Reviewing reviews

Say the word review a few times. Like any word you repeat, it will probably stop making sense. If we think about separating re from view, then we could think it means looking at something again. According to Merriam-Webster –

Review
:an act of carefully looking at or examining the quality or condition of something or someone : examination or inspection
: a report that gives someone’s opinion about the quality of a book, performance, product, etc.

Let’s focus on the fact that it’s someone’s opinion about a product. As I said in my last post, while opinions can’t be “wrong” they can be cold and they can be ill-informed. The difficulty for indie authors feeling that they need to get 50 reviews on Amazon before they’ll get noticed enough by Amazon to be put forward as a suggestion is obviously a big motivator in getting a lot of reviews.  Also, knowing that a book has been read by at least fifty people means it’s good, right? Maybe, maybe not.

Some authors have said they don’t read reviews about their work any more. Others hang out for them, desperately waiting to see how they ‘rate’.  The problem is that a lot of reviews seem to be coming from “puppy-farms” and not providing what they should be providing. So what is they should be providing? Should is a dangerous word. It’s loaded. So what is it they are HOPED to be providing?

My HOPE is that it is one individual’s experience of the book.  That’s it. Not a re-write of the blurb/story, not a critical analysis of every line like it’s an English paper, not a ‘what I wish the story was’, and certainly not ‘whatever the last person said with a few words changed’.  Not a critique of how much it WASN’T like another book. Just what they felt and experienced in the book, and if they would recommend it (and maybe who to).

 

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