Welcome to my new feature – TWG’s Wondering Wednesday! First new feature of 2017 and what a topic to kick it off with. Trust me to be a tad difficult, eh!
The topic for today’s Wondering Wednesday is: How far is TOO far when reviewing ‘honestly’?
We all know that most authors appreciate honest and constructive reviews. We all know how important a review is to an author (if you don’t: reviewing on Amazon raises the authors profile and allows more people to see their books once a certain number of reviews have been posted. More reviews = more sales = more chance of the book going on a promotion at some stage).
We also know that there are people out there who like to write a review which personally insults the author. We also know that there are people out there who choose to review with a negative comment, without elaborating on their point.
For example: ‘I hated this book’ or ‘Worst book I have ever read, the author clearly has no idea what they’re doing’.
Some bloggers do not review a book on their blog if it ends up being less than a three star rating. Is that a bad thing? No, it’s their blog, it’s their prerogative. I know that several authors feel that a three star rating isn’t great, when according to Goodreads and Amazon, a three star rating is still ‘okay’.
I have read several books which I felt only deserved a one or two star rating, I didn’t review them on my blog yet I still voiced my opinion in the correct way, via the correct channel. Did I lay into the author because I rated their book low? No, why would I. Was I going to wave the two star rating in front of their face? No, I was not. That is the difference between reviewing constructively, and reviewing destructively. Plus, no two readers ever read the same story.
I’m being serious!
If two people sat down and read Angela Clarke’s – Trust Me, and were brought to a discussion afterwards, both readers would have their own interpretation of the storyline and how it affected them. That is also another reason why reviews are important; because they’re varied, and one person’s loss is another person’s gain.
Now, back to my original topic. So far in this post I have discussed how important reviews are, as well as the different styles of reviews that can be posted. My inspiration for writing this post was down to reading a couple of posts on social media recently. Within the past month or so, I have seen the topic of ‘honest reviews’ crop up more than once, with some authors stating that a one star review isn’t ‘honest’, or how a three star, constructive review can warrant rudeness. What surprised me the most was how, as bloggers/reviewers, we are always being asked for HONEST reviews, yet when an honest review is posted in a constructive manner, it’s being deemed as dishonest and giving people like ‘me’, a bad name. Why? Because the blogger was honest and constructive yet didn’t rate it five stars, they apparently don’t write honest reviews?
Not only that, bloggers are getting asked to change the star ratings that they gave as the author(s) doesn’t like it. This is where I am extremely confused. Fair enough if a review was posted in a rude, disruptive manner, then yes be annoyed. You can still dislike a book, or parts of a book, and keep your manners at the same time. It’s not hard.
But when a reviewer writes their review honestly, stating what they liked or disliked, as well the reasons why they felt that way – how is that worthy of rudeness and being labelled as dishonest?
Let me just clarify one thing; I know full well the lengths in which authors go to when writing their novels. The blood, sweat, tears, insomnia and so on. A book which took a reader to finish in 3 hours, could have taken an author 6 months – a year to write. I know that negative reviews can be detrimental to an author if they’re gone about in completely the wrong way. Yet the majority of authors appreciate honest feedback if the reader has gone about it in the RIGHT way. I am in awe of authors, and it does annoy me when reviews get far too personal. There is no need for it.
Please don’t think I am ignorant to the above facts, at all. I’m not. I just want to know how far is too far before you’re considered a dishonest reviewer? Although, judging by certain posts on social media recently, it doesn’t seem to be too far!
I know a lot of bloggers; they’re all exceptional at what they do, they’re constructive yet if they dislike a book, they won’t parade it around like the latest ‘wanted’ gadget. Why? Because they’re respectful.
Let me know your thoughts!
Have you ever been called a dishonest blogger/reviewer because you rated less than five stars? Have you ever been asked to change your rating because the author didn’t like it? Have you ever received rude manners after writing a three star review? Have you ever received good feedback after posting a highly constructive review?
If you have any topics you wish TWG to wonder on a Wednesday, let me know. I do like to talk!