Book Review Regret

Hi All,

Happy Wednesday.  Jennifer the Scribe here.  So, today I wanted to discuss book reviews. As both an author and a reader, I know how powerful a positive review can be.  There’s a lot you can do with book reviews. Facebook them. Tweet them. Toot your own horn by saying thank you and telling the world at the same time you got 5 stars!  Book reviews = great marketing tool!

What’s on my mind today is now that I’m an author with, in some venues, a recognizable name, can I still write an honest book review? Admittedly, I have up to this point. If a book was four stars, I gave it four stars.  If it was five…I shouted it from the rooftops.  If it was a one star (and I know the author) I play it off like I haven’t read it yet.

I want to be honest. Yet, at the same time, I don’t want to write something that may offend someone if I didn’t enjoy their book. I don’t want to end up with Book Review Regret.

So, what I thought I’d do, is list some of the books I’ve read and loved over this past year. While you guys tell me how to handle those stinkers….(your feedback is needed & appreciated)

So–Books Jen’s read that she doesn’t regret are:

1.) UNDENIED – by Sara Humphreys

2.) THE OTHER WOMAN – by Hank Phillipi Ryan

3.) REAL VIRTUE – by Katy Lee

4.) MYSTIC INK – by Casey Wyatt

5.) GOD SAVE THE QUEEN – by Kate Locke (currently reading and in love with it!)

So, now that you know the ones I don’t regret.  PLEASE!  Tell me how to handle the ones I do!

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17 thoughts on “Book Review Regret”

  1. I also loved Real Virtue and Mystic Ink – but I haven’t read the others. When it comes to books I didn’t care for, I go with the old adage, if I don’t have something nice to say, I don’t say anything at all. God forbid an author of a book I read and didn’t like asked me how I liked it, I would probably find something positive to say about the book.

  2. I find this post extremely interesting. I agree with J. If I don’t have anything nice to say, I don’t say anything at all. BUT, sometimes I have to.

    For example, I review for certain publishers. They send me the books, and ask for an honest review in return. And that is what I give them.

    Now having said that, I understand the incredible amount of time, energy, patience, and even withdrawing from daily life that an author must do to bring their book into fruition. And so for this reason, I will search the book for something positive to talk about.

    Scenery/setting, certain foods mentioned that I love or would love to try, a particular part of the book that made me reflect on something in my own life….or just the way the heroine wore her hair…There is really so much to run with even in the worst books I’ve read.

    Which leads me to my real problem…TIME to review. And not just review, but to read. With books constantly showing up on my door, and my favorite authors next release coming out, and then of course, my writer friends releasing theirs (which let me just say, I am proud to be part of such a successful group- go CTRWA!) there is just not enough time in my day to read them all. It’s either that or give up writing my own stories. :) But I will say I may not get to them right away, but I buy them when they come out.

    Does that help, Jen???? :)

    And thanks ladies for shout out!

  3. Honestly belonging to such a close knit writers group I find myself buying a lot of my friends books but not reading them. I’m a bad liar. Most of the time I don’t want to be put in the position where I might have to.

  4. Hi Jennifer. That’s what I do. I only post reviews of ‘Books I like’ on my blog–same on amazon. Sometimes, I can read through four or five books before I get one I really enjoy, but it’s worth the time and effort to be able to write an enthusiastic review. :)

  5. Do we ever HAVE to write a one or two star review? Can we not simply decline the review? Even for our publisher? If the answer is no, can we swallow our pride and make it a three star? Compare the book to most of what’s out there and give it an average? I’m asking. I haven’t written any one or two star reviews yet, and don’t plan to unless forced. If I feel that way about a book, I hold my tongue or tape my fingers. The books I’m reviewing are all indie books, so I’m comparing them to other indie books I’ve read, not to the classics.

    1. Interesting question you’ve posed. When it comes to the one and two star review, I’m using the duck and cover method myself!!

  6. First off, I’m happy you don’t regret reading Mystic Ink. Thank you.

    I too follow the golden rule, no bad reviews. But, I will say this, if a fellow writer asks me for feedback on their book, I will be honest – in private and not all over the internet. Thankfully, I generally only read books that I want to read (which includes my fellow writers’ books – like Jamie I have a giant pile to read – someday). And I agree with Katy, in that focusing on the good qualities are important too. No one writes perfectly and no one likes everything everyone writes. And thank goodness for that,otherwise, it would be a dull world.

  7. Until recently, my reading habits were fairly private. I never posted reviews. If I like a book, I talk it up to friends, or strangers I meet, if I think we might share the same reading interests. If I don’t like a book, I just don’t talk about it. Sometimes, I fancy myself as a book/reader matchmaker. Because there is nothing better than finding a reader who hasn’t read book X, who might like book X, and then suggesting book X to them. So those are the reviews I like to give. Mostly in person, but only bc my schedule hasn’t allowed me to post as many written reviews of the books I’ve read lately and loved.

  8. I give very few reviews, mainly because i have very little time to read. I have dozens of books waiting TBR on my Kindle. I only give a review if I can give it 4 stars or above. If someone asks how I liked their book that I haven’t reviewed, it’s usually true that I haven’t had time to read it:-)

  9. Hey! Thanks so much for adding UNDENIED to your “don’t regret it” pile! I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have anything nice to say then zip it. Unfortunately, the internet can be a playground full of bullies and I simply refuse to participate in that stuff. I believe in putting out good juju.

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