For most authors reviews are a critical issue but I am beginning to question the reasoning behind a one-star review. I’ve often bought a purchase, and used my own judgment without help from reviews, to select and buy. In fairness, it’s usually clothes and a spur of the moment purchase. We shop for our clothes instore as well as online. However, this does not follow for books because there are big price discrepancies.
Amazon offers value for money but only online. Readers, unable to lift a book for themselves, are reassured by book reviews. Why? We put our trust in other people choices but as they say, “one man’s meat, is another man’s poison.” Reviews are a guideline towards the quality of the book attesting to professional editing, good plot etc, etc. We must decide if the story is one we will enjoy.
Walking into a bookstore, I don’t automatically start to load Amazon on my phone to check out reviews. I read the book content and make a judgment. I am talking about what appeals to me, not necessary you. Yes. initially, I’m overwhelmed, however, I find myself gravitating to the section of books that appeals most. I enjoy the experience of browsing. I make my own decision when I buy my treasure.
So I come back to my original issue. Why do people leave one-star reviews? Their purchase is not excessively expensive. They made the choice themselves after reading the book content or reviews and then…shock horror they didn’t like it. It happens.
I bought a new dress got it home put it on and hated it! Did I feel motivated to go online and systematically humiliate the designer or retailer? No, I didn’t. I’m accepted most of the blame lay with myself. Was I seduced by the dress on the hanger? Yes. Sometimes we make bad choices, we are after all, human.
So why do people feel the need to be so negative about a book purchase more than a clothes purchase? I don’t have the answers. Until the system changes all authors must live with the consequences…