Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why do I have a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews?

There has been a lot of hubbub in the blogging and reviewing community lately about reviewers and what we do and whether we are helpful.  Should we post bad reviews.  Are we only out to place good reviews.  Are we paid, do authors expect good reviews.  Do we feel we should give good reviews.  I don't know the answers as a whole, but I thought I would give mine.

I started this blog to keep up with what I read.  I read over 200 books a year and I would frequently pick up a book, look at the back cover, think I had read it but not remember if I had or not.  So I got the bright idea that I would start putting up my thoughts about the books I read from my bookshelf and the library and hopefully I could remember what I read better.  That was March of 2009.  By that summer I was receiving my first review copies.  Oh the thrill.  Now I am on several publicist's lists and I love them.  I am on several publishers lists, I love them, and I have several authors that also email me personally when they have a book coming out.  I love them.  Now I have a choice to pick and choose what I read.  I like that.

So what am I rambling about?  Since I can now pick and choose, I am really careful about what I choose.  I pick authors I am familiar with for one.  And then with new authors, the description of the book has to really jump out to me.  And so far I am very lucky.  That is why most of my reviews are 4 star and up.  I like books.  I don't tend to pick them apart for little errors.  I will mention editing if I think it needs work, but I don't make a big deal about it, unless it takes me out of the story.  I'm in a book for the story.  If I love the story then I will write a good review.  Most books I love.  A few I am ho-hum about, they typically get the 3.5 rating.  If I can't get into it, I just pass on the book and never review it since I didn't finish it.  It just didn't suit me, but it will probably suit someone else.  If I flat-out don't like a book, I may or may not review it.  I use to review it and caveat it with it's my opinion, because the truth is, that's exactly what it is.  I may hate a book and you love it.  I may love a book and you wonder what is wrong with me.  Thankfully there are lots of authors and lots of books out there to please all of us.  So most of the time now if I just didn't click with the book and can't really find anything great to say I won't write the review, but then again that rarely happens because if I'm not clicking with the book, I now put it down.  Life is too short to waste it reading something I don't like.

So there, I don't feel like I have to write good reviews for all the authors, my reviews are genuine and from my heart.  I just happen to really like books.  You can tell which ones I like more because they will be rated closer to 5 and the ones I like a little less will be closer to 4.  But anything in this range is a winner to me, again my opinion.

Am I wrong?  Should I be more critical?  I'm not sure, but honestly I started this for me, I still enjoy it most of the time so I will keep it the same.  I'll offer reviews, guest blogs, interviews and giveaways from the authors, publicists and publishers (it's too expensive for me to offer my own giveaways now).  Let me know what you think.  Do you like things the way they are, or do you think I should change things up a bit?

***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***


Vicky @ Books, Biscuits, and Tea said...

I agree! I started thinking about this issue the other day and how I'm more likely to give 4 or 5 stars. I do give 3 stars as well but 2 and 1 are very rare (almost non-existent). And it's not because I'm not honest but because I'm quite selective. I won't pick up books unless they interest me or I'm familiar with the author's works.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Crystal, I could have written this post! Well said. Like Vicky I also give 3 star ratings at Goodreads. I say keep doing what you've been doing.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Crystal, I could have written this post! Well said. Like Vicky I also give 3 star ratings at Goodreads. I say keep doing what you've been doing.

Lizzy said...

I'm the same way, I just reformatted my reviews so they are split into best bits/nit picks. Sometimes one paragraph is bigger than the other...but I find myself more willing to write reviews about things I've enjoyed

Lisa Mandina said...

I only rate books on Goodreads, on my blog I just talk about what I thought, good and bad. And most of the time I only review books I liked, because I don't have time to read books that I really don't like or can't get into. Occasionally I'll make it all the way through them, like if I'm reading to help pick for my state library association future award nominees, but otherwise, life is short! I totally agree with your post! Thanks for sharing it!

Abbi Hart said...

These are my thoughts exactly!

Crystal said...

Wow, thanks everyone, it's so good to hear so many others that feel the same way I do. I read so many other blogs that read the same way as mine, but I just felt so awkward after those articles. But hey we do it for us :) Thanks to each of you for sharing your comments, it really helps me to continue on doing what I am doing without any guilt.

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