful is wrongwrongwrong...

it waters down the meaning in the entire system for everyone, writers and readers both, and i count on that system when i am looking for something to read...

and i just do not get the point, unless the rater in question just gets up each morning with the goal to spread as much negativity as possible....

when i review/rate, it is to let others, and the writer, know what my honest opinion of a work is and why, so they can make a more informed decision about it themselves...


message 9: by Midu, loves Ratatouille (new)

Midu Hadi | 6726 comments Mod
homemade blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream? hard to beat that! lol


message 10: by Midu, loves Ratatouille (new)

Midu Hadi | 6726 comments Mod
@Susan:
woah, did someone actually write that?!


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments Midu wrote: "@Susan:
woah, did someone actually write that?!"


Thankfully no, but not far off either, as evidenced here. It's discouraging, but people have the right to voice their opinions. I wouldn't want it any other way. But tact does seem to be a lost art these days...


message 12: by Midu, loves Ratatouille (new)

Midu Hadi | 6726 comments Mod
wow! such a nice person..NOT!!


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments Midu wrote: "wow! such a nice person..NOT!!"

People should have the right to read books that are not in their favorite genre, just to see if they could like it. Testing is how we learn what we like. It's no biggie if one person doesn't like a book. One just hopes that they don't decide to go against a whole genre because of one author. Expectations don't always live up to reality, unfortunately :D


message 14: by ceeeeg (last edited Jun 03, 2012 07:37AM) (new)

ceeeeg | 26 comments oh and to your question about whether i am compromised when an author allows me to read an advance copy...

i see that as a symbiotic relationship...the writer/publisher is looking for someone to review and give feedback they can use to make changes to the work as well as to determine how well it might do in certain markets and figure out how best to target the title for optimum sales...

the reviewer in question wants to read books as well as give that feedback to better help the writer, publisher and other readers best determine those aforementioned factors as well as whether, in the case of other readers, it is something they would find interesting to read...

i feel no obligation to the writer/publisher to be anything other than forthright about my opinion....only to give the review we basically contracted for when i was given copy....


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments @Pip, is it different to review something when you're "just" a reader than when you represent a review site? Does that change the way you review?


message 16: by Tana, keeps deleting her nicknames! (last edited Jun 03, 2012 08:00AM) (new)

Tana (tana_t) | 3016 comments Mod
Ok so first I have to say Susan I love the description of your book and I want to read it...as for that review maybe she is reading the wrong genre...who doesn't love cowboys and m/m romance ..mmmmm

So anyway about reviews, I get many offeres to review books from authors and some I have to turn down as it wouldn't be fair to read something I know I am not going to enjoy and I think it would be reflected in my review.

I stick with 3, 4, and 5 star ratings....and to be honest a book that gets a 5 star rating is one that I cannot put down and miss it when I done. So most get 3 and 4's....if its lower then a three and I was given the book to review I talk to the author.

I've read tons of reviews that speak about spelling and grammer...since I read quite fast this is not something I notice a lot. I can't believe how many people can spot all of this stuff....


All in all I think people should remember they are writing up a review on a the book/story and leave comments about the author out of it....my mom taught me if you don't have nothing nice to say don't say anything (or something like that).


message 17: by ceeeeg (new)

ceeeeg | 26 comments no at all, Susan....

my opinion/assessment of a read is what it is...it does not change because i am reviewing advance copy from NetGalley, et al, or because i am reviewing here at GoodReads, or because a title i am reading came from an author in one of the groups i am a member of...

because, regardless of the source of my copy, at the end of the day, that is all i really am...an avid reader with an interest in informing other avid readers about what i consider to be quality...

reading to review is just a byproduct of that, for me...and allows me to have a front row seat to new material in exchange for proffering my opinion...

i do so on the assumption that the publisher/author has asked for a review because they have a genuine interest in unbiased and fair feedback and i act accordingly...

if the point, for them, is to get all glowing reviews telling them what they want to hear, there is a chance, if i do not care for it, that they will be dissatisfied with my review...and i suggest they more narrowly target their audience to include only friends, family and those with a vested interest in being a lit toady...

that said, i would not dream of being non-constructive about criticism....i realize it has to be difficult when someone has poured their heart, soul and time into writing a novel only to receive negative feedback about it and i am not interested in hurting anyone's feelings, but i fail to see how being less than honest about what i find wrong in a book is at all helpful, past giving the author an ego boost...


message 18: by Shawna (new)

Shawna Hansen (shawnasbooks) | 13 comments Reviews: Reading for me is a very personal pleasure. I like to share a little of what I experienced with others in a review and I read reviews to see what others experienced. I don't know why I like some books more than others or certain styles of writing more than others. I just experience it.

