Spoiler Reviews Just Suck

I have a mini-vent to get out there to the reviewing world. Before I start, first you must understand that I love each and every reviewer that has taken the time to leave a comment on one of my books…even the less favorable ones. It means you read the book and have a passionate opinion on it. I know there will be good and bad reviews. That is how the industry works and in the Indie world, we (authors) rely on reviews quite a bit to get our names out there. In a sense, we wouldn’t do well WITHOUT a balance of favorable and unfavorable reviews.

So you have seen me posting about leaving honest, spoiler-free reviews. What does that mean, exactly? It means if you are going to leave a review for one of my books, I want it to be an honest depiction of your feelings on the book and what you deem it worth rating. It also means that I appreciate the kinds of reviews that do not flesh out the plot twists or surprise moments so that any potential reader won’t have the book ruined for them if they choose to pick it up. This doesn’t bother just me when it happens to one of my books, but it bothers every author I’ve ever talked to about it. And we can’t do much about it. We can’t protect our potential readers from seeing those kinds of reviews.

To many, this may not seem like a big deal, but let me ask the fellow readers this question – if you were standing in a book store holding a book, reading the back cover, and a person next to you said, ‘Oh, wow, that’s a great book. The main character goes to jail after killing her husband, but then you find out at the very end it was her neighbor Mrs. Jones who did it because she was having an affair with the husband! It was so good, you should really read it!’ Be honest, would you then spend your money on the book and buy it, if you already know how it will play out? No, you wouldn’t. Spoiler ridden reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc…are there for every potential reader to view. The least a reviewer who chooses to ruin it for others can do is include this in their title, “THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS” so those who don’t want to know what happens won’t read it. No doubt, that review wouldn’t be read often.

It’s a sad fact that there are people out there who actually gain a bit of pleasure by divulging the juicy parts of a movie or book to their friends. I’m not posting this for those people, I’m posting it for the ones who truly think they are leaving a detailed review that will be helpful and don’t realize that plot spoilers might ruin the book for others. Maybe this shouldn’t bother me, maybe I’m too sensitive on the subject? Well, it bothers me because selling my books is how I make my living. Every sale lost from a spoiler review DOES impact my sales – that’s one less person that may not come back to read a TMDBook.

If you enjoy my books, you know I love you. I write them for you all to enjoy, and I just ask that you think about what goes into a review before you post it publicly. Let your friends, family or someone across the world enjoy the book just as much as you did – without the spoilers. Being lost in a Fiction world is so much more fun when you have no idea what’s coming around the corner. ❤

Spoilers

One of the hardest parts of being a writer for me is not being able to TALK about the story before its release. Most of us Readers enjoy gushing about plots, characters and twists to friends who are reading the same book, or have already finished.

“OH MY GAWD, I can’t believe he did that!” or “Have you gotten to the last chapter yet…hurry up!”

But I can never do this – unless it’s to someone who has no interest in reading the book – which wouldn’t exactly be the best person to dish out details to, would it? lol Spoilers, people. Spoilers.

So as I wrap up the 2nd draft of The Dry Lands, I’m in a constant internal struggle to keep my yap shut. Posting snippets is fun, and that takes a teeny bit of pressure off my brain – but I know how the story ends and I want to TALK about it. It’s 100x worse than reading a book your best friends have yet to read. Trust me. It’s like residing in Literature Hell until publication day. Just pure torture.

#writerproblemssuck

 

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!