Question: How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
As an author and a book blogger, I know how important reviews are for people. I am constantly begging people who read my book (soon to be plural) to leave a review. With the algorithms on Amazon, the only way to move your book is to have reviews. That being said, I know that a bad review could kill a new author’s book quickly.
Every review that I do, even if I love the book, I try to find at least something that could be improved. This shows a balance in the review process. That way if the negative review I have can be equalized by finding wonderful things about the book, I will leave and post the review.
If I find that I need to leave a negative review, I will email that review to the author and advise them that I don’t want to post the review. Most respect and thank me for that. They are getting legitimate feedback, but they aren’t having their book annihilated.
It did back fire once. I admit I am not a huge sci-fi novel fan. I have no probelm with the trope, please do not beat me up, I watch it all the time. Hell, one of my favorite shows is Ancient Aliens…. I just can’t read it. My imagination only does fantasy (past-ish), past and present so I can’t sink into them… I can’t and I don’t review them because of it.
In fact after this incident, if I don’t like the genre, I won’t review it… I digress… I do that….
An author asked if I would review their sci-fi book. I told him I wasn’t a fan of sci-fi, but he insisted. So I read it. It was slow, overly descriptive I didn’t get the science and I hated it. I gave it to a friend who does read sci-fi, too slow; to descriptive; they hated the plot; they hated the science etc. etc.
I sent him an email and said I didn’t want to post it and he cussed me up one side and down another. Ok so I sent him the review he proceeded to tell me just what I could do with my review and I clearly didn’t understand sci-fi.
So what do my fellow authors and bloggers have to say?
Jo Linsdell @ www.JoLinsdell.com
This is always a tricky subject as I’m both an author and a book blogger. I therefore find myself on both sides of the fence.
As an author, I know how much work goes into producing a book. I also know how important a role reviews play in the algorithms that help sell books. The star ratings on books on sites like Amazon for example make a huge difference in how much Amazon promotes your book. That said, once you publish a book you have to accept the fact that no book is for everyone and that sooner or later the odds are you’ll receive a negative review at some point in your career.
As a book blogger and reviewer I know how important it is to be completely honest in your review. Readers need to be able to trust your recommendations and that means telling the good and the bad about the books you read.
Personally I will only post a review if I can say something good about the book. This doesn’t mean I won’t let people know what I didn’t like, it just means I try to make sure it’s not all negative. If I can’t think of anything nice to say about it I won’t post a review for it.
I think it’s important to remember, both as an author and a book blogger, that a review is that reader’s personal opinion. It doesn’t necessarily mean the book is bad. It just means that the book wasn’t right for them.
Kate @ Bitch Bookshelf www.bitchbookshelf.com
I have so many thoughts on this one. If I didn’t enjoy a book, I might still give it an “okay” review. There are so many factors that influence how I view a book. If it’s a bestseller and I thought it was garbage, I won’t hesitate to say so. However, I know the work it takes to publish an indie book, which might lead to little profit for the author, so I hate to rip them apart. Especially if someone asked me to review a book for them, I likely will share why I didn’t like it, but still rate it at three stars if I was able to finish it and make sure to hype up what I did enjoy about that book. I understand the struggle.
That being said, I rarely continue reading books I dislike. I usually do not finish (DNF) them. I’ve started to share DNF reviews on my blog, including what I disliked about the book. I’m only going to do this if I find a book to be problematic or somehow overrated. Finally, I rarely hate-read books, but if I do it’s a book that has already done well on the market, so I don’t mind tearing it to shreds in a review.
Eline @ Lovely Audiobooks
When I started book blogging, I didn’t know anything about self-publishing. I thought books were a product of huge publishing companies that many people were involved with, not one author’s baby. And that made it easy to write critical reviews.
Over time, I got to know more and more authors and learned about indie publishing. And while I am aware how important negative reviews are for book buyers (and support authors as well, I have bought many books specifically for the reasons that people criticized in their reviews), I have decided that I rather focus on book
recommendations on my blog.
That went hand-in-hand with me DNFing more. I now try to use my time only for books I enjoy and want to recommend to others. If a book doesn’t grab me right away, I put it away.
So many books, so little time!
Kaili @ www.owlbookworld.com
When I first started book blogging I think I was a lot easier when it came to reviewing books. I hated giving out bad reviews especially if it’s by an author that’s not really well known. Now I’m starting to realize that some books just really aren’t for everyone and even negative reviews can be a bit helpful. They are ways to help the author actually improve on their work. That is if they actually look at the reviews.
To kind of answer the question a little better I think negative reviews can at times be just as important as a positive review. For one having negative reviews shows that the author isn’t buying reviews so it looks like their book is really good. On top of that if the author pays attention to reviews then it could potentially help them get better!
Kelsey There’s Something About KM
While I obviously prefer writing positive reviews, I feel just fine writing negative reviews. I try to be as objective as possible in both types, so that my audience can really make up their own minds about whether or not the book would be for them. I think I’ve been able to stave off any potential pressure or hesitant feelings about negative reviews because I’m selective about which books I request to review, and don’t approve review requests from authors whose genres I’m not interested in (reading a genre I don’t necessarily enjoy is not a great way to start the process of reading for a review).
Vidya @ LadyInReadWrites
While I obviously prefer writing positive reviews, I feel just fine writing negative reviews. I try to be as objective as possible in both types, so that my audience can really make up their own minds about whether or not the book would be for them.
I think I’ve been able to stave off any potential pressure or hesitant feelings about negative reviews because I’m selective about which books I request to review, and don’t approve review requests from authors whose genres I’m not interested in (reading a genre I don’t necessarily enjoy is not a great way to start the process of reading for a review).
So, what do you think about negative reviews
Let us know in the comments below. Until next time remember
To walk without dreams is to walk blind
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