As an author, I thank people for sharing their reading experience with me. It truly is a privilege. I strive to keep my readers happy!

Crossing the line: any reviewer who honestly believes that s/he knows more than anyone else about what's "good" in experiencing art, literature or movies. I usually take that kind of "expertise" with a grain of salt. I like what I like. You like what you like.

The best reviewers share their reading experiences in words that provide you, the reader of the review, a glimpse inside the reviewer's personal experience with the book. Those reviews are wonderful!!!


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments @Tana, thank you for your kind words.

@Pip, thank you for the clarification. I think IMHO that authors really only want honest feedback when it comes to ratings and reviews. Some of the most thoughtful reviews I've gotten were 3 star reviews.

In this day and age, when e-publishing has changed the way literature is produced, it has become easy for writers to create "fast food for the masses", but just as easy for readers to rate without much consideration or deep reflection. I'm not saying this is bad (I often reflect on my mood right after reading the last line too).

There seems to be a division of readers who write reviews: Those who see the positive and comment on it, regardless of the actual rating they give; those who see only the negative and point that out in the crudest possible manner; and then those who aren't particularly moved this way or that by the book, and rate it at the happy medium, so to speak, and often only give ratings, but no reviews. As an author, one can get something out of all these three types, but just like in a book, much depends on the presentation. Yup, it's all about the presentation :)


message 20: by Janet (new)

Janet McNulty | 24 comments I write reviews and always try to state what I liked and didn't like. I concentrate only on the book I'm reviewing and refrain from personal attacks on the author.

As an author, I do not respond to reviews. I love getting them, but never reply to them whether they are positive or negative. I got a few 1 star reviews for one of my books that I personally thought was harsh, but not once did I go after the reviewer.

Though when I get a review, especially a negative one, I will look up other things that that reviewer has written about. For instance, I got a 1 star review from a guy who routinely hands out 1 & 2 star reviews. That tells me that he doesn't like anything. The same applies if you get a 5 star review from someone who always hands out 5 star reviews; he likes everything. I pay more attention to reviews by people who hand out a whole range of reviews because that tells me that they will say what they like and didn't like. Therefore, their review is probably more constructive.

As authors we need to remember that when we ask for honest reviews, we will get them. And not everyone is going to like what we write.

Best policy when dealing with reviews, don't pay much attention to them and never go after the reviewer. TO me, such a thing shows pettiness and a lack of confidence in your own work. Also, if you go after people who write negative reviews of your work, you will drive away potential readers.


message 21: by Janet (new)

Janet McNulty | 24 comments I did have someone come after me for a negative review I wrote of his work. His book was one I was excited to get, but felt let down when I read it. So I stated as much. The author didn't like that and tried to get me to change my review.


message 22: by Susan (last edited Jun 03, 2012 09:02AM) (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments Janet wrote: "I did have someone come after me for a negative review I wrote of his work. His book was one I was excited to get, but felt let down when I read it. So I stated as much. The author didn't like tha..."

That's not cool. The demand for changing it, I mean.


message 23: by Alana ~ The Book Pimp (last edited Jun 03, 2012 09:42AM) (new)

Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments Peg wrote: "Peg (PegRobarchek) | 14 comments I do NOT think of a 3-star review as negative. I give more 3s than any other rating. If you hover over the stars, a 3 says, "liked it" and a 2 says, "it's okay." I rarely give 5 stars, which to me means that it's right up there with "To Kill a Mockingbird" and homemade blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Giving a 5 -- and even a 4 -- for everything I like cheapens the rating system, for me, at least. "

While I have nothing against regular 3-star reviews- if that is how you feel, then go with it. For me, my regular is a 4-star review. I gravitate towards books, and attempt to only review books that I think I will enjoy. But I would hate to think that because I stick with books I think I'd like, that my reviews "cheapen the rating system".

