The Big Reveal

Welcome to The Big Reveal.

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from unagented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them. Some of these ladies have helped me with my own work, or given me advice on blogging or writing, so check out their blogs and see what they’re about.

Do you read/write book reviews?

Ryann Kerekes, Agented author
I absolutely read book reviews! I often base the books I chose on their reviews. I’ve written a few book reviews myself and I also use to rate all the books I read.

Ben Spendlove, Un-agented author
If someone I know does a book review, I’ll usually read it. And I’ll take recommendations from people whose opinions I tend to agree with. But I rarely seek out book reviews, except sometimes when I read one-star Amazon reviews of books I love. It’s interesting the reasons people give (or don’t give) for not liking books.

Cassie Mae, Un-agented author
I actually don’t read reviews. Doesn’t just go with books, goes for movies too. Because everything is subjective. 🙂 I’m not going to like everything someone else will. I’ve written a couple reviews, but again, only as favors and I don’t expect everyone to have the same opinion as moi. 😉

Jade Hart, Un-agented author
Yes, I read reviews and it does sway me if I want to read it or not. No, I don’t write them myself, I can’t bring myself to leave negative feedback.

Stacie Stokes, Un-agented author
I often look to the rating to decide whether or not to read something, but rarely dig into the actual review. I haven’t yet started writing my own reviews, but I recently joined Goodreads and may start writing a few here and there, at least for the books I really enjoy.

Me (Suzi) Un-agented author
Yes, I read reviews, but normally it’s just to see what other people are saying. It’s all so subjective and everybody has different criteria. I don’t usually base my decision on whether to read a book or not on a review. Sometimes I’ll read the reviews after to see if I agree.

Joelene B. Perry, Published author
I could do a WEEK of posts on book reviews, so I’ll TRY to not be too long-winded. Book reviews mean jack. Seriously. A good friend of mine rates books she likes 3 stars. I rate books 3 stars if I really didn’t like it much, but think other people will, and just mark “read” the books I hated. Or I don’t finish, I just delete them off my shelf because I have ZERO business writing a review on a book I didn’t finish. One and two star reviews are almost never helpful, and in my opinion, the only thing a one or two star review should say was “this wasn’t for me.” The ONLY time I’ve looked at reviews in whether or not I should read a book is when I already own more than one of the books I check, and want to know which to read first. I find that the three-star reviews are the most helpful, because most of them show both the good and bad. If you’re an author – three pieces of advice. ONE – don’t read any bad reviews. TWO – read the one-star reviews of books you LOVE. THREE – SAVE YOUR FIVE STAR REVIEWS FOR A BAD WRITING DAY 😀

Liesl Shurtliff, Pre-published author
I rarely read book reviews, and even more rarely do they affect whether or not I read a book. (Though sometimes several stellar reviews will sway me to pick up a book.) I mostly go by recommendations from friends and trusted readers whose tastes are similar to my own. I used to write book reviews like crazy on Goodreads, my blog, and Deseret News, but stopped when I got my book contract. There were too many conflicts of interest, and I simply don’t feel comfortable with it any more.

Mindy McGinnis, Pre-published author
Sometimes I do, I won’t be reading ones for my own though. I only write positive book reviews on my blog, and I call them “Book Talks,” as I don’t really critique the writing so much as I do a librarian-ship “book sell” to the reader.

Amy Sonnichsen, Agented author
Yes, I’m always swayed one way or the other by reviews. I read them if I’m purchasing a book I’ve never read before, but I’ll check out books from the library without reading reviews. Less risk involved, I guess.

Melodie Wright, Agented author
I don’t read book reviews but I do pass on a recommendation on my blog or Goodreads if I enjoyed something. I don’t write about books I didn’t like. I decide on whether or not to read a book based on the author, cover and blurb. Book reviews generally don’t affect me one way or the other.


So do you read book reviews?
Do you base what you’re going to read off of them?

6 Responses

  1. I read reviews sometimes, but mainly out of curiosity than for guidance. I get nervous if someone asks me to write a review, just in case I don’t like the book. I don’t ever want to write a bad review because whether I liked the story or not, someone worked hard on writing it. I am more than happy to sing the praises of the books I’ve enjoyed though!

  2. I read reviews because I’m curious about what other people think. There’s usually the gamut of 1 to 5 stars for every book out there–only sometimes do I see a book with only high star or only low star ratings. I do admit that if a book mainly received low stars and poor reviews I’m less likely to pick it up. I usually base my buying and reading decisions on descriptions of books, though.

  3. I do both. Although I’ve stopped reading them as much. They are really subjective. Usually if I don’t like something that everyone else seems to like I’ll check out the reviews to see if other people felt the same way to make sure I’m not being a cranky reader.

    I write reviews because on Amazon that can really help indie authors. But mine are usually gushing about books I love. And I totally agree with Jo. And I hope I can follow her advice someday when I get reviews.

  4. I do read reviews, but because they’re so subjective, I don’t use them to decide whether to read a book. I always check them out for myself. However, I do trust recommendations from my friends. They know the types of books I like.

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