The following conversation actually took place. Names have been changed to protect the Innocent:
Elf: My gawd, you’re just now reading that!
Elf: Even after the movie came out? Didn’t it spoil everything for you?
Alien: I didn’t read the book when it first came out.
Alien: Because the reviews were so bad.
Elf: …You base your reading habits off the opinions of others?
Elf: Dude…that’s so grade school.
I’ve noticed a trend in the digital book market. It goes something like this:
- 5 out of 5 (overall stars) – gets a book a lot of attention.
- 4 out of 5 – almost the same as 5/5
- 3 out of 5 – Makes people uncomfortable. They have to check the reviews!
- 2 out of 5 – automatic skip
- 1 out of 5 – You’re basically invisible
- 0 out of 5 – You’d be lucky if someone accidentally clicked on the cover
Am I wrong? You’re free to disagree.
One day I was browsing through Amazon looking for a decent book to read. I found one, sampled it, liked it, and bought it.
Then I noticed it had a poor overall star rating.
One reader wrote a long review on how the author’s writing style was amateurish, that their characters were cardboard, and the manuscript was in need of a professional editor. The icing on the cake was this last part, “don’t waste your money on this rubbish.”
This reader’s review was declared the “most helpful” and one user thanked the reviewer for saving them money and time. I doubt they even looked at the sample…
Ok, the reviewer is entitled to their opinion. But the commenter…
Reviews are opinions of another reader. I’m not suggesting that we should do away with the starring/review system like some totalitarian regime. However–we (as mature readers, budding authors, and authors) should be adult enough to form our own opinions / decisions based on our own judgments.
At least give the author the courtesy of reading their synopsis and a sample of their work. It’s free! Still want to read the reviews? Go for it! But don’t base your reading / buying decisions off of them.
…it’s so grade school!
That’s my opinion, what’s yours?