By Patricia Zick @PCZick
I’ve been posting Book Review Friday for several months, although in recent weeks, I haven’t been that regular with my postings. I hope that changes as the cooler weather approaches, and I spend more time inside in quieter pursuits such as reading.
I think about reviews, both those I write and those I receive for my own books. Often, reviewers will post a review on a book they didn’t/couldn’t finish and give the book a 1- or 2-star rating. That’s unfair and mean-spirited. I received a 3-star rating the other day, but the reviewer only had good things to say about my book. When I look at the reviews of books I want to read, I usually disregard the 5-star ratings and the lowest ratings. Somewhere in the middle lies the most honest and fair of reviews.
I review books in the genres I most enjoy: historical fiction, women’s literature, environmental fiction and nonfiction, family sagas, paranormal, and sometimes, mysteries and thrillers. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at times by reading outside of my chosen genres.
I won’t review a book if I think it deserves anything below a “3” rating. I know how important reviews are to Indie Authors, and I don’t want to be the one to write a poor review. If the book is poorly executed, it will take care of itself. I don’t give a rating on my blog, but I try to give a thorough review of the book through my perspective. Reviews are entirely subjective. I do post reviews to Amazon and Goodreads and give it the required rating there.
I believe reviews should tell readers what is good or bad or what may need improvement. A review is not a rehashing of the plot. Reviews need not be long either. If an author is particularly descriptive, I might provide a short excerpt to show readers what they can expect from that writer. In my reviews, I try to give enough information so the reader can make an informed decision about reading the book. I usually make a recommendation, but I provide a reason why I’m making it. For example, I might write, “If you like a nail-biting, cliff-hanging book, you’ll be thrilled with this book.”
It is still a good idea for readers to read the sample of a book provided on Amazon. I often download samples to my Kindle before I make a purchase. And read the description of the book. You’ll be able to garner plenty of information about the book and its author since most of those descriptions, especially Indie books, are written by the author.
I started promoting other fellow writers and their work earlier this year. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made as an Indie Author. I’ve met some new friends, and I’ve read some amazing books. There’s a tremendous amount of talent out there, and I’m happy to be able to promote it as best I can.
What’s been your experience with reviews – either giving or receiving? I’m always eager to learn how others approach writing them and dealing with them.