14 comments on “Putting Your Book Reviews Into Perspective

  1. Well said. I also noticed that phenomenon especially with books that have got a lot of reviews. I tend to listen to well written 1 star reviews if they explain exactly what they thought wring with the book. Then, I weigh it against the amount of positive feedback. With authors buying their 5star reviews these days, it’s important to look closely there too. But in general, you’re absolutely right.
    Katharina Gerlach´s last blog post ..Review Monday: Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones

    • Hi Katharina,

      Thanks for coming by and commenting. I think your strategy is sound. I kinda do the same thing and yes, it’s a shame that good reviews can be purchased. And to think that in the past we just had to deal with reviews from moms, spouses and the like. :-)


  2. Bravo! I had a one star review in which the reviewer freely admitted to reading 10% of the book. That’s it. Ten percent, gave up, called it quits and stuck me with a one star. Seriously? That’s enough to warrant an opinion? If I read 10% of a book and gave up on it, I think it would be ridiculous to expect others to give a flip about my 10% opinion.

    • Richard,

      Yeah it sure doesn’t seem like they gave it an honest effort. In that case they need to claim “not my cup of tea,” move on and not write a review.


  3. I don’t give bad reviews. If I can’t write a good review I rather contact the writer with a list of the things wrong with the book. But yes, I’ve seen those one star reviews out there complaining about all the illiterate or tasteless people that have given the book 5 star reviews. It happens and there is nothing we can do about it. Like you say: perspective.

    • Heh. Rolando, I thought I was the only one. Generally I tend to not write a review if I don’t like a book, chalking it up to taste or what have you. Although I did write a bad review a few years back and the author totally emailed me getting up in my face. Actually, he was quite a jerk about it, and my review was not scathing or anything like that. He was clearly out of line.


  4. George,

    I created an email account for my novel and listed it on the contact page at the back of the book. I knew that by doing so I was opening the door to everything – glowing praise to harsh criticism. One in particular really stuck with me in a “really?” sort of way. It was from a gentleman who all but condemned me to hell for using foul and offensive language. Even said he was surprised I let my wife read the book. (I’m guessing that offensive language flys in the face of a woman’s “delicate” sensibilities.)


    I had a one star (one of two mind you) that had the nerve to make vague accusations that my five star reviews were not legitimate. His “proof” – a lot of the five star reviews had only my book as their sole review on Amazon. What a jerk.

    • Wow, Richard. That’s amazing. I take it the guy wasn’t a 50 shades kind of guy either. It’s just like watching TV. If you don’t like what’s on the channel, change the channel. Don’t lobby to have the channel removed. And for folks to send accusations about purchasing reviews on a basis as flimsy as what that one guy said, is no less than ridiculous.

      Some people’s children. Sheesh.


  5. I don’t expect everyone to like what I write, but one of my short stories was given a 1-star review because the Kindle software wouldn’t work on the guy’s computer. He didn’t even read my story (he couldn’t) but he gave it 1-star for something that I don’t even have control over. Argh!

    Some people just need to be slapped.

    J. A. Whye´s last blog post ..Making Your Novel Perfect

    • Jay,

      This is the kind of thing that makes me think there should be an appeals process for single star reviews. Talk about bogus. if you find who did it, let me know. I’ll do the holdin’ whilst you so the slappin’.


  6. Pingback: Negativity Versus Negative Review | Dark cargo

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