I’ve been writing for a long time and my works have been published for quite a few years, so I believe I might be qualified to say a few things about reviews. I’ve received a fairly significant number of them through various venues and I’ve had my share of 1 Stars and acid remarks apparently meant to tear out my heart, fry it on an open bonfire and then eat it before my eyes. Yep, those reviews are real stinkers and they really make that little knot in your stomach burn.
I’m not what some would consider a good reviewer because I refuse to give a one or two star review to absolutely anything I read, no matter how badly written it might be. Perhaps you think that bad reviews are useful to potential buyers so they won’t make mistakes and buy something awful? But think of it this way, I deal mainly in electronic books and especially Kindle. With a Kindle account a sizable sample of the book is presented for the reader’s pleasure absolutely free. Not only that, they have a freaking return policy long enough for most people to buy a book, read it and then return it and get their money back. With that in mind, why would anyone need to read a bad review to decide whether or not they might enjoy the book? It’s a win-win situation for the reader, is it not?
And further still, most Indies like myself take advantage of the Amazon Prime membership and put their books up for free from time to time. It still amazes me when I get a returned book that was ‘purchase’ for $00.00!! Who would take the time? Then it occurs to me that the same person who would actually return a free book rather than simply delete it and go on with life, is the same person who would read a few pages and set to writing a screeching rant about how horrible the book was so that everyone would know how disappointed they were in their free purchase. This is sort of funny in the first place and I would question the person’s sanity in the second place.
Personally, I don’t believe anyone should push their own beliefs and/or opinions upon others in an offensive/abusive manner, especially in public and especially when it makes them sound like sour grapes. It is a well known and accepted fact that not everyone is going to like everything they read. Granted. Today I read a list of the Ten Worst Beach Reads and I was amazed at the popular names on the list, which included “Shades of Grey”! The list was made up entirely of classics and best sellers.
Some of the books on the list, I had actually tried to read myself and thought they sucked, but I did not write scathing reviews simply because I didn’t care for them. Apparently millions of other people loved them so what does my opinion matter? Not a whit. And yet, some of the books on the list I found extremely well-written and well done, but they were on the list all the same.
The old adage of “Opinions are like a**holes; everybody has one” still holds true. The problem is that some people have bigger ones than others and allow them to write reviews. 😀