What I'm writing: Chapter 21
First -- anyone in Central Florida -- tomorrow's the panel discussion & book signing at Urban Think! Bookstore. Check my Sept. 11th post for more info.
I've been thinking about book reviews lately. This isn't about dealing with good or bad reviews, but more with the ways different review sites approach reviewing. I'm inviting everyone to share a comment and add to the discussion.
I'm curious, and full of questions. What do you look for when you read an on-line review? Do you rely on certain sites over others? Why? If a review is filled with typos and grammatical errors, does that bother you? Most of these on-line sites rely on readers, not writers, and isn't it about pleasing the reader, whether or not they can express themselves? Or should their reviews be edited for "quality" before being posted?
I've noticed that some reviewers spend 90% of the review summarizing the story with a line or two of their own feelings at the end. Others paint a more specific picture with things that they liked or where things fell apart for them. Some sites won't print anything other than favorable reviews.
But what is favorable? Many sites have a ranking system, usually in the 1-5 range. Often, however, I've read numerous reviews and could find nothing in them that indicated why the reviewer chose to give one book a "3" or "4" and another a "5". To read the review without the rank, I'd be hard-pressed to tell which the reviewer liked better, and why. These, of course are great for authors, because they can snag a positive statement for their promotion and nobody need know the overall score was less than stellar.
And what about sites that don't rank reviews at all? Is that a better system?I'd love your opinions here.