Monday, October 10, 2011

Amaz** Book Reviews

A certain gigantic on-line book seller is responsible for a new phenomenon, namely, reader-written book reviews. Many authors I know hate these Amaz** reviews; they focus on the bad ones, hardly even noticing scores of good reviews. (What is it about human nature that makes us do this? I guess that's a topic for another post.) Some authors hate them so much, they don't even read these on-line reviews any more.

As a reader, I have to say, I don't get much out of them. For every good review there seems to be a bad review that says opposite things. What a poor potential reader to do? :(

How about you? Do you read these reviews? Are they helpful?

Have you ever written any of these reviews? Why or why not?


  1. AS A READER, I glance through reviews, especially for e-books to see how other readers felt the price:quality ratio worked out for them. Occasionally, a "book" is really a short story--very short--and the price is surprisingly high. This seems to happen most with small presses. I tend avoid these ones. Otherwise, I look at one of the best reviews, one of the worst reviews, and one in the middle, but try to avoid any with spoiler alerts. I also like to see how others felt about books that I've read.

    AS AN AUTHOR, I believe all reviews are helpful, even the bad ones, because it shows me who my audience is, what they enjoyed about my work, and what they didn't like, and hopefully why they didn't like it (i.e. personal opinion about content or something I could improve upon in the execution).

    Granted, my heart still races whenever I get an update about a new review on Amazon or Goodreads because I'm immediately afraid a reader completely hated my book and is now sharing that hatred with the world. However, I appreciate that people like what they like. So long as the review doesn't attack me, the author, personally or make outrageously false claims about my work, I tend to accept even the worst reviews (right after I cry and eat some chocolate).

  2. Thanks for sharing, heidi. You have an amazing attitude about reviews of your work. Kudos. :)

  3. I don't think I could put myself out there otherwise. It's very exposing because no matter what, those characters, that setting, those plot details are all are a part of me. It's like sitting in a critique session at SHU all over again!! ;)