Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tip O'Day #280 - Bad Reviews from Mean People

Guest blogger Deborah J. Hughes on reviews.

Although authors can get friends and family to write a review, I'm thinking it isn't as easy as they think. In my case, the ones who wrote a review genuinely liked the book. For those who didn't think the story was their cup of tea, they chose not to review it. That doesn't mean the reviews written by those who did like it should be dismissed, however.

As for me, I won't buy a book that hasn't been reviewed. I don't pay attention to 1 and 2 star reviews. Even the really bad books deserve some credit for being written (it's not easy to write a book!) and I think people who give 1 and 2 stars are just being mean. If you have real issues with a book, personally contact the author and tell them what bothered you; give them a chance to decide if they agree and fix the issues.

Dixon says: When I’m asked to review a book, I explain my procedures to the author. If I feel the book is worthy of 4 or 5 stars, I’ll post that review without any discussion. If I think it deserves 3 stars or less, I’ll forward my review to the author for his or her consideration. Some writers are happy with any reviews, no matter how negative, whereas other authors feel a review of 3 stars or less can hurt future sales. Since I am also an author, I think it’s a professional courtesy to allow the book’s writer to decide whether or not to publish the review.


  1. I write humor short stories and have been selling my ebooks fairly well, but no one reviews them. I realize humor is different for everyone, but if people did not buy books because of the absence of reviews, I wouldn't sell any.

    Here is a free coupon for my book on Smashwords; please do me the honor of being the first to review it. Thank you. JC34M
    Margaret Sleasman

  2. I almost quit writing because my first review was from a librarian. The librarian said my children's mystery was: dull, boring, and drivel. I let another librarian read it and she said it was misunderstood. Her review was that it was perfect for the age group it was intended for.
    My own father said I might be able to write for children, but I would never be able to write for adults.
    You want to honor and respect peoples opinions of your work, but as Dixon says: Do them the common courtesy of explaining what the issues are, so they can fix them.