Book advertisements are everywhere. They flood your social media accounts all day long. And if the author is a big name, like James Patterson, you might even see a commercial for whatever new release that author has coming out.
Something about the book catches your attention. The cover, the blurb, or maybe it’s an author you’ve read before and you just enjoy their work. Whatever the reason, you go out and buy the book. (And we thank you for that!)
A day or so later, maybe a couple weeks later you sit down and read that book. Then you get to the end and the author asks for one more thing—a review. You LOVED the book, so sure, you’ll go out and post a review.
But what if you HATED the book? Or it just wasn’t one of your favorites? Or maybe it was just okay?
Do you still leave a review?
The other day I was on Facebook and another author asked this very question. Except they were asking as one author to another.
To me, the short answer is yes. I don’t believe it should make a difference if you’re a reader or an author. No matter what—You. Leave. A. Review.
Sadly, there were a lot of authors that disagreed with me. Most of the responses I read stated that if they couldn’t leave a 5 star review, then they didn’t leave a review at all.
That’s more harmful than helpful.
We all know that reviews don’t just help with ranking for both the author and the book, but they also help readers. The problem is that there is an assumption that a bad review will turn readers away. This isn’t necessarily true.
Just look at E.L. James. The writing was atrocious. Not to mention all the negativity garnered from those who practice BDSM. If that doesn’t make you think, then take a look at the reviews. At least 27% of those who reviewed the first book rated it 3 stars or less. Yet the author still sold millions of books, plus got all three books turned into movies.
Still not convinced?
Okay, then think about it like this. Traffic is moving slow on the highway. You have no idea why until about two miles later where you see a car pulled off to the side of the road. On the other side of that vehicle, everything is moving at normal speed. Why was it slow to begin with?
Because it is in our nature as humans to LOOK. We absolutely, positively must slow down to see what is going on.
The same is true for a negative review. We stop and we read the review. Are you convinced by one bad review that a book isn’t good? Or do you check out another review? And maybe a third review? After all, can it be THAT bad when it looks so good?
If that ONE review is the only bad review you see, I guarantee you’re going to buy that book if everything else about the book appeals to you. Because you absolutely have to decide for yourself.
It’s just that simple.