After reading the hoopla from this weekend <see article here> it really has me thinking about bad reviews. It’s scary to think that posting a negative opinion could open yourself up to a stranger appearing at your doorstep [Well, unless it’s Nick Bateman… in that case I hate that guy and dare him to show up ;)] This author isn’t alone (except for maybe in the stalking dept.). I’ve seen multiple authors cross boundaries over negative reviews. I’ve also see many who welcome all reviews.
Reviews are written for other readers. They shouldn’t be confused with an open letter to the author unless they are directed to them. I have to believe that “most” do not write negative reviews solely to hurt someone. I want to break out in hives when I post a negative review because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or discredit their hard work. I feel like I’m spitting on a gift when I vocalize my distaste for a book, but at the same time I want to be honest. I appreciate those who aren’t afraid to openly express their negative opinion as often as their positive one.
Good reviews can blend. How many times can you read that a book is well written, fast paced, gripping, poignant, riveting, intriguing, a real page-turner, compelling, or readable – what does that even mean? I’m guilty of writing these same reviews, but as a reader the same thing over and over can become meaningless and hold little weight. This is where negative reviews come in handy.
I’m usually pulled in by the cover & title (in case you didn’t know)… then maybe the synopsis, but if I’m still on the fence then I go to the reviews. Where do I start? The one stars and work my way up. In my opinion, they tend to be more honest, detailed, and helpful. Yes, I said helpful, and not just in determining what NOT to read. I’ve found a lot of great books based on negative reviews. I even have a couple people on my goodreads friend list because I know if they hate a book I will love it and vice versa. We all have different taste and things we look for in a book. Some care about the book boyfriends, some the prose, some strictly grammar, some have to relate to the characters, some just want the experience, and some require a HEA to enjoy a book. Like the saying goes:
There is good in negative reviews. Seeing a bad review does not steer readers away from the book. Truthfully, it probably draws them in. As a blogger (and I’m sure most will agree), a bad review will draw in far more likes and views than a good review. We are more curious about people’s criticisms over their praise. It’s just the way it is. That criticism can work in an author’s favor. For starters, it’s making the book visible to people who may not have seen it if it weren’t for that “bad” review. I personally am just as likely to buy a book based on a bad review as one based on a good review.
Here’s an example of a one-star review that will result in a purchase from me:
A bad review isn’t going to kill a career. Bashing those who picked your book out of all the books out there, and took their time to read it and write about it just may. There are authors who would love nothing more for their book to be the one chosen, and then there are others who complain about 3 star reviews (which around here is a good book). Not everyone can be on top.
It’s all about he silver linings, people!
What are your thoughts about negative reviews? Like them, love them, think they shouldn’t exist?