Apr 22 2019

Skeptical #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author and Sweet Blog All About It

Skeptical #AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author and Sweet Blog All About It ~ photo By Unsplash Jon Tyson

Writing Book Reviews As An Author

Inspiration To Make It Easier

By: J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter S
is for skeptical and sweet

blog all about it challenge 2019

Today’s post will discuss one reason why a less-than-five-stars review isn’t the worst thing. (Next week, for Z, there will be a post about 1 and 2 stars reviews.)

What if disliking a book is what stops you from reviewing it? Consider that it’s possible that what you don’t like will be the very thing that someone else is looking for in a book. (Perhaps you found it too sad, but someone else is looking for books that will give them a good cry. Or the romance is too sweet for your jaded tastes, but perfect for others.)

The number of reviews, including the bad ones, makes a difference. Why? Because a book with two hundred five-stars glowing reviews, and nothing ranked lower, makes people skeptical. There’s no book that every reader thinks is perfect. Therefore, even a negative review might turn out to be not so bad. Just keep it respectful.

Consider this marketing psychology: “Four out of five dentists recommend this brand.” Why does that sell better and appeal more than saying most dentists, all dentists, or even just dentists? Because people are skeptical. When the word “most” comes up, people question how many. With the word “all,” people doubt it’s true. If there’s no number or amount at all, people consider that only two dentists are needed to make the word plural. That’s how it is with book reviews. People expect there’s going to be at least one reader who found some reason not to like the book. When it comes to writing book reviews, sweet honesty is best.

Reviews are life preservers thrown to indie and traditional published authors alike. It is, after all, one thing to sell a book, but quite another to get someone to read it and then provide feedback. Not to mention, there are some promotional sites for authors that will only accept a book with a certain number of reviews. Getting the first twenty or fifty reviews has never been more important. That’s why leaving a review is such a sweet act.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Question: When you come across a book that has only five-stars reviews, do you trust that or question it?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

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  1. When I see all five-star reviews, I just assume that it is in the early marketing stages where all the reviews were written by friends of the author 😀 So yeah, skeptical is good.
    My other tactic is to look at the worst (one star, zero stars) reviews, and see what specifically they hated – because sometimes those are the things I like (e.g. “too many Latin words”).

    The Multicolored Diary
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  2. I agree. I certainly don’t trust books that only have good review, for the very reason you say.
    Besides, if a 1-star review is a considerate one, it is as useful as a 5-star. I receved a 2-star review on my book once that I charished even more than other glowing reviews. It was so clear that the reviewer read the book and closely considered it. He even had lots of good things to say, but there was one thing he really didn’t like and it explained why in a respectful and considerate way. In spite of the rating, I considre that review a good one.
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  3. Writing a “bad” review is hard – but does come with benefits even for the reviewer. Amazon takes down reviews of people who are “too closely related” sometimes. They define the relationship. But if you review everything, all the time, including leaving one-stars, they put you into a “professional” category and leave the five stars alone.

    Help everyone reach the magic 50.

  4. Thank You, J, for being part of the A2Z Team. It’s been a lot of fun!

  5. I absolutely question books with only raving reviews. Great post!
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren has this post to share Something Local #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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