Reaching for that 5 Star Review
Today, I have some questions for my fellow authors, readers, and book reviewers:
What’s in a book review?
What makes a good reviewer?
This book, By Another Name, has struck readers on a variety of personal levels:
- Were you bullied in High School?
- Were you a target of bullying?
- Did you know someone who was?
Chances are, you can answer yest to one or more of the above without blinking.
My character, Rosalee Timmons, chooses to return home with her new life and new name, to face down the demons of her past.
That said, the topic of today’s post is reviews. How to accept one, even if it’s not what you’ve hoped it would be. Do I want 5 star reviews on everything? OF COURSE. Do I receive 5 star reviews on everything? Not on my first release. My full length novel, All or Nothing, has received startling and humbling reviews thus far. I wait with bated breath to see what will happen next on that one!
It isn’t that the By Another Names reviews are saying – RUN! Don’t purchase this book! – these are carefully crafted, thoughtful, thought provoking reader reviews from people who’ve been impacted by this tale.
Case in point, I just received a 3 1/2 star review from : Manic Readers:. Of course I wanted 5 stars. Who wouldn’t? It’s these 1/2 stars that keep me guessing. Keep me reaching to write a better book. One that will go that extra mile and push it to the next level.
Conversely, I received a 4 star review from You Gotta Read Books, classified as a You Need to Read – my reviewer had some interesting points on being the brunt of bullying.
My Manic Review was written by someone who deals with bullying on a daily basis. Wow. Talk about being slayed, instantly! She wanted more interaction and explanation from Lindsay — Kade’s sister. She wanted to know WHY Lindsay chose Lee as the focus of her torments. I suppose, this is where your reviewer’s life experience weighs in to how they feel about a story. (this kind woman is a former DEAN for crying out loud! Talk about the perfect person to review this book.
So, I appreciate every word she said. I also went to the Manic Reviews site to peruse other ratings and see where this story measured. (I also stumbled on a few that I want to read, to see how I might improve my ability to pen a tale that leaves such a feeling of immense satisfaction.) After reading more reviews at Manic Readers, I also appreciate the extra half-star, and the suggestion for readers to pick it up.
So, how much do you bring to the table when you sit down to review a book? I’m guessing about as much as you take with you when you write that story. It’s about life experience seasoning your writing (or flavoring what you’re reading). And if it makes me strive to write a better book, then I appreciate every review.
Some questions to ponder:
- What are your favorite book review sites? or do you go with your gut on Amazon?
- Would you buy a book that someone else rated with a less than sparkly review?
- Have you ever slammed a book — or flung it against the wall — and then recommended readers stay away from a book? and why?