What’s going on with book reviews?

To review, or not to review…that is the question.

I know as a writer, I’m biased when it comes to book reviews. I encourage not only my readers to leave them, but also for ALL readers to leave honest and spoiler-free reviews. That’s it. I would never tell a reviewer what to rate my book or how to feel about it. But what happened in the literary world where reviewers leave just as many, if not more, negative reviews for books as they do positive ones? I’m not talking about my own negative reviews (GASP…yes I have them LOL) I’m just talking about the way the industry has shifted to where it seems pretty normal for so many reviews to be awful ones. And I mean AWFUL. Not just…’This wasn’t the book for me’, or ‘I couldn’t get into this story’, or ‘I should’ve read the description better before grabbing this one’. Now, you see mean and degrading reviews.

So I sit back and read these every once in a while (I tend to ignore my own bad reviews like the plague…it’s more like educational skimming) and I feel so sad for the reading community. We all have a voice and the right to use it, but every author who publishes a book puts it out there with the risk of it being accepted or not. Some are awesome, some are average and some should probably not be published at all, but attacking writers or their craft is just a bad-Karma thing to do.

Today I ask that if you review a book, consider why you are reviewing it first:

Is it because you want the whole world to read how you felt about the story? Because people WILL see what you wrote.

Is it because you work for a reviewing group and have perfected the synopsis-review (cough-cough, these aren’t necessary most of the time)? Remember, people will read your spoilers and some won’t like that. At all.

Is it because you feel the author needs to know how you felt about the story, be it a negative or positive experience? This is when you should be honest, but remember writers have feelings too. LOL

Is it because you feel obligated to leave a review? Don’t. Reviews are voluntary and should represent how you, as the reader, felt about the book. Nothing else. 🙂

Just my .02 on this subject as reviewing spirals a bit out of hand. Believe me, writers don’t just love reviews – we NEED them. But what writers don’t need, are troll reviews, or the really, really awful ones that make us consider the demise of humanity. It just comes back to one simple thing: Be nice. You can leave a ‘I really didn’t like this book’ review for other potential readers without being mean. It’s totally possible. 😉

And if there is someone reading this that now wants to jump on one of my books and bash it or me – knock yourself out, really, I won’t read it, like I said. I have much more important things to do – like write the next book. 🙂

 

Happy Reading and Reviewing!

4 thoughts on “What’s going on with book reviews?

  1. Jerry says:

    We must also accept the reality that some people leave reviews because leaving a harsh review gives them a sense of power and authority. I pay close attention to how people review on Goodreads. Some people leave 80 to 90 percent bad reviews. this leaves me wondering why they do so poorly at finding books that they like. I tend to leave mostly good reviews for the simple reason that i try not to purchase books that i won’t like. I read blurbs and reviews, and I tend to buy books by authors who I enjoy. Therefore … the majority of my reviews are favorable.

    When I do leave a less than glowing review, I try to be polite and kind, usually indicating that the book was not to my taste. I don’t need to wound someone to feed my ego.

    Like

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