This post was inspired by Shannon Thompson’s.
Apparently there are authors out there who don’t want readers posting reviews that are less than 4 or 5 stars. This is something that I don’t understand because it is pure deception and doesn’t allow readers neither a fair nor balanced view of the book. Low-star ratings are not inherently bad. 3 star ratings sometimes inform my decision over whether or not I should buy a book a lot better than 4 or 5 star ratings. 4 or 5 star ratings have the potential to be heavily biased by only pontificating on what that reader loved, instead of pointing out weaknesses in the book. In fact, a small amount of my 5 star ratings for When Stars Die do manage to point out a few weaknesses, but the weaknesses were apparently not enough to knock it down a star. But most 4 or 5 star ratings are not going to be this way. For me, I only give 5 star ratings to books that are flawless with no visible weaknesses that I can find. If they aren’t flawless, they’re usually 4 or 4.5 stars. If they don’t hold my interest as much as they should, they’re usually 3 stars, if they’re outright dull, 2 stars, and if they’re just plain bad in both writing and story, a 1 star. But since I am an inherently picky reader, very few books score below 4 stars for me.
In any case, one of my reviewers did give When Stars Die a 2 star rating. She was even gracious enough to ask me if she should post it. You know what I told her? I told her she should because I don’t want to censor her opinion of the book. She did all that work of reading the book for me, a book she didn’t enjoy, that she has every right to post her opinion on it. I have zero right to censor that, none whatsoever. I want people to be able to read her opinion and decide whether or not the book is for them. Sometimes the things that readers don’t like in their reviews are things that I like. For example, some readers don’t like overly emotional characters. I love overly emotional characters mostly because I am an overly emotional person, so I relate best to those types of characters. And I will admit that Amelia is a very, very emotional character, but it’s because part of her is borne from me.
To not allow people to post reviews lower than 4 suggests that the author has little confidence in him/herself or his/her work. Not all low-star ratings are nasty or snarky, either. I tend to ignore the snarky ratings because they’re just plain rude. Some low-star ratings are, in fact, very polite and critical and have a certain amount of sensitivity toward the author of the work. Some readers who write low-star ratings also want the writer of the book to become better. I had a 3 star review, and I frankly loved that review because there was so much sensitivity toward me and the writer of the review knows I am only going to continue to grow as a writer. I was touched by it.
The point is that low-star ratings are not inherently bad. They don’t have to be.
So what do you think about this trend of not posting any ratings below 4 or 5 stars?
In other news…
I have also been gathering up all my reviews and guest posts and putting them on one page on my website. You can find all of those here. In fact, I still have more to come, and I will hopefully continue to have more coming my way.
Here is an awesome review from one of my e-ARC readers named Jordan. It’s very detailed and analytical, which is why I’m posting it here.
Also, do not forget that I am giving away a Game of Thrones book box set via Rafflecopter.
You can also vote for your favorite book cover. The winning author will receive a small promotional package that includes an author/book feature on varying blogs and a Twitter interview done by my assistant (Mariah Wilson) and I.
There is a lot that will be happening between now and the release date of When Stars Die, so keep your eyes peeled! Also, enjoy this screen cap of my Twitter interview with #WritersKaboodle.