I thought long and hard about sharing this post and decided it needed to be addressed.
The Five Star Review
Earlier this week I received a five star rating for the current work Occupation. Needless to say, I was really pleased until I saw who provided the flowing rating. Now most of us would rejoice, throw high fives, call a friend or even pop a top to complete the celebration. Of the four, which one do you think I chose? Nope, I chose the fifth option, I called the reviewer. I honestly believe he was going to enjoy our conversation as I thanked him for the rating. Not the case. Before he could say "Hi" I asked him one question, "Did you actually read the book?" You could hear the crickets in the background. Slowly the words were nervously being developed. "Ah.......No?" "Just as I thought. You gave a five star rating and didn't read it? Unacceptable!"
Does this seem a little harsh? Maybe. Was I searching for the truth? Absolutely. Look, we all see the posts and hear of the unwarranted and slanted reviews friends and family are providing authors to assist in pushing the book and making it look good. Maybe I'm from the old school. If it's good, it's good. If it's bad, so be it. I would rather receive an honest two star or three star review pointing out areas that need correcting. In fact, I received a three star this week on a book. Did I wilt and hide under the covers because the reader found something wrong with the book? No. I sent a message looking for clarification. If I agree with the reviewer, I will take it into consideration on the next work. If not, I shall continue forward with the same style. The point here, is, if we don't get honest reviews, readers will pick it up in a heartbeat and believe me, they will not be talking about the good points or the story. Instead, they will be accuse the other reviewers of being "homers." I know. I've read a few books of late that glowed with accolades and congratulations on the work. After reading it, I was still scratching my head trying to figure out if we read the same book. I then went back and started looking at other books the reviewers had rated. I was shock (at first) to see for the most part, it was the first review they ever posted. Yep, there's a fox in the chicken house and he's going to get his fill.
The bottom line, we need honest, insightful and yes, critical reviews when warranted. Readers will acknowledge and identify honest reviews and be more willing to hit the buy button. Oh, did the reviewer take down the five star rating? Yes.