If you have been around here long enough you know Book Reviews are something I am passionate about. How can someone be passionate about Book Reviews? I know how important they are to an author.
- The more Reviews a book has on Amazon and other places the better chance of being seen by potential readers, moving up on lists of books that will be shared in emails and websites.
- They give a potential Reader an opinion about the book.
- They give the author feedback on what is working with a book and what is not.
Recently Author Jo Robinson, one of the Feature Writers here on LWI wrote Safe Reviewing. The article is well worth a read as can be attested by the record breaking numbers it is setting on the site to date in Views, Likes and Comments in just 24 hours. But it was also that article that reminded me of an article I had been wanting to write.
One of our LWI Authors has received what I will call Inconsistent Reviews. I had to think for a moment how I wanted to phrase that. One review on Goodreads simply had a Rating of 1 Star. When the book is consistently Rated 5 Stars, you know there is something going on, especially when there were no comments attached to the 1 Star. I did some research into the person’s Reviewing history.
- Only likes a certain subject,style or author.
- Seems to have a dislike for a certain type of author.
Another Review was a good Rating on Amazon but the actual Review was so completely opposite of the score I am questioning the person’s ability to do Reviews, only because they have their Amazon name include Reviews in it. The problem here is the person was expecting or wanting one kind of book and this was not that kind of book, so they decided to basically rip it apart in several ways that showed their lack of professionalism and actual ability to comprehend the book. I read the book. Every point made in the Review was such a sad piece of drivel that I was so angry by the end I wanted to somehow find a way to delete the person’s ability to write Reviews anywhere ever again.
That’s the purpose of this article. If you are expecting a Star Trek novel and you end up with a Dune novel, don’t complain. Science Fiction is Science Fiction. Just because it is not your flavor does not make it bad. If you feel let down because you were EXPECTING or HOPING for Star Trek and you didn’t get it, it’s not the Author’s problem. If you cannot find you are able to write a fair Review, then don’t write a Review at all.
I do my less than favorable Reviewing in Beta-Reading. When I Beta-Read I don’t hold back. That’s when you need to realize, especially with friends, there is no such thing as compromise or benefit of the doubt for that matter.That’s when the Author needs the absolute truth.
Will I give someone a bad Review of a book? I would prefer not to publish one. But there are times when there has been an agreement or an insistence and I had to do it.
So Review as you will but think before you Publish. As Jo mentioned, we as Authors nor Reviewers or even the basic Reader want to break down an Author. We want to help the Author and the Reader. You can do that in a Review if you take the time to do it right.
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10 thoughts on “Fair Reviewing or Review the Book, NOT Your Expectation.”
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Well said. We as authors need reviews but it’s not our job to discourage other authors with bad reviews, far better not to give one, or at least to give it before it goes to publishing and can’t be changed.
This kind of applies to my most recent review, actually. I reviewed a movie novelisation, and I had expected it to be just like the movie. While yes, it did meet that expectation, I had no idea what else to expect. I went into it with an open mind, as this was a new experience for me. I’d never read a movie novelisation before. Disappointed? Yes and no. Fair review? I think so. I reviewed the book on its own merits, rather than how I expected it to be based on the movie.
Reblogged this on Michaelphelps1's Blog and commented:
READ THIS ARTICLE . . . then you can understand Reviewers!
Ron. Nicely said and would love to see reviewers embrace reviewing the book not the expectation. A few reviewers of mine gave it high marks even though they admitted there were things they did not expect. (They all expressed discomfort with 1st person/Present tense yet enjoyed the book) This is the way it should be.
Well if you don’t have any expectations then… that fixes the problem. However, if you have read a certain Author before and this book does not match up with a past one you kind of read the book with an expectation…. but good to know I will think of this before doing a review. (not that I’ve ever done any bad ones) I think Jo’s point on her previous article holds true, if you can’t give it a honest three or more stars don’t review it. 🙂
And always remember treat others as you would like to be treated. I like fair and honest criticism, but a bad review just based on expectation or what ever else that has nothing to do with the book itself well that is just not the way to go.
You won’t make yourself look good, by making another look bad. 🙂 excellent post.
Jo’s original article on safe reviewing had caught my eye when it published so I know why it is getting lots of views. I am surprised to read in your post here that people are reviewing based on what their expectations as that seems to be doing an injustice to the author who deserves to know what readers really think about the plot and writing style. That’s how authors can learn to improve or alternatively stay on the right track with future books 🙂
I agree wholeheartedly with this post. I was recently alarmed by some reviews I read pertaining to a book and it, basically, came down to the same reasoning: the book was not the type of book the reader expected. In that case, if something positive cannot be said, click away and say nothing.
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