Sunday, February 26, 2017

Take the time to try a new something you've never read before

Reading is all about personal tastes and choices, which means reviews are totally subjective. Many books and authors careers are made or destroyed based upon opinions made by reviewers.
Personally, I never noticed reviews until I started writing and needed them to market my own books. Reviews do sway people to purchase a book. The more reviews on a page, more more apt people are to take a chance, even if there are some low rankings in the group.
I buy a book based upon my personal interest. I read it and keep the book in my library if I loved it. I give it away if I didn't in the hope that it will strike a chord for another reader.
It never occurred to me that anyone would value my opinion.
Knowing the sting of a negative review, I won't leave one if I actively disliked the book. True, I haven't enjoyed everything I've read, I still feel a responsibility to anyone who reads my review to evaluate a book fairly. Just because I didn't enjoy a book doesn't mean someone else might find something they loved. I would hate to be the reason they chose not to try a book that may bring them pleasure.
I start by telling a few highlights about the plot and characters without giving any spoilers away. I try to describe what I did like about the book, and if it warrants it, mention the parts that didn't suite my taste. I want to add that does not make a book good or bad. There are no bad books. There may be poorly edited books and while that's annoying and may end up being a deal breaker for some readers, for me, not so much. In extreme cases, I've written authors and suggested they send it in for another round of editing, so I can leave a review in good conscience.
I have read best sellers that leave me puzzled by their rampant success, the succession of books that follow in a series that I found unreadable, yet other liked it. I have read books skewered by mean-spirited trolls with no regard to the author who poured their deepest, most soul-wrenching feelings. The selfish joy they get mocking the author, swaying readers to steer clear,without regard they could be destroying someone's chance at making a living.
No doubt, honesty is important, so is grace, humility, and constructive criticism. While I personally have no problem with a negative review, I think they are not a place to air grievances about politics or personal agendas. A reviewer doesn't have to trash a book if you don't agree with the authors point of view.
The truth is that a book will sell better if it has substantial amounts of reviews. As I said before, it doesn't matter if there are a few negative ones in there, most people will evaluate and invest based on what the majority is saying.
My point is, there are a lot of indie choices out there. There are a variety of new and exciting genres that traditional publishers won't take a chance on. There is opportunity to discover something great and leave a review that will encourage others to read it as well. This website is about exposure. Here all indies are equal. We are giving you a smorgasbord of new voices and raw talent, some better than others, but all with the intent to entertain you. Take the time to try a new something you've never read before and remember, your review is the fuel to send some writer's rocket into the stars.

Carole P. Roman

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