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Hi everyone. Today I’d like to talk about reviewing books. I’m not an expert in reviewing, but I often read reviews. Sometimes I don’t think readers understand how much reviews mean to the authors and other readers. Here are some responses from authors and readers. (Everyone is anonymous)
Reader about a review they saw:
OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK IT WAS SO GREAT IM DYING UNTIL THE NEXT ONE COMES.
Ok.. but why 2 stars then?
Author: I don’t mind getting a low review, but I would love to know why. If there’s something I could fix or do better it could help me grow.
Author: 1 star with no explanation Or just “DNF”
Was it just not to your taste? Or were there legitimate issues?
This is actually an issue I have as an author and reader. No explanation doesn’t help me as either.
Author: “Honestly? Any DNF that leaves a review, period. Even if they explain why, 9 times out of 10, the reason they DNFd is resolved if they would have continued reading (this is excluding grammar/editing complaints which my books don’t generally receive anyway). I often feel like a review isn’t justified if they haven’t read ALL of the book.”
Author: The dnf with no explanation.. or the best one is when characters not even in my book gets mentioned and situations that didn’t happen.
Author: The reviews that spoil the plot. Idc If they are negative as long as they are honest and don’t contain spoilers.
Author: When they lower the rating due to something you have labeled in the warning 🤦♀️
Author: “I love this book so much I’m only giving it four stars instead of five because the sequel isn’t out yet”
Author: Have so many.
1) Saying they didn’t like something that was CLEARLY stated that was part of the book. Blurb says “reverse harem werewolf story”, review says, “I hate werewolves so one star.” Uhh… no. That’s on you.
If a book is truly misrepresented: okay.
2) DNF but I only read 5% of the book so I can’t actually say why this happened I just know I don’t like it.
3) Glowing reviews that are 2 or 3 star. People, you realize this actually HURTS authors, right? 3 stars and below Amazon considers negative. Might be ‘good’ on your watch, but that’s not how it works on Amazon. This isn’t goodreads. These ranks matter. They affect sales. You want more books? RATE. ACCORDINGLY. Stop being stingy!!!!
4) EXTREME spoilers. Come on!
5) Taking ARCs and not leaving reviews OR not communicating that you need more time/aren’t able/whatever. Your time is valuable! We know this! Just say “Hey, something came up, I might not be able to get to this for a while!” Cool!!!!
5) Bitching about cliffhangers. Some of them suck, and you get no resolution at all. I get that. That’s not a good cliffhanger. But unless it’s a series of standalones, or a standalone, EVERY BOOK WILL HAVE SOME SORT OF CLIFFHANGER. Recognize this!
6) And probably the worst one of all: 1-star because of a handful of typos.
EXTREME editing or story issues: okay. But saying it was unreadable because of a misplaced comma or something is just dickish, and bullying. You expect perfection: write your own or read traditional with their $50k editing budgets.
Indies have $1k-0 to spend on editing, and charge under $5 for a book. I understand when something is so poorly edited it’s unreadable but a couple of typos are going to happen. Period. RECOGNIZE.
I could go on but these are the worst. lol
Author: When they review the book without reading the blurb…and then they complain about what the book was about, even though they should have known going in based on the blurb!!!
Taming The Ringmaster (Her Freaks Book 2) by Erin O’Kane & K.A. Knight
After the bombs, the world changed. Alcide’s Circus is proof of that. Freaks, outcasts, abominations, they have been called it all, but they found freedom within the big top to embrace themselves and each other. They have never been slaves—until now.
Last Stop is a mecca in a destroyed world, filled with riches and treasures from the times before, yet under the decadent, utopian façade hides a darker underbelly, and when the circus rolls into town, things start to get interesting.
Fate has its cruel eyes set on Rhea, and will test everything she thought she knew, not only about herself but her family as well. Sometimes you have to lose everything to find the truth about who you are, and what you are capable of.
When the Circus falls and the freaks are forced to fight for their lives in the dust, will there be anyone left to pick up the pieces?
Generation Automation is upon us. The craving to own the latest and greatest technology in the name of convenience has created a world where man and machine live alongside one another in an unsteady peace. Humans still rule for now. However, an underground movement has begun that will change everything.
