Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You Call That A Review? Really???

Book Reviews

Authors love book reviews. Not only do they help other potential readers decide if they want to read a certain book, but they also give the author feedback about their work, not to mention increase the book's rating. However, there is a difference between giving an honest review and just being rude. For instance, a fellow author just shared a post about a review that a reader left stating that they couldn't even finish her book because it made them want to vomit. Vomit? A review like this tells other readers nothing, except that the reviewer is obviously very immature and shouldn't have written it in the first place. They probably didn't have the mental capacity to even understand what they were reading, let alone give an honest review. Yet this bad 'rating/review' will be factored into the book's overall rating, not to mention ingrained in the author's mind every time she sits down to write. 

How to write a book review

Just be nice. It's not that hard for most people and can easily be faked by those who have trouble. If you didn't like a certain book, let readers, as well as the author, know why. I've left a book review for a book I wasn't able to finish and stated exactly why; the author was a rambler. She let things drag on that weren't important, and even though I enjoyed her writing style, the pace at which the story flowed was just too slow. I was honest, but not rude, and even complimented the author on what I did like about the half that I read.
I can't think of any book that would incite nausea to the point of wanting to actually vomit, so why state that in a review? And if you are someone who typically enjoys spewing hate like that, then don't leave a review. It's that simple. Not only does it waste your time and make you look ignorant, but it wastes everyone else's time who stopped to read it.

But it's my opinion

Yes, you may have strong opinions about a book, good or bad, and you have a right to express your opinion. However, you don't have a right to insult an author's work with useless, vile words. Never write a review that you wouldn't read out loud to the author's face. And if you are the type of person who would tell an author to her face that her book made you want to vomit, then you are the type of person who would do the world a greater service to just remain silent.

On the flip side, authors have NO right to contact a reviewer, comment on that review, unless the reviewer asked for an explanation or something else that would constitute a comment, or share a bad review just to ridicule the reviewer. If authors choose to read reviews, they need to do so with caution... and with tough skin. If you don't think you can handle a bad review, no matter how rude they are, then don't read them. When authors retaliate, it makes them look worse than the person who left a rude review.

As an author, reviews are important to us and we greatly appreciate those who take the time to write them. I've not gotten a bad review yet, but I know I will. Some of my favorite authors/books have gotten bad reviews—even Harry Potter *gasp*. Because of this, I've vowed not to read the bad ones. The way I see it, I'm going to write the way I write no matter what the bad reviews say, so why torture myself by reading them? But for those authors who do read them, please keep them in mind when you go to review their books. The old saying 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' is a load of crap. Words hurt, so be careful with how you use yours.

That is all.