Wednesday, April 03, 2013

How many stars...? Online reviews.

All authors love great reviews that give us four or five stars and we truly appreciate any reader who leaves an honest and thoughtful review, even if the book wasn't to their taste. Word of mouth is what makes a book fly.

But there are moments when a writer just wants to beat her head against her desk.

This morning I had an "alert" for my book Dangerous Flirtation at Barnes and Noble. I clicked to see what it was about and discovered I had three new reviews. Two were five star. Great.  Well, not so great, actually. They weren't reviews at all, but a couple who appeared to be using my book page as a contact site to fix up an illicit date - no doubt inspired by the book's title. :)  Interesting. A story idea...

But then, someone who objected to them using the review system as a dating site, ticked them off. To do that, she had to give the book a "star" - you can't leave a comment without one. Since she hadn't read the book, didn't give a hoot about the author, or the fact that writing happened to be the way she paid the bills, she casually gave it a 1 star review just so that she could make her point. This is like giving a coffee shop a bad review because you didn't like the customers sitting at the next table.

Instead of having no reviews - no problem - I now had three non-reviews that made the book look like a 3 star read.

Reviews are for those who have read the book and have something specific to say about it, even if it's just that they hated it. For everything else there is a button on the site specifically designed for reporting this kind of inappropriate use of a review site.

I've just used it. Three times.




3 comments:

Becky Black said...

Oh, wow, Liz, that's a new one. People are just nuts.

Liz Fielding said...

Aren't they just? I was wondering why they'd picked on me, but then the penny dropped. The title...

TashNz said...

Oh my gosh Liz, that's crazy! And yes, there's got to be a brilliant story idea in there somehow!