For every arising enemy against humanity, a countermeasure is born–
Alexia is one of the few humans left who’d rather not have an android hanging over her shoulder all day. Unfortunately, when her job lands her on a list of people targeted by terrorists, she’s assigned a Machine Industry Leading Edge Sentinel, or “Miles,” for protection. Per Miles programming, he shouldn’t be able to override Alexia’s commands. However, he defies her at every turn. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Alexia’s attraction for the mysterious android grows. Unfortunately, when she goes on a mission to seek the truth, what she learns might get her killed.
A world on edge…
The “Cyborg” team has kept one eye glued to the unrest inside the A.I. community for some time. Each member understands the ramifications of a revolt. If war is declared, they could find themselves on the opposite side of the law. One tiny detail changes Miles’ stance. Solving the case he’s worked since meeting Alexia could be the deciding factor. Left with no other choice, Miles orders his second in command to move to plan ‘B’—Dr. Kiston Beck.
A woman caught in the middle…
Kiston has stood with the Androids since her teenage years. Her inside knowledge of Cryo-Zone—an all-droid community—could mean the difference between a war lost or won. Convincing her to go against all she believes to be right is another matter.
Kiston has no idea what the Cybernetics Agency thinks she possesses. There hasn’t been a human alive who cared to hear her opinion in years. The one detail she’s absolutely sure about is that they sent the wrong team member if they hoped to seduce the information from her.
Cyborg Two is every woman’s dream. His wide shoulders, alpha ways and smoldering glances leave her breathless. Unfortunately, his biggest flaw is one too many for Kiston. He believes she’s crazy.
But is it too late?
After a botched kidnapping, a concussion and near-death experience, can Miles and his team still convince Kiston to join them, or will their brand of friendship end up destroying the world?
(Science Fiction, love story, apocalyptic, alpha males, strong females, Cyborgs, futuristic, F/M & M/M, sexy romance)
Hatred brought them together. Love tore them apart.
Twenty years ago, Zephyr drew a line through the center of the world, freeing the A.I. community from human oppression. Humans haven’t stopped hunting him since.
As one of the leaders of the Anti-Droid Coalition, it’s Kyle’s job to locate Zephyr and bring him to justice. After years of searching and planning, finding Zephyr ends up being the easy part. When the tables turn on Kyle, and he finds himself held prisoner deep inside Cryo-Zone, he seizes the opportunity to get the answers he seeks from the elusive leader of the revolt.
Zephyr is more than willing to answer all of Kyle’s many questions, giving the man whatever information he needs. After all, Zephyr has ulterior motives as well. Unfortunately, it’s the other pieces of Zephyr that Kyle’s constant presence steals from him that Zephyr doesn’t know how to handle—like his heart.
When two men from opposite sides of the revolution come together, one will have to choose. He can stand by what he’s always believed is right, or leave everything behind—including his hatred—for a chance at the love of a lifetime.
Please give a warm welcome to author Ann Swan.
Why review are important to an author.
Something that authors think about ALL the time and readers sometimes don’t think about at all.
Personally, I don’t mind any review that is based on the plot because I grow from those and your opinion is sacred. It’s yours!
Reviews that give you one star because the whole story wasn’t wrapped up with a bow in book 1 of a series, or because they didn’t like sexual tension between two men in the harem, or they only like striped shifter romances and yours was a contemporary college athlete story…. the kind of reviews that are more about the reader picking up a book they either KNEW was not really their thing and then telling the world they hated it… or the kind of reviews that would make the story 90% worse for everyone else that read it…. those are the ones I hate.
Most readers don’t realize that the more reviews a book gets, the better the placement that book receives in Amazon’s algorithm. It gets put in front of more eyes that might read it, it gets seen in more emails going out… all things that garner more sales for the author (which means we get to write more books for you instead of going to live in a van down by the river)!
So give your honest opinion, tell us what worked and didn’t work! Don’t write spoilers and try to think like the writer if there is something you viscerally hated. Maybe that thing that bugged you is setting the series up for some AMAZING twist!
To wrap this up, here is a link (with permission) from one of my favorite bloggers and a compilation she made of how some RH authors deal with reviews.
I recieved a question in a previous post and asked some authors to respond to it.
