Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Tumbling Term

re·view  (r-vy)
v. re·viewed, re·view·ing, re·views
1. To look over, study, or examine again.
2. To consider retrospectively; look back on.
3. To examine with an eye to criticism or correction: reviewed the research findings.
4. To write or give a critical report on (a new work or performance, for example).
5. Law To reexamine (an action or determination) judicially, especially in a higher court, in order to correct possible errors.
6. To subject to a formal inspection, especially a military inspection.

7. Law A judicial reexamination, especially by a higher court, of an action or determination.
8. A musical show consisting of often satirical skits, songs, and dances; a revue.

Now as a writer and author, we are mostly concerned with 1-4 definitions of this word.

Which is better no review or a bad review? We all want reviewer to say wonderful things about our baby, don't we? Any review is free publicity, right? Wrong. But what if it isn't good? I've been an indie author for almost two years now and I can say, to me, a bad review is worse sometimes. As my momma used to say, "Opinions are like a$$hole. Everyone has one."  Some things to think about when leaving a review or comment...
The Reviewer
While most people are hesitant about writing a review of any kind, they are not opposed to reading them. People tend to look at stars or symbols when choosing books. Personally, I tend to read the reviews, and then review the reviewer. If they consistently write bad reviews, then why are they reviewing in the first place? What it boils down to is attention. What does it say about someone who leaves consistent bad reviews...they have a really sad life when they have to cut someone down to feel better.

If the reviewer has given a mixture of review, I tend to pay more attention. They know their own mind and they are a fair judge of what is right. So in short, grade the reviewer or source.

What Does It All Mean
So what do bad reviews say about you as a writer? Possibly nothing and possibly everything. If the review is about formatting, you may want to redo it. If the review focuses on what is wrong with the book, they probably do it consistently. So take these with a grain of salt and consider the source.

If they are known for balanced in their reviews. I'll consider these more heavily weighted reviews than those that are not. If they say it's bad then it probably is and needs more editing.

My Way
I prefer the tempered approach of reviewing that isn't always given. I learned this method with customer service auditing. Everything is not all bad nor all good. Everything has strong and weak points. For example, if the story is good but the grammar is bad, then I'll say so. By the same token, God forbid, the story is bad and the grammar is excellent my review will be balanced. Although that's the main reason I read is for the story. Now if is totally stinky, I won't review it. Personally, I hate the star rating system. It's too confining and an easy out for laziness.

I always make a point of writing a review of what I read, that's just me. I don't expect everyone to have this standard. Though, it would be nice from a writer's stand point. It's an affirmation and acknowledgement of someone's effort. If writing was easy everyone would do it. Some writers slave at their writing for decades before they publish, or at least a couple months of sweat and furrowed brow to produce a book. Comments would be nice, but the fact is many don't. From over 1,000 book sales I might receive 1 review. So if everyone goes by my standard, my novels must be really stinky or only read by non-reviewers.

So what do you think of reviews and reviewers?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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