Before we get into today’s post I wanted to share this with you!
Now back to the original post 😀
Write about the book you read – not the book you wish the author had written
I wanted to write a post about rating books. It had been on my mind for sometime now. I’m reviewing a lot of books currently and have had tons of thoughts strike me. I sometimes feel nervous about taking on books to read because I hate to discourage anyone by something I might write. I would like to be honest without being mean (even indirectly). It’s hard to find that balance.
When I write reviews I try to refrain from stating any exact things I disliked. Personally, I think if I put it out there then people will automatically read that part and go “Yes so awful.” I want people to draw their ‘own’ conclusions because reviews are personal and are not a majority mutual feeling thing. I want to write things without revealing too much. At least I try.
I state this when I don’t like something that it was a personal preference that (insert thing) wasn’t for me but I try not to go into great detail. I want other people to read this book and enjoy it. If I love something I do the same thing. Other people should be able to read the same book and have their own thoughts without being heavily influenced by someone else.
I guess that might make the review seem soft or held back but publishing takes courage. I respect authors for their hard work and always keep in mind the authors feelings and never attack them. I want to write about the book I read. Something I read when I was researching how to write reviews when I first started doing them really stuck with me. “Write about the book you read – not the book you wish the author had written.”
I remember that each time I read a book. This author has their own style, story and way of doing things. It might not be how I like things or the way I would do it but its not my book / story it’s theirs. I try to remember that when I read any book or review it.
I also wish instead of having to rate books on sites we could simply post the review. Maybe instead of leaving a number we could simply like the review its self. Do you think that would be better? I dislike having to rate books on sites. I feel that sometimes my write up might not match the rating I gave it which opens a whole new can of worms. People can really take to heart the number and not the words.
I tend to trust the words more, I read 3 – 7 reviews usually to get an idea of a book. It helps me draw a conclusion on whether this book could be for me and I make sure to always choose the book based on my thoughts at the end. Some people are mean and rate books awful – for no reason! I’ve seen it countless times and the book is actually very good.
I try to give everything a chance and then I’ll never wonder what if even with books.
I asked on the Facebook page the following questions: What’s your thoughts on rating? How does it affect your choices? Does a 3 make the book poor? Does a 5 make the book sound too perfect?
Here’s what some awesome people said,
Shannon Thompson said “When it comes to buying books, I rarely read reviews. I’m the type of consumer who reads the back of the book and a couple chapters in. If I like it, I keep reading. Of course there are exceptions. I believe reviews are really helpful for many readers and writers.”
Aracely Patino Moreno said “I do pay attention to the number rating, but I also read as to why. I have rated a book a three and still liked the premise of the book and still appreciated the journey the writer was taking us on. But when giving a low number I explain myself and I try to do it withing the first sentence.”
Keisha Rector Carpenter said “I always rate books after reading. When looking for something new to read I do tend to go by the ratings, but if the book has more good ratings I usually overlook the negative ones. I don’t think a 3 rating is a poor rating. When I rate a book a 5, those are usually the ones I love to reread.”
Laura Grody said “Hi Ky. Interesting question. For me personally, if I’m looking to buy a book, it’s more of the volume and average as far as rating numbers go. If a whole lot of people have given a book 4 and 5 stars, that’s a pretty good indication it’s gonna be good. But I don’t just go by the numbers. I always read a few reviews and look at what they say about it specifically. I look at the nature of comments they make. Sometimes someone who rates with a 3 might not ‘get’ something in the story that others did who rated it higher. And some 5 star ratings might have a review that’s just fluff. So, the ‘stars’ might mesmerize me and draw me in at first, but the specific comments people make are what might determine whether or not I’ll buy it. Hope that helps…”
Melanie Bingle Marsh said “I have more trouble rating a book than I do reviewing it! Sometimes there is no way to balance the like/dislike ideas into a number. I don’t want to give the wrong impression of the book either. Just bc I give it 3 stars doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad book. It also doesn’t mean it was a good book. If the story is good, but the writing is terrible or vice versa, that’s what gives me trouble. Just my thoughts.”
Shannon Thompson said “I totally agree with Melanie Bingle Marsh. Wouldn’t it be great if more websites supported writing reviews without requiring a 1-5 star rating?”
Mariah E. Wilson said “We have the unfortunate reality of living in an hypersensitive, easily offended, over the top butt hurt society. People are coddled. They don’t want to hear that their book was good, they want to hear that it was the BEST thing you ever read. They don’t want to hear that it had flaws, they want to hear that it was PERFECTION. I think a 3 is a good rating. It offers constructive criticism (hello, room to grow) as well as what was liked about the book. Who doesn’t want praise AND a few pointers? And I don’t think it should be expected that people ask the author before posting a review. It’s a published work, it’s out in the world. There is nothing they can do to change it now so let it go and learn from it.”
Kristen Duvall said “Reviews are for the readers to discover books they will enjoy NOT boost careers or stroke writer’s egos. Not everyone is going to like a person’s work and when you put it out there, expect that you won’t please everyone. Reviews should be honest and if we all only post 5 star reviews, the rating system will lose meaning and hurt all indie authors because readers won’t know who to trust. When you put your work out there, you open yourself up to criticism. That’s all part of being a writer. Learn to live with it.”
Val Vogel said “At the schools, the auditors used “two stars and a wish”, with teachers! Two positives to every one thing that could be improved, I guess was the idea. Oh well. We’ll keep encouraging and inspiring one another, except when we don’t… That’s life? :)”