August 25, 2016

Writing Tips (XVIII) Let’s Talk About #BookReviews Day 4

We are well over half way through “Write a book review on Amazon ” month and this week I’ve been supporting the campaign with some book reviewing themed posts.
Readers reviewers
At some point in book reviewing everyone will come across a book they really didn’t like, could you still write a review and how could you write it?
Negative and Bad Reviews
I can guarantee this is going to cause a scene.
So what do you do if you really didn’t like a book? People who slam a book and its author publically are often called Book Trolls. Like wise authors who have fans who bully anyone who dares to post a low star rated review, are also connected to the troll label. I suspect this is one of the top reasons why people fear to post a review and it damages the industry as a whole.
Firstly put yourself in the shoes of an author, someone who has toiled hard over their book, you don’t know the mountains they’ve climbed to get this far. Personal, physical, emotional mountains, how would you feel if this was your life’s work?
So you can still write a review, it will be challenging. Find points that you did like, perhaps the overall story, a strong character, a funny moment. You might have liked the first chapter, perhaps it was full of promise, even if it all went down hill from there, still say what you liked.
You can say things didn’t work for you like a fight scene or a love scene. Or you had trouble picturing the mystery building. Some fantasy and sci-fi books need to really make the reader understand new imaginary planets and realms. I once read a book which read like an arcade game with characters leaping from level to level in huge cavernous spaces, it felt 2-D and I longed for depth in the form of the descriptions and the senses, like smell and hearing.
My best advice for a book you don’t like, is LESS IS MORE. If I wrote my favourite character was the mother-in-law and she had a minor part in the book, then I’m hoping the author might pick up that the main characters hadn’t hit the mark. If I said I really like the first three chapters, then there is a hint that the rest of the book may not have lived up to my expectations. If you’ve struggled to write perhaps 10 lines then there probably wasn’t much that made you jump up and down, leave a shorter review.  However you still haven’t been rude about the book.
Ultimately the top LESS is MORE tip. If you can’t find anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. A no review speaks volumes. If you’ve been asked to write a review and really feel you can’t, be polite and say the book wasn’t for you. If you bought the book and didn’t like it, move on there are billions more books out there.
Reading Original
A little note to authors.
All authors who put there work out in the public eye, cannot reasonably expect every single person to like their work. We all read a book differently and a range of book reviews and their star ratings is a healthy thing on review sites. . . . . 
Read the rest of the post here: Rosie Amber


  1. Excellent advice both for readers/reviewers and authors!

  2. Great advice, yet. Personally, I won't review a book if I can't give it at least three stars. Even with three stars, I work to point out what I like and gently mention what did rate as high. Attacks on the book or the author are just worthless.

    1. Absolutely agree with you Mae!
      I do the same. Unfortunately, there are others out there, either authors ( hope few) or readers who have a sickening satisfaction to minimize or trample all over the book or the author. I know what I am saying. I met as such.

  3. Thanks for sharing the post Carmen and thanks for your comment ladies.

    1. You're most welcome, Rosie!
      The bad reviews topic is rather touchy but, in my opinion, we must take into consideration several aspects. I wrote a post on it some time ago. Never start an argument with the reviewer. Roll with the punch, stood up and keep writing!

  4. Really helpful post. Less is more is great advice, especially in the case of a reader not totally liking a book or it just not being down the person's alley.

    1. It's always a tricky thing wit a review. I know I'm always nervous while waiting for people to read my books and anxious to see what they say about them. When they bother themselves to write a couple of lines. They say that having a great number of reviews helps a book. As i was saying sometimes back, I often wonder.


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