Here you go; something we all want. Five-star reviews for our books. But what do readers think when they see all fives on a review? Or a review that is amazing and awesome, but so vague, one has to wonder whether or not the reviewer actually read the title.
Readers will probably think Mom and sis did a lot of reviews.
And we want more than that, right? We don’t ask for someone’s opinion so that they can tell us what we want to hear.
I’ve noticed in the inspirational community, we truly encourage each other. A multi-pubbed author might offer to read a work and help a newbie on their way. I have to think that makes our community a very special one. No, I don’t to think it; I know it. I see the acts of kindness every day in many ways. Client A who has been waiting ten years to get a contract will help Client B, who just signed with me, and gets offered a two-book deal at a much-coveted house, to get his or her edits ready in time. Client B might then go on to help Client A clean up her proposal, her last chapters, whatever it takes to get her novel ready.
However, and this is an issue that stands out to me as a negative within the community, when asked for a review, too many of us, and most of us have done it, will give a review that should probably be a 4-star review, five stars. Why? There’s no one answer, but my gut tells me that it’s because we are an encouraging bunch. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
It’s not hurting feelings, it’s being honest. The author learns from constructive criticism, or should. We all should. Just having smoke blown up our tights doesn’t help us to grow as writers. Crit partners start us out, and reviewing readers keep us going.
I did have to laugh over the review of one book I read. The reviewer praised the author up and down, and then gave her a three. Really? How did that happen? The reviewer complained that there was a “religious” thread in the book. IT WAS LOVE INSPIRED! Really, what did she expect? But the fact was, she tried to let her true feelings be known, silly as that comment was. The truth is what teaches us, nurtures us, guides us.
What type of reviews do you do? Have you seen? Have you endured???