The ongoing struggle with writing and publishing a book continues across the board, no matter what genre you write in. But, there is a growing concern that reviews are adding more controversy than actually doing what they are supposed to be doing. Honest reviews should contain the person’s opinion about the book they have read. Now we are seeing 5 star reviews from review exchange sites. 1 and 2 star reviews from attackers. Somewhere in the middle (3 and 4 star reviews) seem so far to be mixed into the norm. These are the reviews I tend to go by if I see an astounding amount of 5 stars and attacks of 1 stars with hatred. We can see for ourselves that when someone spews enough BS in their review, that this isn’t going to be taken seriously.
There are plenty of 5 star reviews that are honest, but now I feel I have to check out that person doing the review to see if they are in someway connected to the said author and just throwing a review in to push that book up in the ranks. But then, where does this all end?
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly reviews will always be there as long as the website they’re posted on allows them. I’ve often said that rather than writing a review, sites like Amazon should have a marking system where you tick a box next to a question. Like: How good was the editing? and then you tick a box next to a number you think would be the rank you’d like to give it. This would stop the crap being written at least. The system would be fishy if every number 1 box was ticked and Amazon could have a system in place where it would be between the reviewer and them why they felt the book deserved all 1 stars iin every question. They would have to approve the reason. A book could be poorly edited, but the story great. Or the story average. So the marks for these questions would be all over the place, then Amazon could gather the average score at the bottom of the questions.
This is just an idea, and I think anything else they can come up with other than the system in place, would be good to try, as they only remove the good reviews, and leave the bad ones, even though an author can prove they know that person, or that they are another author in competition. I was lucky enough to get a review removed not so long ago, when the reviewer went on attack of lesbian books. I reported to Amazon that she stated she hadn’t bought the book, she hadn’t read the book, and that she was not into lesbian books anymore. This was not an acceptable review, and thankfully they removed it.
A recent conversation with a fellow author got me thinking about why I hadn’t been writing for over a year. My last book was published in January 2017, and along with a few other reasons, one of them was that I had become fed up with the attacks in reviews, and so many authors were posting about them. It got depressing. But, I put on my big girl pants, and a few weeks ago I found myself again, and spent several days finishing off a book I’d started. It went to Beta readers, a proof reader, and then an editor. I then hit publish. I can tell you, it felt good. I now have 2 other books I’ll be publishing this year. But when I spoke to this fellow author, I found she was going through a hard time with spiteful reviewers. We can’t make someone not want to give up writing, all we can do is be there, and listen to them.
Now I don’t concentrate on reviews as much, even though I get excited when someone genuinely loves my book. That’s a natural feeling to have. So, all I want to say is, hang in there, because we, as lesbian authors have become a strength that wasn’t there a few years ago. I should know, I’ve been writing since 2011, and I had no one helping me back then.
This blog is just my opinion, and anyone can agree or disagree, but please, do it with class if you happen to disagree.