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Authors, The Reviews Are Not For You


What IS the point of reviewing books? From nasty to helpful, why do reviewers feel compelled to say anything at all? If you review, what are your reasons below for leaving a review?


1. Reviews are for readers only. I write reviews for the reader in mind to either recommend the book or warn them away from the book.


2. Reviews are for the author. I want the author to know how fantastic the book was, or I want the author to know how terrible their book was.


2a. I want to help the author out by giving them constructive pointers so they can write a better book next time.


2b. I don't care to help the author out. I just want the author to know how their book affected me: good or bad.


3. I have no specific goal when I write reviews. I just want to express my feelings and the author/readers can use it as they will.


4. If I liked the book, the focus will be praising the author. If the book was terrible, the focus will be to warn other readers away from reading it.



Based off the above list, keep scrolling to see real feedback from real readers and why they leave reviews:



QUICK DATA:

Using the above list, here are the results:

Option one voted 28 times

Option two voted 0 time

Option two (a) voted 1 time

Option two (b) voted 0 time

Option three voted 17 times

Option four voted 6 times


According to this short poll, the majority of reviewers review solely for the readers and readers only. In short, authors, the reviews are not for you. YOUR reviews come from beta readers and your editor prior to publication. After publication, the reviews are not relevant because you cannot make changes anymore. After publication, you are no longer in the editing phase, because your novel has advanced to the reading phase. The book, in essence, isn't yours anymore. It has transcended into ethereal form now living inside the minds of your readers. Readers communicate this ethereal form in the shape of reviews, telling readers whether they should or should not give this ethereal form any space to live forever in their minds.


So let reviews go. They are not yours.


But don't take my word for it. See the raw data from the poll below:


 

3.


1 + myself. Sometimes I need quick refresher for me. Especially if it's a series and there is a large time span between releases. The synopsis isn't always helpful. If it's an indy author and I loved the book I hope to give potential readers a little more insight about the book.


If I’m leaving a review on a book by a well known author or one that already has a ton of reviews, I’m either writing to remind myself why I gave it the rating I did, or for other readers. If I leave a review for a lesser known author or a book that has very few reviews, it’s for the author. I left a review for a book I got at a con a few years ago and feel awful about it all the time. It’s clear from the reviews that her friends gave her a rating but we’re too scared to tell her the truth. I tried to be very polite and constructive, but I did give a 1 star review to a book that didn’t have any other written reviews. I met the author at a con, she sold her book so well at her booth. But her book was objectively awful, anyone who read it should have at the very least told her to get a proper editor, and that doesn’t even touch the many holes in the plot and story. I think about that review all the time and visit the author page often to see if she’ll try to fix it.


3


1/ 4. It’s primarily for the reader but as an author I like knowing how it affected my readers, both good and bad.


3 & 4 for me.


Readers. There is a saying among authors and artists in general, "never read the reviews." That is why I don't know why we have this age of authors stalking people online for giving them a negative review.


3.


3 - i put the words out there, whoever reads them can do whatever they want with them. :3c


Reviews are for the readers. Authors have editors, alpha and beta readers, sensitivity readers, etc to give feedback.


3

3


1 - I loved a detailed review (without spoilers) to decide whether or not to read a book I might be on the fence about.


I always thought reviews were for the reader - to tell them whether or not to read it.


1. Because like a product review, I want other people to be able to have information that can help them decide whether to get it or not. But I am seeing more people are actually #3 or #4. Praise or criticism that is not helpful to other readers.


I find reviews particularly useful for me as a reader when I have finished a book I didn't like!


4

1

1

1


Reviews are for other readers. They're so other people can decide if they'd like a book. If an author wants to improve their writing they should talk to their editor or fellow writers not read fan reviews. Nothing gets me to dismiss a review faster than the reviewer calling a book by an award winning author poorly written or offering writing advice to a NYT Bestseller 20 books into their career.


This is a very interesting question, I don’t think I have ever thought of it. I can honestly say that reviews are or should be intended for readers and readers alone. It is a way of readers offering up a solidarity among ourselves (readers). Now a smart writer would check reviews for whatever positives they can find that would be useful in the writing of the next project, but on the whole reviews are meant for readers


1

3


Reviews are for the reader. I read them to see what others thought of the story and characters. I read 5 and 3 and 1 to get a sense of the book. I appreciate editing mentions if it is really bad. I write reviews for two reasons. One, to give back to other readers what I want in a review and two, to add reviews to a book for the author as they are a necessary evil in the world of advertising.


1

1

3

1

3

3

1

1

3


1…but also 2a. Sometimes I can see that the problem lies in not having a good editor. I wish editors would read reviews.


1 and the first part of 4


3 and the first part of number 4.


3

1

1

1

3

1

1

3

3

1

4














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