negative book reviews
I added my own advice as a reader who pays close attention to ALL reviews, and is a member of several Street Teams. Do not send your Street Team to harass ANY reviewer, “dislike” or “vote down,” and/or leave “helpful comments” for the reviewer. Do not post an angry rant on your Facebook page or blog, decrying negative reviews. Say nothing. Do nothing. It all reflects back on the author and her/his good/poor judgment.
Here is the 36th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.
10. If your book gets a negative review, do not read the review, especially if the rating is one star. At best, the reviewer will admit the review is based on having read only a couple of pages of your book and you can chide yourself for even bothering to read one word of the review. At worst, you will read the review so many times you can quote it by heart, begin to believe it, and eventually get one star tattooed on your back to atone for imagined errors in your career choice.
9. If your book gets a negative review, do not respond…
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Reviewing books may be hazardous to your health, especially if you are an author. Kristen Lamb discusses her experiences and how they shaped her reviewing style.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have not published any books. I have learned not to publish reviews on any books I did not like. If I strongly disliked, or worse, did not finish the book, I will not write a review. Period. To this day, I have only posted one negative review for a book. I purchased the book, at full price, and expected to get a “full-price experience,” based on the glowing and outstanding reviews. I did not. I got something far less enjoyable and felt gypped. My negative review is still “live,” and will remain so, because my feelings were honest. If I receive any negative feedback I will immediately delete the review.
The “anonymous bravado” of some people on the internet, is not pretty and not something I wished to engage in. Seeing the vitriolic backlash towards reviewers and authors, has helped me determine when, and if, to post a review. I will continue to give a book a low rating, if I feel it deserves it. Amazon and Goodreads like to “recommend” future books, based on what I have already read. This not been a successful “system” for me. I prefer to have books recommended to me via word-of-mouth or after reading remarks by reviewers who provide enough information about the author’s character development and mechanics of the story, rather than a marketing algorithm.
No review from me means “I did not have time to write a review, and none was requested,” the book was “fine,” or “the book was so poorly written that ‘silence is golden.'” If an author, or other reviewer, requests my thoughts, I will provide my honest thoughts. If I rate a book as an “A,” “B,” or “C” (outstanding, very good or good), the review will go “live” without input from the author. Anything lower, like a “D” (fair), “F” (poor), or “DNF” (did not finish because…why bother?) will not be reviewed. I will give my opinion of the book , along with an explanation as to what worked and did not work for me, to the author/reviewer, privately.
Okay, yesterday we had a little bit of a debate about leaving book reviews. First of all, the post is to warn you of the dangers of posting bad reviews as an author. Does it mean you can’t? No. Can you tweet while drinking and listening to LinkinPark? Yes, but you do so at your own risk. Same here. I am not the social media gestapo, but I am here to warn you of the hazards that are REAL.
We Never Know Who People Know
I once commented offhandedly to an acquaintance about a book I was reading. I wasn’t nasty, I just mentioned that I found it confusing and the dream sequences were messing me up. I also added that it could be me. I WAS seven-months pregnant, so I added the caveat that it could just be Baby Brain.
Little did I know the acquaintance was BEST…
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