My recent blog on reviewing received nasty feedback, one comment so bad that Blogspot censored it without printing. Since then, I’ve kept my blogs as non-controversial as possible. I’ve bravely decided to revisit the issue in question—bad reviews.
As a writer who’s been on the receiving end of a bad review or two, I must admit that despite knowing everyone receives them, even the most popular writers of the day, I nevertheless take them to heart and agonize over every one. And then get over it.
My request to reviewers is this: If you hate my writing so much that you feel the need to give it a one or two star review, please take the time to tell me why you didn’t like the book. While authors understand their work cannot be everyone’s favorite read, most of us will take criticism with an open mind and use it to improve our writing.
The thing that incited a near blog-comment riot was my frustration with reviewers who leave a bad review without reading the entire book. It is my personal policy not to leave a review for a book I don’t finish. My detractors, unfortunately, found one that I had done a while back (I’d forgotten about it), and called me a hypocrite. They got me on that, but I did put into the review what I didn’t like and why I didn’t finish the book.
I rarely leave negative reviews on books I don’t finish because my taste is rather narrow—I only read suspense and there are many things I don’t like in a suspense novel, e.g. a focus on drug crimes, gangs and super complicated conspiracy theories, to name a few. This is singularly my own prejudice, so I’m reticent to cut down an author for their inclusion.
My one exception to this rule, and I feel the need to mention it in the event I come under the microscope again, is for the authors I read regularly. Top-ten authors whose works I follow religiously, will get a candid review from me, whether I finish the book or not. Although it’s unusual when I don’t finish a book written by a favorite author.
I’m kind to new authors. Downloading many of the free suspense books available daily on Amazon, I find few to my liking, often only reading a few chapters. I don’t leave reviews on them. Maybe I should, but that’s what I do. I have found a few real gems in the free collections, and when I discover one of them I take the time to leave a review on both Amazon and Goodreads.
Thanks for reading. Come visit me on my blog at http://marlamadison.blogspot.com or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
She’s Not There, available at http://amzn.to/mQebPH