As an author, I realize the importance of reviews. In today’s world, more than ever, it’s how we shop. Most of us, authors I mean, cringe when we see a new one as we are ever looking for those coveted 5 star reviews and dread anything less than a 3 star.
The fact is, literary tastes are as unique as DNA, and everyone is not going to like our books. By the same token, reviewers will like different things about our work and dislike different things, and this is valuable information to authors.
While book reviews are written for readers, as authors, we just would not be smart to overlook them … especially the poor ones. That’s right, I said the 1’s and 2’s are equally as important as the glowing, sought after 5 star review. Now notice I said reviews and not ratings!
Ratings alone without any comments can be misleading to other readers and disappointing to the author whether it’s a high rating or a low rating. When I am book shopping, I always rely on reviews to help me make my decision about purchasing a book. Any book with say, 50 reviews, and they are all 5 stars sends up a red flag. I will scan through them but when it becomes obvious that they are just book reports with a rating, I lose interest.
When I look at a book and it has for example ; 45 (5) star reviews, 23 (4) star reviews, 15 (3) star reviews and 6 or 8 (1’s and 2’s) I get interested, and guess what? I read the 1’s and 2’s FIRST. If this handful of readers felt it necessary to leave a poor rating without a comment, I assume they are just being mean and I disregard it, BUT if they actually left a review, I’m all in. I want to know why you didn’t like it.
Think about it, everybody likes ice cream! But if everyone liked the same flavor, how boring would that be?
Same thing applies to the glorious 5 star! If the reviewer only saw fit to rate the title and not leave a comment, I am very disappointed. I want to know WHY you liked it so much or WHY you hated it ! SHOUT it out, tell readers what you think because in truth, that’s who you are reaching with your rating and review. Reviewers, you are writers … and people are reading your work.
C. Evenfall is the author of The Wraith of Carter’s Mill, available now on Amazon in e-book and paperback formats.