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Friday, April 21, 2017

Reviews - Love 'em or Hate 'em

Victoria suggested this month’s topic. Reviews - Love 'em, hate 'em or totally ignore them. Amazon tells us the more 4 or 5 reviews the merrier, but how to get them?

When I read the topic I sighed. I’m one who totally ignores them, both as a writer and a reader. As a reader I don’t find them helpful. It’s one person’s opinion – or two peoples. I’ve read books with horrible reviews because I know the author and loved the books. I’ve read books by popular authors with great reviews and hated them. So I ignore reviews of books. When I’m looking at buying or reading, I check out the author, the cover, the blurb and maybe a short excerpt. 

When it comes to my writing and books, I did try and get reviews when I first published. The small publishing companies expected you to get and publish your own reviews. I spent a lot of time trying to find reviews and get people who read my books to write a review. It took away from my writing and at that time it didn’t make a lot of difference to my sales. Today, I write, I have it critiqued and I critique other authors. I have it edited. I have a cover artist and a formatter.  I’ve read about Amazon and it’s not 4 or 5 reviews, people are trying to get hundreds. I don’t know how to do that and I don’t think I want to learn.  I am looking at doing more advertising and promoting this year. I think that will do more for sales than reviews.
So I hate reviews and I ignore them. I look forward to reading what the authors have to say.  Off to check them out. Hope you will, too.

And I’d love to hear what you think of reviews from a reading or writing perspective.

14 comments:

  1. In many ways I agree with you. While I do send manuscripts to some review sites, I don't expect much; and I'm not about to trade books for reviews because then they seem tainted. I like a voluntary honest review better.

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    1. I think you have the right attitude. and if you can get some honest reviews, that's great.

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  2. You sound like my daughter who refused to give even dear old Mom a review no matter what she thinks of the book (and she has said she liked them all, a lot!)

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    1. Chuckling at this. I do write reviews for books I'
      ve read, if I know the author, but not for the NYT top selling authors. They don't need them.

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  3. Sometimes, you have to take reviews with the proverbial "grain of salt" -- I think we all have had reviews that make us wonder if the reader ever read the book. And then, it's always a great feeling when you get a superb five star review.

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    1. Good points, Constance. And an unbiased five star review is great for the ego.

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  4. I am surprised, Beverley. You are so good at promotion, and offer a venue for other writers, I would have thought the reviews for your books should be pouring in.

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    1. Thanks, for nice words, but unfortunately, no. I have to beg for a review and even then people are concerned about what to say or how to say it. And I hate twisting arms.

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  5. Beverley, your opinion was a very intriguing one. I usually ignore reviews on books by other authors, but usually pay attention to my own. Not that I've gotten that many, but they pull at my attention. :)

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    1. Hey Rachel, it's just my opinion. But you don't pay attention to other author reviews - why would they pay attention to yours? But I understand why you'd be interested in the ones you get.

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  6. Beverley, that's an interesting point about devoting more time to marketing, and less to chasing reviews. If a book sells, it will attract reviews naturally, and so your comment makes sense. Perhaps I should try that approach.

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    1. Helena, I think it's that time factor. Where do you want to put your time and efforts? For some people I'm sure hunting down reviews is worth it.

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  7. I find that review sites often stick with their favorite authors and getting someone to review your book from there is nearly impossible. I only read reviews on products like appliances and other big ticket items. I rarely read reviews on books. I'm more like you, in that, I'll read the blurb, look at the cover, and read an excerpt. If I like all of those, I'll buy. If I like the author, I'll buy. Reviews won't matter to me.

    However, I do write reviews of books that I like. I'll also write reviews of books I don't like, but I will point out what I did enjoy and why it didn't work for me. I wrote a 2-star review for one book and shared it with the author before I posted it to ask her if she was okay with it. Most of my issues were with the nature of the story. The heroine went from one abusive relationship to the next (it was a billionaire romance) with the last one (the billionaire romance) being portrayed as the okay one, but the guy was a stalker. The author actually appreciated my comments. They weren't personal. They were all about the book and the story.

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  8. Thanks for the comments, Marci. I appreciate your point of view. And like you, I will write reviews for some books and authors. I like that you share the poor reviews with the author.

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