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Sunday, July 29, 2012

With some luck and time, I'll play around and try to spruce the site up a bit.

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.


  1. Very good points. Thanks for sharing your insight on this. Good information for those new to this business as well.

  2. I agree completely. There are many reviewers leaving a rating for a single title. If the person joined recently, not such a big deal (unless commenting on a new release) but, if an account had been around for an extended period of time, I would disregard any review offered.

    That being said, one person did review Hershey Falls and admitted in the post that she has never reviewed books but really felt she had to provide a few accolades in this case. It made me feel good because, from her comments, I knew she read the story and I had never heard of her. I presume she may have been someone who saw an advertisement for it somewhere along the way.

    One of the things I find really annoying: reviewers who don't provide a photo or icon. I'd like to see something to identify an account.

  3. Norma,Agreed. I to received a review from a lady who said she was never inclined to leave reviews. It's the books that only have five star reviews in a very short period of time that raises my eyebrows nowadays. And then there are no more. That to me is a serious red flag. Photos would be nice, but some folks like to keep their identity hidden.

    One other item of concern. A highschool friend helped me get into the ebook business. Sadly we pareted ways some time back because of political differences. I asked him to review Occupation. He said he didn't have the time but if I would write the review for him he would post it. Yes, I'm serious. I asked him if that was cheating. He said no. Well, I thought about it long and hard and declined the offer. It didn't feel right reviewer your own book then having someone else post it.He also removed all of his honest reviews when we parted ways. It was a sad moment, but at least I can still sleep at night knowing I wasn't providing false information.


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