The second round of edits of Truth-Teller Revenge were due today to my outstanding editor. I sent them off at ten last night. This book will be fantastic. Krin has an even bigger role than in Truth-Teller Rebellion. I can’t wait until September to see Revenge’s cover.
Monthly Archives: July 2014
HOW MANY STARS? USEFUL AND USELESS BOOK REVIEWS.
Authors lust over getting good reader book reviews on Amazon. Good reviews help drive sales, plus it also feels good. Therefore, as a courtesy, I make an effort to review each book I read. I take this responsibility very seriously. I put a chunk of time and thought into my reviews. The hardest part, for novels, is the star rating I assign.
Fiction is subjective. I don’t have a problem giving a non-fiction book a low rating. Hey, if it has errors in fact or logic, it deserves a low rating. Fiction isn’t nearly as easy.
I typically look at a few five star, three star, and one star reviews before buying a book. Too often, I see a review that says, “I received this book free in return for an honest review. Now I don’t normally read (fill in the genre, it could be romance, sci fi, fantasy, or …).” Then why did you accept the book? Invariably the book’s given a three star rating. I mentally toss out that review. A bad or mediocre review isn’t useful unless it’s for a genre the reader enjoys.
Similarly, there are different writing styles. I don’t think my rating should reflect my like or dislike for a writing style. I started Samuel R. Delaney’s Dhalgren. I didn’t finish the first page. Many people like the book. The book has sold over a million copies and was nominated for a Nebula award. Personally, I didn’t care for its muddled stream-of-insane-consciousness writing style. Some readers have thought the same. Should I give Dhalgren a one star rating? I did hate it, but that was a reflection on my dislike for the style. I’d be rating a writing style, not the book itself, if I gave the book one star. I chose instead to simply not rate Dhalgren.
So my fiction reviews tend to be four or five stars with an occasion three stars. I focus on how imaginative the plot is, how engaging the characters are, and overall how well the book entertained me.
What are your thoughts on rating and reviewing books?