Dilemma of Modern Writing – Reviews

With self-publishing becoming a regular occurrence, one method Authors are using is to review each other to promote their books.  It should be a good way to promote their works, but is it?

Before exchanging reviews I think it wise to ask a few questions – especially on how a person might review a genre/story they have no interest in or even dislike the topic.  Some will review on the content as it pertains to the genre.  Others will simply give a bad review for this simple reason – they don’t like it.

An example for me was in child-rearing subjects.  As my own children are grown and I don’t always necessarily agree with how children are being raised, I could easily bash these books.  I don’t.  I don’t even give negative opinions if I disagree unless it was something that stretches my credibility to its’ limits.  I will give a fair review of format/content/grammar and spelling. It may not be raving comments but it will be a 5 star rating if deserved.

I have exchanged books with a number of authors.  Most have been fair, even though they aren’t necessarily ‘romance’ readers.  But some have been so far from what the good reviews are, I question why.  How can that be possible unless they are judging the book on content they dislike?

I recently read Twenty Weeks by Melisa Hamling.  It was an excellent YA novel and extremely well written. It however deals with controversial subjects.  Although she has received raving reviews, she has received a few reviews that are obviously on the opposite side of her opinions.  But these reviewers didn’t consider this was a fiction work and Melisa in no way was preachy or ‘telling’.  Her characters were believable and acted in a manner teens often do. Their choices could logically go either way and Melisa revealed that very well.

My advice is to make sure other authors will give a fair review of your work, not the content.  Today’s opinions are very heated.  This could lead to that terrible thing a writer would fear above all else – Freedom of Speech – if we continue to bash opposite views.

Once Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. ForbesOne Dance with a Stranger has received excellent reviews, but a few haven’t (only by other authors) when it comes to other Authors reviewing your work. Readers are giving it a good review.

5 thoughts on “Dilemma of Modern Writing – Reviews

  1. Controversy makes for interesting conversation. Personal opinions are perfectly acceptable, but should be stated as such. ‘I didn’t appreciate this book because ….(add personal opinion here)’ – then get back on track as to the pull of the story and how it is written.
    I think that is the purpose of reviews. 50 Shades of Grey has bad reviews, and many 1 star ratings, and that leaves me knowing that it is not a book I will buy. Even given the subject though, had the reviews, writing, and star system combined been fantastic, I may have been a buyer.

    • I agree. I did buy 50 Shades. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish it. It is not well-written. The content is a real problem with regards to women’s rights and all we have accomplished. The hero is mean and the heroine is a meek passive who needs counselling desperately. That is my opinion. 🙂

  2. Great Article. I would to add that there has become a disturbing trend that goes along with the review heavy market. There have been a few small collectives of people that will attack Authors through reviews. Some do it just because they can, some are connected to an author of a similar genre. Some are predators that use this form of attack to actually discredit an author before they hack into and steal the work. It started on social book sites like Goodreads, but as there is no requirements to buy a book to review it on sites like Amazon, it has spread.

  3. Yes, it appears whatever a person attempts there to do there are people who might attempt to harm rather than encourage. As writer’s we have enough experiences with it and maybe we are supposed to in order to understand the human nature as every writer should? It is a lesson in our path to success. Good luck and know if you are happy with your results that is all that matters.. 🙂

  4. No, you can’t get a review all those places, on blogs and such, if you write anything epic, or very unusual. They don’t say no. You just never hear from them. Now, authors who review other authors are taking a whole lot of flack. They bought the book. They read the book. But they’re “authors,” not “customers.” How dare they write a review, like they’re actually ‘people?’ “Everyone go vote all that cheater’s reviews down. Then we’ll add some bad ones and vote them all up and ‘fix that author.’” This is what has happened with reviews on Amazon and why nearly every author I chat with frequently will not be putting books in Amazon Select again.

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