Apr 30 2019

Zero Lines Crossed #Writing One-Star #BookReviews as an #Author #AtoZChallenge

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. And an extra big thanks to those who commented on my blog, or at least read these tips. Stay tuned next week for the REFLECTIONS post.

#AtoZChallenge #Writing #BookReviews as an #Author ~ meme from Pinterest

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 Z
is for Zero Lines Crossed

While it is okay to write a negative book review, there are lines that should not be crossed. Avoid putting any of the following into a review:

  • Obscenities
  • Privacy violations
  • Threats
  • Libelous allegations (something damaging to a reputation)
  • Harassment
  • Inflammatory or violent comments

Why would you even consider taking the time to write a one-star review? Because it will help you grow as an author.

Improve your writing meme ~ Zero lines crossed #Writing One-Star #BookReviews as an #Author #AtoZChallenge

Even if you opt to keep it to yourself, or send it to the author directly, it still gives you a chance to learn. Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you love.

There is an example of a one-star review in my book. (The reviewed book doesn’t exist.)

As authors, we’re especially inclined to avoid writing one or two-stars book reviews. We appreciate how much time and effort it takes to put a book out there. The lowest one I’ve ever written was because a book was a work of flat-out plagiarism. (The book has since been removed from all sale sites.)

It’s hard to not find at least one nice thing to say. Should you spare the feelings of a fellow author, or save the time of fellow readers? Will you inform the place that sells the book about a quality issue? Or do you stay silent? Everyone has to follow their heart on this. I will only tell you that, if you do write one, keep the lines crossed at ZERO.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
Question: What would you like my A to Z theme for next year to be?

— J, Co-host and Team Captain #AtoZChallenge

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Writing Book Reviews As An Author B&N Nook Goodreads image


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  1. Saying a book is great is just as useless as saying it’s rubbish. I remember the lessons from school – what went well, what could be improved, what are the themes, how are they expressed etc. The aim is to help the reader make an informed choice.

    Reading broadly will expand the reviewing skills, too. I am not a fan of romantic fiction, fantasy or paranormal, but have read (and therefore reviewed) some very good books in these genres that have been well structured and expressively written.

    Of course, personal taste plays a huge role. ‘Wolf Hall’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Pet Sematary’ for example, have both five star and one star reviews.

    Interesting post though!
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  2. We made it! Yay! Just wanted to say that.

    A book has to be (in my opinion) really good or really bad for me to write a review. Mary, who reads way more than I do (and really way more than just about everyone I know) never writes reviews, but if she likes or hates a book, I’ll hear about it. I tried to encourage her to write reviews, but…
    John Holton has this post to share ZX81 #atozchallengeMy Profile
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  3. A great reminder of lines that shouldn’t be crossed. I enjoyed your A-Z very much! I think I’ll do a folklore themed A-Z next year…
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren has this post to share Zigging and Zagging #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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  4. Well here we are again with another blog challenge under the belt. Thank you so much for co-hosting this year’s A to Z challenge, it’s been fun and informative. Some of the participant’s writing has, in my humble opinion, been excellent to say the least.
    I don’t do book reviews. Most of the stuff I read is non-fiction stuff and writing a review about such writing isn’t usually worth the effort.
    Blessings and thanks from Geoff in South Africa.

    1. It might not seem worth the effort to you. But non-fiction authors are judged by the same algorithms as fiction ones. If the reason for not writing the review is you feel the non-fiction book wasn’t well done, the research was poor, the book disorganized — than the review is worthwhile so others don’t bother to read it. If the book is good, useful, worthwhile in any way, then a review is valuable to the author so they have a better chance of selling another.
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  5. Congratulations for completing A to Z – and thanks for your review insights. Whenever I’m in the low-star review situation as a reviewer, I try to contact the author first to discuss my comments/thoughts before publishing. In fact, I try to let authors know when I post a review.
    Roland R Clarke has this post to share Azure Spark – Act OneMy Profile
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