Haterade Drinking Reviewers

I woke up this morning to a very upset author. This happens every now and then, their written work is like their baby and they care about it so I would equal insulting their work to someone insulting their child. It hurts a lot. I really do believe that places like Amazon and B&N and Smashwords should take away the ability to give reviews based on how much of a relevance rating they have. It would be a very useful tool. Some people take the power they’re given and wield it like complete idiots.

We all have done book reports as children. We all know you talk about the book and then give your view on it. What happened when you just said it sucked? Or if you said this sucked and that sucked? Your teacher would ask you why right? Well if they didn’t they should have!

If I read a review and it just says “The plot sucked, the characters didn’t seem real and you should skip this one.” Do you think I’m going to listen to you? NO! You gave me no hardcore evidence. It’s just a series of your opinions. You don’t sound professional at all! Actually you sound like a jerk. What I do when I face a review like that is I’ll ignore it, mark it as not helpful and go read the sample myself. Then I’ll go do an actualy HELPFUL review where even if I didn’t like it, I would tactfully say why and then go into things I did like about it. There’s always gotta be something you liked about a book even if you’re battling to get to the end. Otherwise you’d just drop it. No sense in wasting your time and if you didn’t finish the book, no need to review is there? You didn’t finish the book!

This is honestly senseless people. There is a code of conduct for reviewers and reviews. If you’re going to do a review at least stay professional about it. I’m saying be honest but at least be respectful.

Misty graduated from Capital University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature. She is an avid reader and is the owner of The Top Shelf

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Misty

Misty graduated from Capital University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature. She is an avid reader and is the owner of The Top Shelf

  • MrsDash

    I agree Misty. I do the same thing when I look at reviews… I weed out anything that cant tell me WHY. Right now I am reading a hard core si-fi novel. I am NOT a fan of Si-Fi. I find all the alien names and places confusing for my little blonde head. LOL… but, the book is well written! Just as one of the book I read last week.. alot of erotic gay scenes. Loved the plot, the characters, but it is my own mind that puts negativity on a book. With that said, I try never to let my own personal negativity interfere with a review I write. So, you are very right, structure, flow, descriptiveness, plot, ect…. those can be critiqued… not the emotions or lack-of that a book pulls from our own psyche. Your post should be on the headers of any bookseller that invites a critique of an author as thier rule-of-thumb!!

  • Well thought out post, Misty. I agree for the most part. I do think if someone tried to slog through a book and couldn’t finish it, it’s okay to review as long as they say why they were unable to finish. If they couldn’t connect to the characters or they found a huge, gaping plot hole. The first reason is subjective and prospective readers will know that just because one person couldn’t connect doesn’t mean they won’t. The second reason is objective. A plot hole is a plot hole. However, some may find that even with a flaw in the plot, the characters and premise might capitvate them so much that they want to read the book anyway.

    • That is very true Mary. I personally try to always fight through till the end. I always try to figure out the why and how of it all before I go making judgements. Sometimes I’ll even chat with the author. That’s one thing about indie authors that I love. You can shoot them an email and they’re always very happy to answer you.

  • Nicely put Misty. I try, when doing reviews to put specifically what I didn’t like, but always put it’s my opinion. I also tend to put the things people might be offended by, and point out what ages I think are most appropriate for a certain book. There have been times, where a book was so messed up, that I gave the author the option of my posting the review as I saw it, or not. Both times they chose to not have a review rather than have a negative review. But I always let it be known, that it’s strictly my opinion.

  • Jan Brown

    I actually discussed a book with an indie author before I put my review out on it because of that it made sense why I had a hard time getting into the first couple of chapters before the book hooked me and had me hanging on to the end. The next book in the series was pretty darn good and i’m looking forward to the next one. I was glad I pushed on through and had talked to the indie author. I’ve even bought a couple more of this person’s books that are different from the series books. I try to be honest but not ugly or hateful like some can be.

  • Samantha Fury

    Hey Misty, I had a bad review this week, and I’m pretty sure the lady didn’t read past chapter 14. I know we put our babies out there, and love them, but I wonder is it really a good thing that we put much into reviews.

    What one person loves another person will hate. So I never just take one person’s review, I go with the majority. If one person says they hate something really it only makes me look closer at something.

    It makes me ask does this person really know what they’re talking about or not.

    Just one authors two cents.

  • I wish there was some way to know if the reviewer actually READ the book. For what Misty describes, I don’t think they did. I know the author and the book she’s referring to, and they have no idea what the book’s even about, from their comment. The plot had many twists and turns and the characters were a little on the snarky side at times, just like in real life.

    Those reviews, though, keep authors humble. When I read reviews, I go to the low numbered ones to see what the gripes are (the higher ones can be friends and family). If they’re what’s described in Misty’s post, I ignore them…no information and it sounds more like sour grapes of another author being moved down in rank.

    • OH…and GREAT POST, MISTY!!! I’ve been doing a lot of that lately…forgetting to add things to comments. 🙂

  • linda quick

    Great thread. Whenever I post a review, I try to be concrete about what I liked or didn’t like (with kindness). I think it’s possible to identify a negative without being hurtful. If a book is so bad that i just can’t manage that, then I pass on reviewing it.

    This is a great reminder of the impact it can have on an individual’s career and life.

  • Great post, Misty. There’s no need to be mean when reviewing. I’m sure we all grew up hearing adults tell us, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” If you can’t connect with a book, say so and say it nicely. No need to attack the author. All reviews are subjective. Certain genres don’t appeal to me. That doesn’t mean that I think all books in those genres “suck.” Sometimes I think people set up fake accounts to trash certain books. Recently I saw a book review (not for one of mine) that said the book was bad, don’t buy it. Next day the reviewer had actually edited the review and said it was the worst book and don’t waste a penny on it. The reviewer wrote it all in caps the second time. I checked and this person did not use their real name and this was the only review they’d ever posted. This is not only suspect, it’s an abuse of the system. I wish there were a way keep this kind of thing from happening. Sadly, there are a lot “haterade drinking” reviewers out there.

  • linda quick

    you are so right, Misty. Thanks for saying it!