Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Reviews vs. Book Ratings

It was after my pledge to read twenty-four books (in 2016) that I realize I needed to restructure my reading and writing routine and that included book reviews.
Writers can only wish and hope that when a reader likes a particular book of ours that he/she will take the time to write a review. The issue with writing reviews is that it takes time. In fact, writing a well-written review can take an hour or two, hence, the reason for this blog post.
Years back when I began a career in writing a fellow author gave me a piece of worldly advice, you need to read and a lot. To date, I’ve read sixty books accompanied by sixty reviews (authormariacox on Goodreads). In addition to reading more, I became much more involved in writing clubs, serving as social media coordinator, committee member, newsletter editor and ultimately President. Ambitions goals are good, but in my case my enthusiasm led me down a path where there was little time to read and write; a big no-no for any writer. 
When I decided to draft an article on the subject of book reviews I did a bit of research. I wanted to know the stance of the writing community on book reviews versus book ratings. I was surprised to learn there was little on the subject. Really, what I wanted to do was to understand how writers ‘felt’ about reviews in general.
Moving on to the main reason for this post…I want to inform my followers and writer friends that I won’t write reviews in 2016, only book ratings. Why? Reviews are lengthy and take time. book ratings take about five seconds.
Note this isn’t an easy choice, but perhaps the best option given my new goals.
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  1. As a reader, I find ratings completely meaningless. It's all about what the readers have to say. Every book on Goodreads or Amazon as a four-star average, and ratings have been inflated. A rating without a review does up the number on Amazon, which can mean something because it suggests more people are reading it. That can be a good sign, but honestly, most people don't care about ratings in general outside of the author.

    I read the one-stars to see what the worst thing they can say about the book is, then the three starts to get a better idea of what my experience will be like, and MAYBE a five-star or two, but they tend to be boring and often insincere. Worse, it can be hard to tell.

    I will say I know most writers complain when people leave a rating without a review if it's less than five-stars.

    1. Hi Daveler,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I prefer reviews myself, but had to make a tough choice to perform ratings exclusively in 2016.

      I'm now following you on Twitter, LIKEd you on FB too :)


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