Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My thoughts on a few bad apples.

I recently read a very negative review on a book that I enjoyed immensely. It bothered me for several reasons, so much in fact, that I felt compelled to share.

I write a lot of reviews, officially as well as on my own. I think reviews are important so I carefully consider what I'm writing and the potential impact of my words. I start each book with the idea that it deserves 5 stars. It amazes me that people leave 1 or 2 star reviews. It has to be almost unreadable or blatant plagiarism to deserve that kind of harshness. 

Another pet peeve I have is when reviewers attack the author personally; that's just uncalled for. If a reviewer didn't care for a story, say why, POLITELY.  Just because I personally didn't enjoy a story doesn't mean I can't see the potential for others readers to love it. I don't take stars away just because a book wasn't my particular cup of tea unless the reason I didn't enjoy it was lack of storyline or character development. 

Finally, quoting an author's work out of context drives me crazy and completely invalidates the entire review, as far as I'm concerned. If a particular story or writing style is that flawed, there should be plenty of examples to be found in context. 

Reviews have such a huge impact. They can encourage or discourage sales. Other readers depend on them when deciding where to spend hard earned money. They impact Amazon algorithms and indicate to authors how readers are responding to a particular line of work. Writing a review is something that should be taken seriously. I feel like apologizing to every author who has had a bad review experience! 

Books are wonderful gifts; every single one is a window into another place or time. It takes courage to write stories and send them out into the world all on their own. I guess it just goes to show that you can't please some people, no matter how hard you try. A poorly written review does not reflect negatively on the author's work, only the small mind and harsh attitude of the review writer because even a negative review can be written in a positive manner.

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