Just to clarify (with writing- emotions, or lack thereof can be difficult to see sometimes) I'm not upset, I'm not trying to fight or anything. Just my 2cents on why I feel giving high rated reviews doesn't necessarily degrade the rating system


message 24: by Ann (last edited Jun 03, 2012 09:36AM) (new)

Ann Herrick (annh) | 5 comments First of all, I think it's better when the reviewer has read the whole book.

Then the review should be about the book itself, the plot, the characters, the setting, etc. and why the reviewer does or does not like any of those aspects. No personal attacks.

The vast majority of the time it is better for authors not to respond to reviews. If there is some obvious error in the review, the wrong book is being reviewed, (and, yes, I've seen that!) or part of the criticism is about some fact being wrong in the book and it is not wrong, then an author might want to comment. Authors should never indulge in personal attacks against reviewers.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments Susan wrote: "Midu wrote: "wow! such a nice person..NOT!!"

People should have the right to read books that are not in their favorite genre, just to see if they could like it. Testing is how we learn what we lik..."


I agree- we should be able to read outside of favorite genres. But when I do, and don't enjoy a book (heck even if it is in a genre I like) I always try to point out that it could be my personal preferences or hang-ups that made me dislike a book


message 26: by Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey), thinks midu and nikki are the coolest! (new)

Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) (mybookboyfriend) | 953 comments Mod
Alana (aka ◘Whiplash◘) wrote: "Susan wrote: "Midu wrote: "wow! such a nice person..NOT!!"

People should have the right to read books that are not in their favorite genre, just to see if they could like it. Testing is how we lea..."


Totally agree with you Alana and Susan.


message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 21 comments I wrote a blog post on the psychology of purchasing something judged as "mediocre" recently:

http://lhthomson.blogspot.ca/2012/05/...

Basically it argues that the three-star review is about the least helpful score an author can receive. But I'd amend it to note that a three-star review can make an overall average more within the realm of realism and less about the author's overall popularity-- after all, it makes sense to trust a slightly- reserved four stars than a string of blowing gives from untested sources, as is often the case on sites like Amazon.


message 28: by Midu, loves Ratatouille (new)

Midu Hadi | 6726 comments Mod
yep, the amendment's making me feel better because 3 stars to me means I enjoyed the book a lot. 4 stars mean reading the sequel is a must.


message 29: by Sheri (new)

Sheri For the record, I couldn't get through To Kill a Mockingbird...granted I tried reading it years ago but just could not get into it. I would never have given it 5 stars.

That being said, the whole rating system is based soley on opinion...What one person loves another person might think is just okay. One person's 3 star rating might mean something completely different than my 3 star rating (I'm talking to you Midu!). I have to agree with Alana that my average is 4 stars. I rarely give 3 stars and only a handful of times have given anything lower...3 stars to me means that it was good but not necessarily great.


message 30: by Harold (last edited Jun 03, 2012 11:49AM) (new)

Harold Titus (haroldtitus) I believe a reviewer should always be specific about what he likes and dislikes without passing himself off as the All-Knowing Critic. He should cite examples to support his generalized opinion statements. Being specific means he is being conscientious. If he is an author, he should comment on the writing skills of the author he is reviewing and allow the reader to decide if his judgments merit consideration. I want a person that reviews my book to tell me honestly what he thinks. I want him always to be specific.


message 31: by Midu, loves Ratatouille (last edited Jun 03, 2012 11:53AM) (new)

Midu Hadi | 6726 comments Mod
@Sheri:
I hear you :-p


message 32: by ceeeeg (new)

ceeeeg | 26 comments commenting on Sheri's most recent post...

it brings to mind the subject of reading outside of my usual comfort genres....

when i review in those cases and i give a less than 4 star rating, i will often qualify that to those who may read my review and are regular reader's within that particular genre that my 3 star rating could be rolled up into a 4 in their case, since they have a better feel for the genre as a whole and have a preference for that sort of title, where i do not and might not be as enthusiastic as a result...


message 33: by Jacques (new)

Jacques Antoine (jacquesantoine) | 8 comments My first rule for reviews of one of my books:

Be thankful someone took the trouble to read it, even 1-star reviews. Try to learn from it.

There is never any reason for an author to criticize any reviewer. Inappropriate reviews are self-regulating. If someone trashes me instead of my book, people reading the review will see that and discount that person's opinion.

