I fuss about them. I wait anxiously for them. I hold my breath as my computer connects to the site, wondering what I’ll find when I get there. What am I talking about?

Reviews.

Yep those little blurbs that come with numbered stars (or ribbons or books or tombs). I read them ALL. And of course I have to swallow my pride when the review is less than stellar. I mean come on. I wrote it and subbed it to my editor believing the readers would really enjoy the story. My editor worked hard fixing it here, tightening it there so it would be the best it could possibly be when it went out into the world. Publishers certainly don’t give contracts to books that they believe wouldn’t appeal to their readers. So the long and the short … I want my story to be loved.

With 10 books out in the world I’ve had my fair share of reviews and they’ve run the gamet from amazing “top picks” to the “don’t bothers”. And the funny thing is they can be for the same book. Sometimes, like scores from a contest, I learn something from the reviewer. They have a very valid point about the plot or a particular character. I really don’t mind those reviews.

But I currently have a review out that’s a 1 out of a possible 5. And the comment? “I didn’t read this book, but the cover is the same as XYZ author’s cover”. Whaaat? I have no say on my covers. That’s not my fault. Fortunately several people marked the comment as “not helpful” which I appreciated. Another low score I got was at a site where the reviewer stated “I’ve never read erotica, but there seemed to be an awful lot of sex in the middle of a good story.” I’ll let you be the judge of THAT review.

Some authors are better than I, they don’t read their reviews. I’m not at that point yet. I scour every single one of them and take every one of them to heart. But here’s the funny thing. I don’t RELY on them to help me discover new authors. When looking for a great read, I don’t ever go to review sites to see what they have to say. I buy my books based on the author and/or the back cover blurb. Period.

Which brings me to this question … How do you feel about reviews? Do they influence you to either buy the book or put it down and back away slowly? Because you know me … I’m always curious about this stuff. 

0 Responses to Reviewing Opinions

  • I base most of my decision for purchasing a book on the cover, the back blurb and history with the author. If it is a new to me author, I might crack open the book and read the first couple of pages just to see if the writting style is something that I like or that doesn’t turn me off. I do like to look at reviews to see what other’s think after the fact. I do think it’s irresponsible of anyone to review a book on their blog or site and state that they didn’t even read the book…why bother to make a comment then about the book and not just make an entry that addresses the company’s habit of using the same cover for different books, I wouldn’t have a problem with someone making a blog post about how the different publishing companies that print ebooks (such as EC and others) do their covers and whether they use multiple covers or if each book has it’s own individual cover. As far as the person who said that she had never read Erotica but was reviewing an erotic book…perhaps she needed to broaden her horizons a bit more before she gave an opinion 🙂

  • Reviews have no influence on whether or not I buy a book. I buy by author first. If it’s a new author I haven’t read, I want to read a excerpt to get a taste of that author’s writing style. If I like the style, I’ll buy the book.

    As an author, do I want good reviews? Of course I do, and I post them on my website. But the way an author writes has a much bigger impact on my wallet than a review.

    Lynn

  • Maria – I wonder if that’s how many people view the reviews, checking them out after the fact. And it would be an interesting blog post to hear how people view the ebooks with similiar stock photos on the covers.

  • Lynn – What you’ve said from the author’s perspective is so true. We want those great reviews and we’ll post them, but as a reader we don’t hold much stock in them. *sigh* Perhaps some day I’ll stop caring what they say since, as you pointed out, it doesn’t seem to matter to the book buying public.

  • I never read reviews online or anywhere else. I will check out the review in the cover of a book to find out who is promoting the book or if it is similar to something else I’ve read. I read the blurb and check out the cover, but most of the time, I will read the first page. As a writer, I look for a style that will hook me in the first three paragraphs. Tight writing and minimal descriptive lit will grab me every time.

  • Im the same way, Nina; I read ALL my reviews and hold my breath while doing it. I havent reached that stage yet where I can just shrug off a not-so-good-review. And talking about that! One of my worse reviews came from a reviewer who had ALL the characters names WRONG! Made me wonder if she even read the book. SIGH. Then, there was the review where the title was right, the review summary right, BUT….the author name (MINE!) wrong! She gave credit to another author! EEEK!!

    Will there come a day when I dont react to every review? Hmmm. I dont think so! LOL!

    Great Blog post!

    hugs, Kari Thomas, http://www.authorkari.com

  • Rachel – I didn’t mention the cover quotes, but I definitely check those out too. Though I am a little jaded when a NYT best selling author said she rarely reads the books with her quotes on them. She has a staff to do that.

  • Kari – Oh, both of those scenarios are awful. I haven’t had that specifically happen, but one reviewer did read the beginning of one of my suspense books but obviously didn’t read the end because she ranted on and on about a red herring in the plot that was supposed to throw the reader off kilter, but never really happened. Only she rated it low because she assumed it did.

    And like you … I’m not sure I’ll ever get to point in my career where I stop reading reviews, though I can always hope. 😉

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