Authors Getting Bad Reviews on Amazon
OH MY GOD! The unthinkable happened. I got a 3 star review for my recently released book ‘Monique’ and I was devastated. Monique came out early January on Amazon and Createspace and I was fairly pleased with the slow but positive reviews the book started getting. I joined Goodreads, which is a great community for both readers and authors to share news, in the hopes that I’d expand my network. Goodreads has been great, I love the interaction I have with people there and occasionally I’ll offer my book to another author for a review. Up until recently, that was fine, authors can be the harshest critics and I was ok with getting 4 stars as well as 5. That to me is still a good rating. Then thunder struck. I joined the list of Authors Getting Bad Reviews on Amazon. I got a 3 star review.
To make myself feel better, I did what anyone does when they’re unsure of something. I hit Google with a frenzy and looked around to see what others thought about 3 star reviews. I came across this awesome article by Teyla Rachel Branton who explains reviews in better detail and I realised I wasn’t alone. There are tons of authors – and good ones too – have received 3 and less stars for work that was probably not deserved. There’s plenty of Authors Getting Bad Reviews on Amazon so it turns out.
I don’t expect 5 stars from everyone. In fact, I quickly realised that by inviting authors on Goodreads to review my book I’m asking for unqualified people to review material they probably wouldn’t enjoy. Let’s compare apples and oranges.
Sandy is a bored housewife and loves reading gritty stuff. She picks up a copy of Monique, which is a book about a North London prostitute and she loves the story, she understands what the woman has gone through and she gives the book 5 stars because she chose to read that book and was happy it delivered the kind of story she was expecting.
Marina is an author who’s Romance book is doing ok. She joins Goodreads in order to get others to review her book and she comes across a new author called Fox Emerson. She is unlucky enough to be given a copy of his novel and has to read and review it. She hates the material, it’s far too gritty for her and she decides to give the story a 3 star review because let’s face it, prostitution really isn’t her genre.
Did Marina do wrong? Nope. Fox Emerson did by going out to a generic community and asking for a review from an unqualified reader. Fox Emerson learns his lesson by realising that Goodreads is not a good way to get reviews because you’re asking people who aren’t interested in your genre to review your book. They will base the review on whether they liked the book, not on the merit of the book itself.
I commend the strength of Authors Getting Bad Reviews on Amazon to weather the bad reviews and live off the hope of the good reviews. I guess they knew the secret long before I did; putting yourself out there comes at a cost. You have the right to enjoy the 5 star raves. You also have to have the thick skin to realise that not everyone is going to love your book. In fact, I cannot wait for my first 1 star review. That’s going to be a two bottles of Chianti night in itself.
To the reader, please go easy. If the book really is that bad, either don’t review it or try and point out the positives as well as the negatives. Tell another reader why they should or shouldn’t read the book. Point out highs and lows of the novel.
To the author, don’t despair. Bad reviews are good as they make you stronger. Be thankful you are getting read, your story is out there for others to enjoy or maybe, not enjoy.
I’m going to work really hard on Mr 303 to make it below 3 star proof. I want this book to be perfect so that it is hard to give it anything but a 4 or 5 star.
Hopefully, I won’t be in the list of Authors Getting Bad Reviews on Amazon for too long and I’ll continue to enjoy those 4’s and 5’s.
Let’s face it, the Amazon review system is fairly simple, as many others have already pointed out.
5 stars – Loved it and recommend it
4 stars – Good book, thoroughly enjoyed it
3 stars – I liked it, I won’t recommend it
2 stars – It wasn’t great, I would rather have read something else
1 star – this book sucks, I hated it