A Short Rant about Amazon Reviews

Hi. Been a while, I know, and I don't wish to come back from a hiatus with a "grinds my gears" kind of post, but, well, here it is.

I get the Amazon Daily Deals emails for Kindle and I saw a mystery series going for $.99 so I decided to check it out. I have some mystery elements in my current WIP so it never hurts to read what's out there to get a clue (hehe, pun in tended) about writing mystery elements. I always look at reviews to see what people are saying.

I must pause here to confess I'm incredibly dubious of self-pubbed books on Amazon because I've been burned too many times by a book that doesn't deliver the promise in the book description.

Anyway, I usually check out the reviews starting with the 1-star and moving up to the 5-star reviews. Just to see the entire spectrum of what people are saying. If a book as a TON of 4- and 5-star reviews, I'll usually buy it. Even 3-stars are okay (according to Goodreads's rating system, a 3-star review means you liked the book, 4 you really liked it, and 5 you loved it).

So, here I am, looking at some of the 5-star reviews and they are favorable and all that, so I moved to the 1-stars and there was a person who gave the book 1 star with the review "I haven't read this book. It's sitting on my Kindle waiting for me to read it."

This is where my rant comes in. WTF (Why the eff) would you rate a book you haven't read???

This rant also plays into my BFFWC's book, Women Scorned, which has a CLEAR warning label on it because this book is not for the faint of heart (she has a lot of blood and gore in the book, torture, etc.) and yet, people read it and gave it a bad rating and review because they claimed they didn't know it was going to be "torture porn."

This really grinds my gears (as Peter Griffin would say). The internet has given everybody a voice, but how we use that voice is just as important as our freedom to use it. Please, if you haven't given a book a fair chance, please don't review it. And if there is a book that is clearly NOT your cup of tea, don't read it and give it a bad review. There are people out there who take the rating seriously. Every 1-star review takes the rating down. In the case of the person who didn't even read the book but still gave it one star, that just isn't fair to the author.

It's a dog eat dog world out there, I know, and in this day when people are swayed by what other people think the rating and review system is that much more important, especially in the publishing industry.

Please, think before you review. Think before you rate. If you hated the book, give examples and reasons why, don't just plop 1 star on the review and say "I hated this book."

Thank you. I appreciate your attention to this matter.

In other news, my muse kept me awake last night, along with a leaky bathtub faucet. I swear I can still hear the dripping...

Peace and Keep Writing!

Claire L. Fishback


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