Even in the case of a reviewer who didn't read the book, there's no point complaining. I've gotten a couple of those. They're often well-meaning. The reviewer wants to convey that the book didn't grab 'em in the first few pages. I can learn from that.


message 34: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Forsythe | 45 comments Peg wrote: "I do NOT think of a 3-star review as negative. I give more 3s than any other rating. If you hover over the stars, a 3 says, "liked it" and a 2 says, "it's okay." I rarely give 5 stars, which to me means that it's right up there with "To Kill a Mockingbird" and homemade blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Giving a 5 -- and even a 4 -- for everything I like cheapens the rating system, for me, at least."

Yep, that pretty much sums my opinion up too. I don't give many 1s or 2s, and few 5s. Honestly, "it's ok" would be my answer to a lot of books. It infers that I didn't have particularly strong feelings either way. But if I can't bring myself to give a 2, below the mid-grade, because that feels like I'm saying I didn't like it, it becomes a 3. I really have to LOVE something to give it a five. That leaves four as my I generally liked, but didn't love a book.


message 35: by Brandon (last edited Jun 03, 2012 12:31PM) (new)

Brandon Hale (brandon_hale) | 25 comments As an author, I'm very open to feedback and I happily respond to feedback that's sent to me, whether it's positive or negative. I have several venues, including an email address on my webpage and a Facebook page.

As far as site reviews, though, I don't think that's the place to interact with readers. I just feel like reviews are for the readers, not the authors. Sure, authors should learn from reviews (especially trending criticisms), but that's not what reviews are for, in my opinion.

I think a review section should be a safe place for a reader to tell other readers what he or she thought of a book. And they should be able to do so without worrying about the author's response.

For that reason, I don't respond to any reviews. I sincerely want reviews of my work to be unfiltered and honest. Any response from me (even a simple "Thank you") will influence what the next reviewer says. Knowing I might respond will alter what they have to say or how they say it. And I don't want that. I just want honesty.

For that reason, I leave review sections to the readers.


message 36: by Jacques (new)

Jacques Antoine (jacquesantoine) | 8 comments Brandon, that about sums it up for me, too.


message 37: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Forsythe | 45 comments Jacques wrote: "Brandon, that about sums it up for me, too."

Me too, though I will 'like' a review to show that I've seen it. I agree that may make a reader feel stalked and maybe even make other readers feel unable to honestly review if afraid of offense since they know that the author is 'watching.' But I always appreciate my reviews and would feel rude not showing it at least a little.


message 38: by Brandon (last edited Jun 03, 2012 01:08PM) (new)

Brandon Hale (brandon_hale) | 25 comments Sadie wrote: "Me too, though I will 'like' a review to show that I've seen it."

I've done that myself once or twice. I by no means claim my way is "the right way" or anything like that.

Heck, the first reply on this thread talked about liking it when author's reply. Personally, I try to just leave them alone though.

I usually just naively hope that the quality of my books will overcome any spiteful reviews.

And yeah, I said "heck." I'm hardcore. :)


message 39: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments Justin wrote: "I recently had my first bad review. My book got 2 stars and a mixed review to say the least. It wasn't so much the stars but the review that bothered me. I felt personally offended because I felt t..."

I read her review, and aside from her dislike of rhyming, which is a personal preference that she notes, and a touch of redundancy, she didn't say anything all that horrible. Yes, she gave it two stars, but she had a lot of positive things to say about your book and even took the time to note the parts that she really liked.

What was so horrible about that review that you felt the need to ask her to remove it? I'm not attacking you, I'm just curious because in all honesty, most people will be more likely to read that two star review than a five star, and if those two things were all she had to complain about, that review isn't going to hurt you at all. I would think it much more likely to help you.


message 40: by Brandon (last edited Jun 03, 2012 01:23PM) (new)

Brandon Hale (brandon_hale) | 25 comments Lanie wrote: "I read her review, and aside from her dislike of rhyming, which is a personal preference that she notes, and a touch of redundancy, she didn't say anything all that horrible..."

I agree. I mean absolutely no disrespect toward you, Justin, but I think that's quite possibly the nicest, most complimentary 2 star review I've ever read. She even said she's looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Again, I mean no disrespect at all, but like Lanie, I'm very curious what you found disrespectful about her review and what part was a personal attack.

