Saturday, July 17, 2010

What's the value of a review?

I've been pondering this question a lot lately. I write reviews and I'm always ecstatic to receive a great review. I've received a lot of great reviews (click HERE to read the good reviews), but recently I received a horrid review. I don't have permission from this particular reader to reprint their review, but here's the link if you're curious to read it HERE.

Maybe you're thinking I'm crazy for sharing a bad review, but I'm realistic not everyone will enjoy what I write. I don't enjoy every book I read. Even the bestselling authors get bad reviews. I've read some books that made me wonder why on earth any publisher would take the chance on the author and their book. But, even then, I would never give a review like this one because I don't see the point in belittling another author, but that's just my opinion. Not everyone shares my opinion. AND I am NOT belittling the reviewer for writing his/her opinion. Everyone's opinions are valid, including this reviewer.

What bothered me the most about the review was that the reviewer said he/she was "disappointed" in Elfin Blood and that the storyline was weak. Wow. Tough words for any author to hear. Right? There were some inaccuracies in the review about the storyline, but that was how the reader interpreted my book. So, maybe I didn't make particulars clear enough in the book. Or maybe she/he was so bored they couldn't concentrate on the content enough to discern the real aspects of the book. I'll never know.

On the heels of receiving this terrible review, I received a direct message from a reader who raved about Elfin Blood. She gave me permission to use her review, so here is a part of it:

"It is impossible not to fall in love with Gracen Miller's turn-of-phrase and excellent descriptive passages, making it easy for the reader to imagine themselves in the story experiencing what the characters themselves are seeing/feeling. A VERY dangerous talent when the reader gets to the erotic scenes.....sorry, mind wandered to Landau making love to me...again and again! Where was I? Oh yes....A definite must read for any lover of the paranormal erotic genre. The narrative sweeps you up, dialogue is snarky and sassy, the characters are so realistic it's easy to forget they are preternatural beings. In the end you WILL believe in the existence of sexy, hot vampires, elves and that jewels can sing!" (I will post full review on my website in a few days.)

Fabulous words, exciting words…but, in the back of my mind is the other review, the one that said my story was a disappointment and that the storyline was weak. And that got me to thinking, what's the value of a review? How do you—as a reader—decide if a review is relevant and when to purchase a book or not purchase a book based upon a review?

I know I have bought a book because it received a bad review just so I could form my own opinion. Sometimes I look to see how many people have reviewed it, but there are times reading one negative review skews my entire opinion of a book. Fair? No! But true.

So, tell me, how do you value a review and decide which review is the most accurate for you when deciding which books to purchase?

Thought for the Day
: Have you ever written a paragraph and thought "WOW! That was freaking awesome!" and then two paragraphs later think, "Holy smackers, that is CRAP!"?


Alisha Paige said...

I don't put much value in a review, good or bad. I love a great review but writing is art and we all know what they say about is subjective. I read your bad review and I wouldn't blink twice about an Amazon review from an unprofessional reviewer. I hate reviews; movie reviews included. In fact, if I hear a movie received a bad review, I usually think to myself..hmm..must be good then. And some of the ones with great reviews were total bombs i.m.o. It is one person's opinion and why some people feel the need to spew negativity in a public forum is beyond me. But hey, karma is a bitch. Like my mama says, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. I wouldn't worry about it, sweetie but I've received one really bad review. And yes it hurt but I never read it again and gave that reviewer the bird. Try it. You'll feel better. :)


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