Paranormal Romance Guild Home Forums Reviews Book Reviews and Why We Need Them

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sharon Buchbinder 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #1551

    Sharon Buchbinder
    Participant

    My name is Sharon Buchbinder and I am a Review-Aholic. My friends warned me. They said, don’t read them, they’ll make you go mad. But I didn’t listen. I thought I could, you know, just take a little peek. But one peek led to another, and the next thing I knew, I was glued to the computer, reading every single review of my books, alternating between rage, despair and happy dancing. I can quit any time I want…or should I? What do you appreciate MOST about reviews and what do you appreciate the LEAST about reviews?

    #2542

    Christina Quinn
    Participant

    I love reviews! I’m one of those people who gets a good one and they squeal with glee–and then they get a bad one and cry for an hour with a bottle of moscato.

    Reviews are important, they show you how your audience is reacting to your work. I don’t think you should quit reading your reviews–but I’m an enabler.

    That being said those reviews where the person obviously didn’t read the book or review it like it was something it wasn’t trying to be, can take a flying leap so to say.

    A good example of this (and please don’t run away or scream at me) is Fifty Shades of Grey, a lot of individuals review it and complain about the simplistic style or the flat characters etc, as though E.L. James set out to write the greatest novel of her generation. That being said there are plenty of things wrong with that book (Though admittedly it is a guilty pleasure read of mine that I have buried in the back of a collection on my kindle called “Norse Mythology”) but for what it is it’s far from the worst out there when it comes to Alpha holes and the chicks that dig them.

    So yes, reviews are great and helpful–even the bad ones–as long as they’re actually reviewing the work for what it is.

    Then again, my debut Paranormal Romance about Vampire Ballet Dancers into BDSM was called “Worse than Fifty Shades of Grey” and when I read it I wanted to make a t-shirt and wear it–after the hour of crying and drinking a bottle of Bella Bolle Pink Moscato.

    #2544

    Sharon Buchbinder
    Participant

    Hi Christina–

    Thanks for joining us here! Ouch, that must have hurt. But you got up and went and wrote some more–after a few adult beverages. 😉 I think that’s the key. Read, reflect, (DRINK), get back to work.

    My “favorite” one so far (paraphrasing): I didn’t read the blurb. If I had known the book was about the BIBLE, I would have never read this [SACRILEGIOUS] book. When I started reading the book, I hated it, so I didn’t finish. Here’s my 1 star.

    So, there’s that. LOL!

    I do pay attention to the rule of threes. If 3 reviewers say the same thing about my craft or structure, I pay attention. I found with the same “sacrilegious” book noted above that SCI/FI readers had no trouble with the time shifts between Biblical and contemporary times. Romance readers found it jarring. So, I need to work on that with my next book which will revolve around events during WWII.

    Have a great day. Stay safe and warm.

    Sharon

    #5556

    Lee Ann
    Participant

    I appreciate all reviews, even the bad ones so long as they’re well-written. A review that simply says “I hated it” helps no one, but explaining why they didn’t like it can help the author fix plot issues, typos, etc that they might have missed in the editing stage.

    A personal bugbear is when people rate but don’t review. Seeing a rated review for, say, 2 stars, with no review explaining why is frustrating 😀

    #5557

    Sharon Buchbinder
    Participant

    I agree, Lee Ann. Another bug bear for me is the fact that GoodReads allows people to post a rating without a review. At least on Amazon, you are required to write a few words. The trolls on GR who randomly put 1 Star ratings are infuriating. It’s a game for them, I think, trying to bait authors into an argument. It’s one of the reasons I rarely go to GR.

    Sharon

    #5558

    Sharon Buchbinder
    Participant

    Hi Lee Ann–

    GoodReads (or as I like to call it, BadReads) is full of trolls who like to randomly give books 1 star. I think it’s a game for them, attempting to bait authors into arguments. At least Amazon requires you to put a few words down!

    Sharon

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