She doesn't like rhyming poetry and felt it appropriate to let other readers know this poetry rhymed. Mostly, though, she just gave you compliments.


message 41: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments I tend to agree with those who said that reviews are for readers. Don't get me wrong, a good review makes me smile, and get all warm and fuzzy inside, but I haven't commented on one in a while. I think it best to just keep my little tush out of that territory.

As for swearing in reviews...

My reviews posted to Amazon, GR, and other sites, are edited for F Bombs, because they tend to frown on swearing. The reviews posted on my site are sprinkled with those and a variety of other words. It's just part of who I am. I swear like a sailor in a bawdy house. My favorite word in the english language starts with F and rhymes with duck. You just can't beat it for versatility. :)


message 42: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Hale (brandon_hale) | 25 comments I think this thread has made me a fan of Lanie. :)


message 43: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments Brandon wrote: "I think this thread has made me a fan of Lanie. :)"

:) LoL


message 44: by S.L.J. (new)

S.L.J. (sammyslj) | 62 comments I think reviews sometimes show the personality of the reviewer more than anything. There is a critic for a paper that we get weekly. He flat out slams any movie that could be considered mainstream or a blockbuster but gives 5 stars to anything that came out before the 1960's.

I don't like it when people say they hate something but don't bother to say why. Personally I love constructive reviews. Even if they hated my book, if they give me the reasons and explain why, at least I know where I went wrong. What's that old saying?

"I didn't fail, I just found another way that doesn't work."

That said, I love Steph Sinclair and Kat Kennedy's reviews! I'm addicted to their blog. :P


message 45: by Ann (new)

Ann Herrick (annh) | 5 comments S.L.J. wrote: "I think reviews sometimes show the personality of the reviewer more than anything...."

Yes. For example, with movies I find I stick to the reviewers that I have found (from reading dozens, if not 100s of their reviews) are on the same wavelength I am. If they like a movie, I can be pretty sure I'll like it, and if they don't, I probably won't either. With other reviewers it might be just the opposite. Doesn't mean one reviewer is right and the other is wrong, just that they have different tastes and/or ways of looking at things.


message 46: by Brandon (last edited Jun 03, 2012 03:12PM) (new)

Brandon Hale (brandon_hale) | 25 comments I think when it comes to etiquette, the entire issue can be summed up with two words, whether you're a reviewer or an author:

Be respectful.

No matter what your feedback is and no matter how disrespectful the other person is, if you're always respectful, you'll come out on top.


message 47: by Megan (new)

Megan Johnston (MeganSJohnston1) | 17 comments I don't think it makes a difference whether you're an author or a reviewer. As an author, I want honest feedback when it comes to ratings and reviews.
I have given reviews prior to becoming a published author. I was always honest, tasteful and respectful, and never slammed the Author. Again, reviews are the opinion of one.
I don't believe reviews are just for the reader. It helps the author mature, and gives the reader a good perspective on the material .
I do not believe someone can give a review without reading the material first. How can they, they haven't read it.
And for swearing in reviews? Unnecessary to say the least. I always told my children, use your good words, they will be heard and go farther.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments Brandon wrote: "I think this thread has made me a fan of Lanie. :)"

Lanie rocks. So does John Corwin. Just my humble opinion.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments Brandon wrote: "I think when it comes to etiquette, the entire issue can be summed up with two words, whether you're a reviewer or an author:

Be respectful.

No matter what your feedback is and no matter how di..."


Well put!


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments I have another question in regards to this topic, and a story to go along with it:

I know many bloggers (myself included) that usually will not post reviews that are 2 stars or less unless the author OK's it. And at least from personal practice, I will post ALL reviews, good or bad (although as I've said the majority of mine lean towards good) on Goodreads. But, when it comes to Amazon, Smashwords, and ever other sites (Shelfari, LibraryThing, etc.) I generally will not post 2 stars or less. Although I see the reasoning behind it being 'good' to have some lower reviews out there to 'round out' and 'justify' a book or a reviewer, it's just not how I operate.

I feel, especially and primarily for Indie authors, that it can really drag down ratings and ... I can't quite find the right words but I just feel like Indie has a stigma it's trying to overcome.


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