The Author's Guide to Reviews

Before I begin, don't forget about the Aberration Blog Hop which will be held on June 6th and 7th to celebrate the release of my second book!  Prizes, people!  There will be prizes!  Go here to sign up.

And now for today's topic, The Author's Guide to Reviews

The Incredibly Awesome Review.  This is the 4 or 5 star where the person has only great things to say about your book.  They loved it.  They've put a great deal of thought into writing their review and even the things that they may have taken issue with are put forth tactfully and constructively so that you find yourself nodding along and saying, "That's a fair assessment."  These are reviews that put you on Cloud 9 for the rest of your week.

The Short but Sweet.  It accompanies 4 or 5 stars and goes a little something like this:  "This book was great!"

The Token Jealous Author Review.  This is a low-star review that is usually scathing and calls into question not just the skills of the author but the mental competence of the publisher for publishing your book.  It is usually posted under only a first name or some other clever name so that you can't Google the person and find out who they really are.  The reviewer has usually joined the review site within the last 1-3 months and yours is the only book they've reviewed--or it is one of only 3-5 books they've read and/or reviewed.  Finally, the writing, grammar and punctuation are perfect.  I suspect that these are from another writer who actually knows you and may even be friendly with you, and they are in a jealous rage that you've been published (to good reviews no less) while they're still languishing at some pre-publication stage.

The Inexplicable Shitty 4 Star:  The reviewer gives you 4 stars which is great!  But then they have nothing positive whatsoever to say about your book.  They go on at length for several paragraphs about what an awful book you've written.

The I Never Read Books In Your Genre But I Read Yours and It Wasn't So Great Review.  This is usually a mid to low star review wherein the reader prefaces the review by saying they never, ever read books in the same genre as your book, whether it's romance, mystery, YA, fantasy, etc.  Right up front they say that they don't even like books in your genre.  But for some reason they've given you a chance, and although your book wasn't totally horrible, it did not live up to their expectations.  It was kind of sucky.

The I Usually Don't Read Books In Your Genre But I Really Liked Yours.  Usually 4 or 5 stars wherein the reviewer talks about how pleasantly surprised they were to pick up a book in a genre they don't normally read and enjoy it thoroughly.

The I Didn't Like This One but I'll Give You The Benefit of The Doubt Review.  This is usually a 3 star review where the person did not really connect to your book but they recognize that you've got some talent, and they'd be willing to read another book by you to see if that one resonates with them.

The I Got Nothing Out of This Reading Experience Review.  This is a 1 or 2 star review where the reviewer basically says that your book didn't change their life, cure their incurable disease, transform their world or catapult them into some other intellectual stratosphere--even though your book never purported to do any of those things.  They are apparently of the opinion that reading for entertainment is a complete waste of time, and that all books should be life-changing on an unimaginably grand scale.  Damn you for writing such a droll and pointless book.

The Personal Attack Review.  This is pretty self-explanatory.  The reviewer focuses less on the actual book and more on what a waste of a human being you are for writing anything at all, ever--even your name.  These reviewers are of the opinion that you pretty much should not be allowed to exist.  And oh yeah, your book sucked too.  They wouldn't even use its pages to wipe their asses in an emergency, it's so awful.

The Passive Aggressive Review.  This is a mid star review by someone you actually know--a friend or relative you don't see very often, a former co-worker or school mate.  They read your book to be supportive of your writing career but they're very sorry to inform you that your book sucks.  Inexplicably, they actually will be able to look you in the eye the next time they see you.

The It's Not You, It's Me Review.  This reviewer usually gives you 3 stars and simply says that they just didn't get what you were trying to do.  They just never got into the book.  They tried.  They wanted to--really badly--but they were never sucked in.  They recognize that the book has merit, it just wasn't for them.

The Plot Recap Review.  This review says absolutely nothing about the merits of the book.  All it does is tell you what the plot was which you could get just by reading the book's synopsis.  It gives no indication as to whether the reviewer liked the book or not or what the reviewer thought about it.  The only indication you will get is the number of stars that accompany this review.  So you could end up with a 1 star or a 5 star (or anywhere in between) but no explanation why, only a recap of what happened in your book.

What do you think?  Did I miss any?


  1. The last one amuses me.
    Jealous author one star rating - I've had those - and probably a couple reviews as well.
    The four star bashing is the one that confuses me. I ended up with one from another author and he was upset I wasn't thrilled with his review. (It was an editorial on everything wrong with one positive line at the end.) But if I'd just read that review, I wouldn't even want to read my own book!

  2. Oh my God, this is so friggin' funny! because, you know, I think I've gotten all of these. I've even given a few of them. You so totally nailed it!!

    I never get why reviewers do a recap. I haven't had the jealous one yet, but I did a get a 5-star passive aggressive one from a friend. And I just gave Cassie the Not My Genre But I Loved It one because I DID!!!

    You are too intuitive, my dear!

  3. This is an awesome summation. You missed one though. The "I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK. IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR!" 3 star. Yes, that's right, 3 stars for the book of the year. :)
    That's my second favorite, my first fav, of course, is the "I Never Read Books In Your Genre But I Read Yours and It Wasn't So Great Review."

  4. What about the "Totally Wrong Review" = someone reviewed my suspense novel set in Bulgaria and declared that I was one of the greatest modern day Jewish authors. I won't complain about the 5 star ranking, but seriously, what was he smoking?

  5. Is there a 'Revenge Review'? Related to the Jealous Author Review, but triggered by a less-than-glittering review you did of their book, only far, far worse, and far less honest.

    Apparently there's also a new one, the One Star Protest Review. There's a guy (an author) who was leaving one star reviews on other people's books on Amazon in protest of Amazon's review policies. He's doing this in response to "Didn't Read the Book but I'm Reviewing it Anyway" Reviews.

  6. Pretty much, yes. I got one review where I was so 'shallow'. The next day another one said how I was so 'deep'. The same book. lol Lately, I quit reading them.

  7. Hahaha - Loved this post.
    Wishing you only reviews of the 5-star variety. ;)

  8. This made me laugh. My favorite one was the "passive-aggressive" review.

  9. Excellent list, but you forgot the 2 star grammar error filled review that slams your writing as amateur.

    And the one star, I was bored so I didn't finish review.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts