A matter of opinion…

This wasn’t the blog post slotted for today when I planned my week. Things have a habit of changing, though, so….

On Monday, two things happened at the same time and were in such direct opposition to one another, for a few moments I felt as if I’d been shot through a time warp and landed in a parallel universe.

Let me ‘esplain

My Limitless Publishing book, DIRTY DAMSELS, has been out in the book reading world since July 2 of this year. I have been roping in reviews from wherever I can because, as we all know, the more reviews you have – and good ones! – the algorithm powers that be at Amazon sit up, take notice, and help you promote your book to the masses. Before the book launched, I did a BookSprouts review campaign and did really well with all 4 -5 star reviews. People I don’t even know bought the book ( Bless their souls!) and also rated it, mostly as 5 stars, which is fabulous. Since it’s been two months since it was released, I wanted to ramp up some more publicity for it, so I had it listed on Netgalley. You’ve all heard me talk about this book reading and rating service before, because I’m  a Netgalley official reviewer. So, monday morning at midnight, east coast time, the book went up for read and review. Monday was Labor day in the US, so the masses had a holiday. When I logged on at 5 am that morning I saw the book was listed, noticed the number of cover “likes” and then saw that it already had one review. 5 hours after it was put up.

Let me repeat that: 5 hours after is was made available.

When the butterflies in my stomach quieted, I scrolled down to read the review.

That damn battalion of flapping insects went on hyper-flap again.

The review was…scathing, is the best word. The reader admits she didn’t even finish the book ( well, who could in 5 hours? Was she Evelyn Wood’s granddaughter, fer Chri’sake??) and then droned on about how she “knew she was going to be disappointed, but requested the book anyway.” Oh, and she gave me 1.5 stars. Then she proceeded to upload the review on to Goodreads. Under the review several of her “friends” commented that they were glad she put up her review because it kept them from requesting the book for their own.

Friggin’ lemmings.

I will truthfully say I have never not read a book because someone gave it a bad review. If her “friends” had thought to scroll down on Goodreads and see all the 4 and 5 star reviews listed, would they have changed their minds? I can hope so, but I doubt it. Once a lemming…..

Needless to say, I was pissed. I emailed Goodreads and Netgalley and asked how they could publish a review from someone who blatantly stated that they did not finish the book. Isn’t that…cheating? Wrong? Fraud?

No response from either entity yet.

Now, the part of my Monday where I felt like I’d been shot through a time warp came an hour later when I received a 5 star review from Reader’s Favorite.

This reviewer actually READ the book. How could I tell? Because she gave details that a reader wouldn’t have gleaned if they’d skimmed through the pages. That review went a long long long way toward making my Monday better, I have to tell you.

I consistently wonder if people ( and that’s being kind, my calling them that and not trolls) who do reviews who aren’t authors ever think about how their words effect the writer. Do they understand they are bashing what this person does for a living? Critiquing their livelihood? Netgalley is a free service to readers, so they don’t even have to pay for the books they request. I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’m not questioning that. What I object to is blatantly stating you did not finish something and then being able to rate it, in turn, lowering the chance of other people wanting to read it.

I will tell you when I request a Netgalley listed book and then find it is not for me and don’t finish it, I always click the DNF button attached to the book review page. That gets me out of having to write a review. I don’t give any books I read less than a 3, and if I have to give a three, I always always always make some positive remarks about the book, ending with, it simply wasn’t for me. I don’t bash the book or the author.

Obviously, I was raised right.

Those lemmings? Yeah. Not so much.

Thanks for listening to me gripe!

Until next time ~ Peg






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16 responses to “A matter of opinion…

  1. I’m sorry for your experience! That was wrong on so many levels. As a reviewer myself, I would never rate a book I didn’t finish and if I felt I had to rate it below a 3, there would be really good reasons—which I would point out. Forget about those trolls if you can and focus on the 4s & 5s you did get from legitimate reviewers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear ya, Peggy! Glad you got a 5-star review an hour later. That helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer Zander Wilck

    Ugh, I hate when that happens. Congrats on all the good reviews, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Peggy, I can so relate to this post! Yet I’ve always told myself that with a horrible review another golden 5-star will shine over the darkness. Congrats on the Readers’ Favorite gem!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry for your bad experience – I’ve never had any luck with Net Galley, always getting the trolls instead of true readers. You are a brilliant writer and don’t you dare stop creating your awesome characters and stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This biz is so so hard when we rely on reviews. I’m reading a bestseller for book club. I see many flaws but I am working to finish it. (Audio narrator is fabulous though). It has over 5,000 reviews. Only in my dreams would I see that many! Granted her 5 stars are 38%, 4 – 24%, and so on with large chunk in the 1-2-3 range. (gets me on another tangent that a book with so many lower scores is a bestseller, but I digress…) And maybe I am hypercritical because I am an author. Either way, when I do review I will be kind and honest, just like you above. And if I can’t give a 3 or higher, I don’t review. If I can’t finish it – I don’t review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lida sideris

    Those not so great reviews sting, don’t they? Net Galley has been hit or miss for me. When a bad review happens, I focus on two things: my good reviews and the fact that I’m a published author. Focusing on the good helps take the sting out for me. Big congrats on your wonderful reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mrsnnnlight

    Am I a lemming now? lol! Seriously, the reviewer who gave you that low rating is, I’m sure, trying to bump up her stats on Netgalley and Goodreads. She doesn’t care about anything other than making herself look good. Brush it off and move on, Peg.

    My rule of thumb as a reviewer is to never review below three stars. I try to bring positives to my reviews as well as what didn’t work for me. Authors can then take the constructive criticism to make the next book better.

    As for DNF, I tend not to rate those either. I do mention I DNF at whatever point and mention a sentence or two as to why I couldn’t DNF.

    I tell my fellow authors all the time that for every bad review, their reputation as a published author goes up in the eyes of readers and gatekeepers of the publishing world. Take a look at any bestselling author (Nora Roberts, Jane Dailey, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling) and read some of the one-star reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hywela Lyn

    So sorry about the horrid review and congrats on the really great one! I know how a bad review can really sting – especially if the ‘reviewer’ can’t even find one good thing to say about it. I sometimes think the only way some people who can’t write themselves can feel ‘important’ is by tearing to bits the work of someone who can. Like you, I never give less than a three star review, and always try to find something positive to say, even if I didn’t really enjoy the book. You’re such a great writer, and your many five star reviews confirm it!


  10. I think people who give the type of pissy review you got are very unhappy, angry people and it probably has nothing to with the quality of your writing.
    I have it on good authority you are a gifted writer so push on.


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