They’re the things that strike fear into every author’s heart as she clicks on the amazon book page…will they love the book? Will they hate it? Is it meh?
As authors we’re told not to look at reviews, but I have to confess I can’t help it. A few good words can send me on a happy writing day, a few bad ones can crush me for a few hours. But why do we have them? Are they useful? Do other readers pay any attention to them?
For authors, other than ego-rubbing or ego-deflating, reviews can be helpful to secure future book deals, can help get the book onto various sales websites (such as Bookbub who, so I’ve heard, won’t take a book unless it’s got at least 20 4-5 star reviews) and can sometimes make the difference between a sale or a pass for the unsure reader.
I’ve had my fair share of mixed reviews, but when I get a bad one I hop on over to Goodreads and read some of the reviews of some of the ‘great’ books of literature. I thought I’d have some fun and share some with you. Can you guess which books these review are from? Answers at bottom of the page.
A) This is a two star review from one of the 85,000 two star reviews for this book (there are 113,000 five star reviews too):
I FINISHED THE BOOK I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SEE THE DAY. Granted, I blasted through eight of my nine lives to do so, but here I am. On my last legs, weak, tired, and hungry beyond any possible description, but I’m alive…
Same book, 1 star review: This book is quite possibly the most insipid novel I have ever read in my life. Why this book is so highly treasured by society is beyond me. It is 345 pages of nothing. The characters are like wispy shadows of something that could be interesting, the language that could be beautiful ends up becoming difficult to decipher and lead me more than once to skip over entire paragraphs because I became tired of having to stumble through them only to emerge unsatisfied, and the plot is non-existent
Same book 5 star review: Near perfection! ***** is one of those rare gems that weds character, plot and language all in one harmonious marriage.
B) 5 star review (one of 57,000 5 star reviews)
Let me start by saying…. Wow! Just Wow!!
This book is 5+ stars for me!! It is my favorite kind of story. You know what I mean…just so intense that the characters get so far under your skin that you can’t stand to be away from them for any length of time? Well, that was me while reading this book, I couldn’t concentrate to get anything done 🙂
Same book 1 star: I honestly do NOT feel like revisiting this book and writing a review. I’d rather spend the time searching for ways to remove this utter nonsense from my memory. However, this book is so bad that I feel the need to warn others from this drivel. Luckily, I did not buy this garbage.
C) 1 star review (one of 3.3 million reviews!!)
If I could give this no stars, I would. This is possibly one of my least favorite books in the world, one that I would happily take off of shelves and stow in dark corners where no one would ever have to read it again.
Same book, 5 star review: In the course of 5 years, I’ve read this book nearly 17 times. That adds up to reading it once at least every 4 months, on an average. And I still return to this book like a bark seeking a lighthouse in the dark. When I first finished it, I was so overwhelmed by how much I related to it, I read it nearly 8 times before the year ended. By now I’ve memorized almost every scene and I still can’t shake off the feeling that I still have to learn a lot from it. Over the years, I realize that without knowing it, it has become my personal Bible – a beacon to keep me from straying from the path of kindness and compassion, no matter what.
Just goes to show that reading is very subjective! But be assured that a review of an author’s book is very, very helpful to their ratings, which in turn can help their career. So if you have a chance, please do add your thoughts to an amazon/nook/kobo page.
Do you write reviews? Do reviews influence your buying?
As an aside, I have a new book out! Something About You is now available exclusively on Amazon. Here’s the blurb:
Will they risk their friendship for a night of unbridled passion?
A broken heart …
Widow Jenna Cassidy-Pearce has had her one love of a lifetime. Now she’s fine being single and focusing on her new floristry business, raising her daughter and spending time with her friends. On top of all that she’s also organizing a very secret wedding for her sister, the wedding-shy wedding planner. Jenna’s life is a whirlwind of busy-but-in-control, and that’s just how she likes it – it keeps the loneliness and the longing at bay. So when old friend Nick Welsh comes back into her life she’s not prepared for the onslaught of emotions and unwelcome lust she feels for him.
A damaged soldier …
After surviving bombs and bombshells that damaged his life and destroyed all trust, ex army officer Nick Welsh has returned to London for a quiet life. He definitely does not want to get embroiled in Jenna’s chaotic one, but there’s something about the spirited redhead with the sparkling blue eyes and complete inability to sit still that makes him keep seeking her out, and there’s a whole lot of chemistry he just can’t deny.
The healing power of love
Is he ready to trust again? And can he teach Jenna that everyone deserves another chance at love?
A fun story about family, second chances, old friends and new love.
Answers: A) Pride and Prejudice B) 50 Shades of Grey C) To Kill A Mockingbird
Do you write reviews? Do reviews influence your buying?