Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review/rate/star away

As an author, there are things we must and mustn't do. 

Do tell readers how much you like them.
Don't tell people who gave you a bad review how much they may suck.

While I am talking about reviews, what do you consider a bad review? Here is what I think a bad review is: 0-1 star, yeah, that's bad. 2-3 is average but not BAD. 4-5 is great!

So when I see on Goodreads lots of 3-4-5 star ratings and a few 1-2 that tells me the book is good or decent. Now, if it has a lot of 1-2 star ratings and very little 3-5 star ratings that tells me the book is not so hot.

This seems logic right? 

The problem with this though, is sometimes Authors tend to look at only the bad reviews and focus on this. Only this. And they really shouldn't. What? Yes, I mean what I said. Don't focus on the three or five bad reviews out of 200. Seriously, what does that matter? 

The only thing this tells you is that 195 or more people think your book is Amazing! 3 to 5 people don't. Wow. 

How about these odds, there are over a billion people in the world. There is one person out of a billion that doesn't care for your book. Wow, again, wow. 

So, let me ask you this, why are you focused on the negative review? 1 out of a billion. Odds don't seem so terrible now do they? That review isn't that scary now is it? 


  1. Actually the odd thing about the star system of reviewing is that it usually tells me little about the book. It is the accompanying text that is the most revealing.

    Fifty 5 star reviews that say something like "This is a great book!" does not sell me on it. I want to know why it's a great book and not suspect that the author has a bunch of friends and relatives who come to shill for the author.
    On the other hand I have bought books based on a 1 star review that was very precise in the reasoning why the book deserved such a low rating--I have bought out of curiosity or because the book sounded like something to my liking even though the reviewer didn't like it.

    The book that generates reviews that become part of a conversation about the book rather than a lot of positive or negative star reviews with nothing to back them up, that thought stimulating book will be the one that interests me most.

    My favorite reviews as far as weirdness are the ones that are one star reviews where the reviewer is very positive or says they loved the product or the one star reviews that are about Amazon or some similar issue that has nothing to do with the product being reviewed.

    Personally I wouldn't let the low star ratings bother me at all unless there was some concrete information that I could use for improving future books. And then it wouldn't be a matter of being bothered by it, but of being educated.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  2. It's something I try to remind myself of all the time. Even if the book is awesome, some people just won't like it. I won't be able to make them like it. And that's okay too. Tastes differ.

  3. All very true! Personally I buy books if they sound interesting. I like to create my own opinion of the book. But for authors who are so worried about one or two bad ratings, I want to shed some light on that so they can see it's not really that huge of a deal. Thanks for the Comments :)