You might think you need a degree in symbology or semantics to understand what the hell your book reviews reveal about your novels, but fear not lads and ladies, I’ve put a good half hour of research into some of my own books’ critical reviews and come up with
practically no all the answers.
For starters, the star rating means different things to different people on different days. Do not attempt to find any correlation between high ratings and postive reviews (or vice versa). Sometimes the most critical reviews lie in ambush under a five star rating and likewise, a three star rating can often be accompanied by the most glowing review. Do not try to make sense of this – that way madness lies!
However, by using some examples from my own Amazon customer reviews (which I usually read with one eye through a tiny gap in my fingers) I’ve put together a highly scientific system of categorization to make things a little easier. Strap yourselves in!
1. The Back-handed Compliment Review
“If you are looking for literture for the ages, this isnt it. However, if you are looking to settle back in your favorite reading chair with a cup of hot tea and some lemon cookies for a delightful afternoon of light reading, this book is your ticket. I thoroughly enjoyed it!”
2. The Passive-Aggressive Review
“The story is readable. A good ‘waiting time’ read.”
“Easy & light summer read.”
3. The Least Said, Soonest Mended Review
4. The Insult
“Fair warning. I have better things to do with my time!”
“The cover art was the best part of this book in my opinion.”
5. The Have-They-Even-Read-The-Book Review
“Once you get past the fowl language and depravity”
(Fowl language? I don’t remember any poultry featuring in that book…)
6. The Angry Review
“THIS ITEM HAS NOT ARRIVED ON MY KINDLE, ALTHOUGH THE MONEY HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM MY ACCOUNT !!!!”
So, what I think what we’ve all learned here today is that reviews can be confusing, but let’s be honest, we wouldn’t have them any other way, right?! Short, long, cogent or rambling, we love to read them – so please keep writing them 😉
9 thoughts on “Shooting Stars”
How bizarre, makes you wonder which book they were reading!
The ‘fowl’ one also featured some spectacularly homophobic comments, which I complained to Amazon about but apparently they’re cool with it and won’t take it down. Go figure!
You made my day. I especially liked “once you get past the depravity”. I think the passive-aggressive reviews are probably the most common. I hate U I love U.
Haha! Perfect song choice. Actually, what a cool way to leave reviews, with a song 🙂
Haha, great post. As an author, I sometimes find reviews confusing and as a reader, even more so.
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!
Fabulous post. I don’t get many reviews and unless somebody alerts me to them, I don’t read them, but I remember my first one-star one when somebody said that they hated the book and had only read it because they were stuck on a plane with nothing else to read. At this point in life, with the huge number of unread books I have in my Kindle, I could travel across the universe and never run out of reading material… I also love the ones where readers complain about something from the content of the book that was clearly stated in the description. But yes, let them talk about me…
Good luck with your next review, Evie!
Oh I try not to read them Olga, but it’s just an elaborate pretense I play with myself because I know I’m going to look in the end!! I’m just too curious for my own good. But I often wonder if these reviewers simply assume the author will never see it? I think that must be the case, especially for those really harsh ones. But I think you just have to find the humour in it – laugh or cry, right?! Thanks 🙂