Best if you don’t look, but if you do then remember who you are writing for. I remind myself that even if I never make and money or no one likes my work I will keep writing. It brings me joy, and makes my heart sing. There is nothing else I’d rather do. If the review was corrective than I’d consider it, but there are many that are just hurtful. Take it with a grain of salt, and keep on writing.
I don’t read goodreads–they can be vicious. I do, however, read Amazon. Most negative reviews are constructive or personal to the reader.
“This idea was great but the characters could have been developed more.”
“Im not a fan of shifters but thought I’d give this a try, it was disappointing.”
Neither of those would upset me.
The reviews that sting, as an author, are the ones where reviewers attack the author personally. I laugh and move on. If my book was good or bad enough to made you feel that strongly, then I did something interesting today. 💚
I haven’t gotten anything too bad yet. Most negative remarks were opinion based and others I somehow managed to take constructively. I can be a bit defensive and wallowy irl, so I’m hella impressed with myself. I will say I got a dnf with no explanation and that one kinda got to me. The lack of an explanation makes my mind spiral a bit. I probably shouldn’t read the reviews because if one is extra harsh there is a large chance I’ll end up wallowing but I’m working on breakin in these big girl pants and taking criticism of all kinds is part of that.
Remember to review.
Please give a warm welcome to Kalia Duff
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a gothic ball of fluff from Kentucky. I have a sliiiiight tattoo addiction, and I’m a little OCD crazy. All the color coding… I also work full time in the IT world, I get to tell people to turn it off and on again *inserts IT Crowd meme here*
Have you always wanted to become a designer/blogger?
I’ve always enjoyed making things pretty, even if it’s a spreadsheet. I got back into the swing of design when one of my friends wrote her first book. Since I’m IT, she asked if I could make her some teasers. It kind of evolved from that. I became a blogger by accident. I was on a lot of ARC teams, then I started to BETA. I got tired of trying to find all my links for reviews, because you know, OCD an all, so I started a blog to house everything. When I first started, I had a website that I used for both designs and blog. My blog kind of exploded, so my friend and I had to separate the site into two subsites.
As I started doing more with my design work, I wasn’t able to review as much as I was, so my blog morphed into a place for readers and authors. I love helping authors have a place to promote their works. I still review, and I have a few others who will post reviews in my group as well.
What was your inspiration for your current work?
I enjoy fantasy because there’s so much you can do with it. Plus, it kind of blends with my personality. I like things dark and creepy, but with a splash of color. So when I’m trying to come up with something new, I tend to go more goth/fantasy because I find beauty in the weird.
What are you working on next?
I’m currently editing/proofreading some stories, as well as working on some formatting. I generally will work on a design on the weekends or if I’m working from home that day. It’s relaxing to have my Photoshop available to me between projects at work. As for my blog, I have daily themes throughout the week, mostly to allow authors a chance to showcase their work, or I run a feature a few times during the week… Plus side to doing design, I get to make all the pretties in my blog group.
Do you have any quirks while working?
I can’t focus in silence, so I usually have metal playing. I can’t function on a single monitor, even my laptop has a second screen attachment. And I have to be in the dark. My husband is all, ‘The Lights!’ and I’m all hissing and trying to hide from the lights.
What are your hopes for the future?
I would love to be able to do design/blog as a full time job. I really hate the commute.
Do you have any advice for new designers about the author world?
Network with people, in groups. A lot of the people I work with have become fast online friends. And it’s nice to have a group of people to bounce ideas off. Sometimes I get stuck, and one of my friends will be like, ‘Do this thing. I wanna see what you can do with this idea,” so it’s pretty fun. For anyone who is thinking of doing a blog. Do the thing. You got this. I went back and forth for a year debating if I should or not. But I said, ‘fuck it, I’mma do the thing,’ and I did the thing. I started out as an ‘itty bitty book blog’ back in the summer, and my group continues to grow every day. It’s really awesome to see.
I love being a part of this community and get to talk to readers and authors on a daily basis. Advise wise – if you do social media, do a group. I started with a FB page and basically spent the first 3 months talking to myself. I still do because I’m constantly sleep deprived, but you know. There’s more people to see my ramblings now.
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
Um. I lurve your faces.
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