An Unexpected Nanny

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Reviews

I am pondering today the point of reviews.

All Authors like to read reviews. Preferably glowing reviews that tell us how much someone loved our book and how they would recommend it to their friends. Of course not all reviews can be good ones and that's just life.

Not everyone in life is going to like us and not everyone is going to like what we write. Our tastes are different because WE are all different. Some people like spanking in books, some people don't. A LOT of people don't. Some people like things written in a certain point of view while other people don't. As I said, it's all fair and I'm  not complaining about bad reviews. Not a lot anyway, I'm curious. We all get the odd one and I've been very lucky with my sales and with my reviews, but I'm only human and it does hurt my feelings when I get a bad one, as much as I try not to let it get to me. I have NEVER left a bad review. I just wouldn't like the way I know that would make me feel. I was always taught that if you can't think of anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. It's served me well in life, a bit like do unto others I guess. But that's me, I'm no saint but I try to be a nice person. If I read something that really isn't to my taste I quietly move on because I think that it might just be me. That writer deserves the chance for others to read their story and make up their own minds not tainted my one eyed view.

So, the pondering. The reviews and the ratings. What does the bad reviewer or rater get out of smashing someone down? Is it that you think you wasted your money and you're trying to get everyone else not to buy the book? Is it that it makes you feel superior to put someone else down? I have no idea what the payoff would be for someone to make someone else feel badly. I guess it's one of life's mysteries.


  1. I agree. Reviews too often are someone's way of taking out frustration and jealousy. Or another author trying to sabotage something they know is better than what they wrote themselves. And it makes no sense. People who read are going to read. They will not stop because one book was great or terrible. So attacking somebody's work is really pointless. And, even if the writing was maybe not perfect, that person still took the time to write it, felt it strongly enough to share it. Why can't that be respected? I'll never understand, either. Cruelty can't be stopped, but, as readers and authors, we can support each other when it happens. Keep writing. Never give up, never surrender your vision. Focus on the ones who "get it" and the others...let them have their ugly little moments on the net. In the end, we did something great. We wrote books and we deserve to be proud of ourselves. Have a lovely day! Xx

  2. Thanks so much Melodie, your kind words mean a lot. Somedays you can just ignore it and move on and others it gets to you and you start to question yourself. I'm glad there still some nice people out there :) xox

  3. Ahh... so timely. I'm totally nursing a bruised ego today as a result of a bad review. Clearly this person isn't into spanking fiction, so she shouldn't be buying it! Argh. I clicked to read her other reviews and many were horrible, so clearly she does get some satisfaction that way.

    Especially now that I'm writing myself, I would feel horrible about posting a bad review. I'm of the "if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all" camp.

  4. Makes you feel bad doesn't it? I'm glad I'm not the only one. I was feeling like I might just be feeling sorry for myself. I don't get the low rating thing either. Sorry whoever it was made you feel bad. xoxo

  5. I feel you. Those bad review sting. But I know that I'll ignore bad reviews if I've enjoyed the author's books in the past or if something in the blurb intrigues me. Often the really bad reviews seem over the top, as the reviewer takes one aspect of the book s/he doesn't like and beats it to death. That said, I'd rather have a so-so review (if it's fair) than none at all because at least then people can make up their own minds

  6. I see your point. The so so reviews aren't bad, that's sort of a person's opinion. I think though when you accompany it with a rating of three or less then your saying the book is either mediocre (3), bad (2) or terrible (1). I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion but I'd just rather keep my opinion to myself if I think it will hurt someone. I will try and ignore those people I guess though. Thanks :)

  7. What a great topic here. I have self published 3 novels on my own and gotten 5 star far! But I haven't paid for reviews on my work either. I agree with what you guys said. It makes it hard for us writers to keep writing when some "sour puss" reviewer just plain doesn't like what you wrote. I think most reviews are "their" opinions based on what they think you should have wrote or not, and also based on their "tastes" in literature. I spent countless months sending my proposals to literary agents and you know what those "snooty" agents replied? (Well, some of them replied) They said: "This isn't what "I" am looking for." Hmmmm......enough said.

    1. I'm glad that your books have been well received April. I know what it is like with agents. I have had the same experience with a children's book I wrote. Mostly people like my work and I guess I have to learn to focus on that and not zoom in so much on the negative. What I don't understand about those reviewers is why they don't take advantage of the sample chapter. You know by the end of that chapter if you are going to like something or not. Good luck with your books in the future and thanks for commenting :)

  8. I saw the comment and think that this person just truly bought the book, flipped through it without actually reading it and posted things that would hurt. It wasn't a constructive review, because we can all benefit from those, but downright nasty. Sorry that she made you upset, at least if she had been polite or offered suggestions or something maybe it could have been flipped to a positive.

    1. Thanks Adaline, it was a nasty review and in my opinion not necessary. The ratings matter also. Two one star reviews and a three have brought the book down to a three and a half start average which is the first thing people will see. On Blushing Books the reviews make a difference to the best reviewed points.

      A story gets -2 points for a one-star rating, -1 point for a two-star rating, 0 points for a three-star rating, +1 points for a four-star rating, and +2 points for a five-star rating.

      So Giving someone a three star rating doesn't make any difference, but giving someone a two star rating actually takes a point away. Those points are hard earned. You only get two for a five star review.

      Anyway the point is mute now. I guess I have to relax and not pay any attention to it all and just concentrate on making my writing better.

      Thanks for your kind words Adaline, I do appreciate them :)

  9. I did three on Amazon and I thought I did three on Blushing. I went back and looked at it was on two which I did not purposefully leave. I have updated it but I can't see what the rating is at. I want to read more by you because I like the characters and your style. I hope that you have a good weekend.

  10. Thanks Adaline. I appreciate the change of rating. You have a good weekend too.

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