So, here's the thing! In my last blog I started talking about one-star reviews and jubblys, but then got sidetracked by the Normal Distribution and investigating whether they applied to some of my favourite authors. The answer - if you were wondering - is not really! So, before you - yes you, I'm not taking the blame for everything - take me down a side road and have your wicked way with me again - I'd better talk about these terrible one-star reviews you've been getting lately! (I haven't got any, and before you rush off to rectify that, I don't want any either!)
Why would someone give your book a one-star review? Well, let's scrutinate (is that just the best word?) the possibilities. 1) It was unadulterated drivel! Oh my... (One of those three idiots in the Wizard of Oz used to say that, didn't they? Which one was it - the lion, the witch or the wardrobe - mmm!) So, you've written a book that either has no plot, boasts none-dimensional characters, you've treated the subject matter like a bull in a labyrinth, it reads like a shopping list, the spelling is atrocious, the grammar sucks, your punctuation is modelled on my blogs - Oh my... No wonder someone gave you a one-star review!
Let's examine some one-star reviews to see what motivates a person to circumnavigate the obstacles to reviewing a book! Now, I've lifted these off random fiction books from Amazon, and I hope there's no infringement of copyright, or trespass law, or squatter's rights, or whatever? And if there is, please don't sue me because I have no money, I'm just a struggling author trying to make ends meet...
I persevered with this book as I thought that somehow, somewhere, it will start to make sense and the plot will start to unfold. How utterly wrong could I be? I read this book but actually have no idea what it was about, who the main protagonists are or what the point was. Utter rubbish.
I don't usually review anything here but feel compelled to by the sheer awfulness of this book. As soon as the killer was intoduced I thought that would be stupid, that's the killer, sure enough I was right. The cops are all borderline retards FBI included. I'm a little depressed this book got published never mind sold well, I suspect the author might actually be a bit thick.
This was a horrific book with no substance, bad characters, and an ending that made no sense. Half of the book reads like bad porn and the other half is just horribly boring. None of the characters are likeable or even slightly interesting. The reviews are very misleading. I will never waste my time with this author again!
I don't even think that this was worth 49p. It wasn't even easy to read as the plot was laborious with no real reward at the end. It leapt from terribly cheesey cliched writing, to boring amounts of detail describing court cases, to wrapping up important subplots in one incidental sentence!
As far as I'm concerned, this book is just not very well written or thought out. Stilted dialogue, stereotypical characterisation, poor grammar and punctuation, all serve to disappoint from the very start. And with that in mind, as the scenarios became more ludicrous, I wondered why I was bothering to continue. I made it as far as a scene where the main character has a conversation on his mobile phone in an area that has had all radio signals blocked, then I gave up.
This is the worst book I have read for years. It is banal, the plot is lucicrous, the writing repetitive & the novel appears to be aimed at an audience aged under 12.
So, it seems to me that a book has to be pretty awful for a person to give it a one-star review. However, it should be noted that the 1* reviews quoted above are also counteracted by 5* reviews, which just proves that reviews are subjective. I suppose the trick to not getting one is to keep your drivel to yourself (not that the books from which the 1* reviews came from are drivel - I'm not qualified to make that judgement and I haven't read any of the books in question. Now, there were some interesting comments following the first part of this blog which deserve mention: 1) Readers only give reviews if they really like it or really hate it! There might be something in this. Certainly, controversial books such as Sugar & Spice by Saffina Desforges attract a large number of reviews - 127 in a couple of months (and sales - 50,000), whilst others have hardly had any - reviews or sales! 2) Reviews are subjective - one person's 5* is another person's 1*! Again, a valid argument - the amount of times some people have been surprised (on Amazon) by 5* reviews when they think the book is rubbish (and vikki verki) - books are not kettles (is that an insightful observation, or what!) 3) There are too many good books about to read rubbish books, so most reviews will be skewed towards the 5/4* - Again true! Why read something you're not enjoying (I don't) life's too damned short. What surprises me is that people persevere with a book when they're clearly not enjoying it - see the one-star reviews above! 4) As a reader, because reviews are subjective, I don't see the point in leaving a review (I'm going to throw my teddy bear into the corner!) 5) If I can't fairly give a 4 or 5* review I won't bother (you can read my books anytime). 6) I barely look at the Amazon reviews, I consider either personal recommendation or book blog reviews (so that's why authors want book blogs to review their books! I keep meaning to get some reviews don, but... See below!) 7) Average books don't motivate the reader to leave a review - I can relate to that. 8) I've downloaded two of your books, but haven't read them yet - WHAT? (That teddy bear is staying in the corner until...)
Before I sign off, let's briefly investigate the goings-on of these so-called book review sites. Now, I've listed quite a few on my page entitled Reviews, but I haven't really had time to peruse them in detail. However, a few observations: 1) If you type in the nice Mr Yahoo's engine 'Book Review Sites', you get back 'professional review sites' i.e. book reviews by professional writers and critics - they review 'proper' books! If you want sites that review 'indie books', one must type 'indie' into the engine. 2) Now, some people are doing a roaring trade in reviewing indie books, but... and here's the thing... apart from them being your average reader, what qualifies them to review books? I don't want anybody thinking that I'm having a dig or casting aspersions - nothing could be further from the truth - I see them filling a gap in the market. So, don't go grabbing my books by the dangly bits to tar and feather them! Not that you would, because you're all such nice people! 3) Most sites have a review policy, which states that reviews are unbiased, honest, and if you don't like the review - tough! Yes, I saw the tooings and froings of that author who got a bad review and then started effing and blinding at the reviewer - not really the way to go. Well, I've rambled on for far too long as usual, so I'm going to finish here, but... and here's another thing... seeing as you keep coming back to riffle through my offerings I'll write some more on Indie Book Review sites in my next blog. Later alligator!
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.