A review of reviews

There has been a lot of writing on one of the blogs I follow about reviews. About how devastating it is for an author to receive a bad review, especially a new author. Some of the responses say to ignore it. Some say different strokes for different folks. Some point out how cruel it is for the reviewer to be so negative. And some say that even a bad review can generate interest.

I know for a fact that I don’t like to leave anything less than a four star review. Now that doesn’t mean I lie about a book, it just means that I won’t leave a review if I’m going to give it less than four. I don’t leave bad reviews because honestly, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. As a soon-to-be-published author, I know how much of my heart, and soul, and time goes into a book.

I do, however, think less than stellar reviews are necessary. First, if a book is really bad, as a reader I’d like to know. Second, if the reviewer is any good, they might have some constructive criticism that may help the writer with their next book.

For books that are published through any sort of press (as opposed to self-published), the book is read by at least one experienced editor. If the book was a real stinker, would it even make it pass the editor’s desk? We all know the answer is ‘yes’ because we have all read stuff before that we did not think deserved publishing.

And think about movies. Millions (and millions) of dollars go into making a movie. Hundreds of people are usually involved in the process. You would think with all that money invested and all those fingers in the pot that it would be impossible to make a stinker. But, again, we all have seen a few really bad movies.

I follow every movie I want to see on a site called rottentomatoes. I want to know what others think about a movie before I spend $$ to see it. However, I also know that my type of movie is not everyone’s cup of tea. The more action, blood, and explosions in a movie, the better. The more romance and comedic dialogue, the further down the list it goes. (Sounds strange for a romance writer, eh?) So even with a dozen or so bad reviews, a high action movie that is sitting at 50% might get my money, while I pass on a movie like Les Mis that is sitting at 70%. Even as I write this I’m contemplating seeing Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters which is sitting at 17%. Why? Because reading the comments they talk about more action than story. They also compare it to Van Helsing which I very much enjoyed.

The point is… as long as the good reviews exceed the bad, is the book still worth reading? Definitely.
If a person writes a bad review should that be the end of the author’s world or a definitive reason for you not to read? Certainly not.
Will I cry if Silver Blade receives a bad review? Certainly. Definitely. Yes.