How Much Is A Bad Review Really Worth?

Every author gets bad reviews and most of the time, I consider them to be a good thing.  After all, bad reviews prove that real people are reading our books.  However, we also experience the “what book did you read?” phenomenon when it comes to bad reviews.

For example, The Dysfunctional Affair has a review that complains about the fact that the perspective changes every paragraph from one character to another.  Except it is all told in first-person with Nadine Daniels being the only narrator.

Another author friend of mine received a review for a space thriller, in which intergalactic police officers are hunting a serial killer that can create wormholes; the reviewer left one star because they didn’t understand why the book had so many women in it.  It had 2, literally, there were 2 women in the entire book.

Someone else received a review about her paranormal romance novel from someone who complained about all the fairies in it.  The book literally has the word Fairy in the title and the description talks about a fairy who can’t find love amongst his fellow fey and goes searching for it in the human world.

I have 2 Dreams books that have 1-star reviews because according to the reviewers, women can’t be serial killers (I have considered pointing out a few infamous female serial killers to them, but that would be petty).

I think the one that irritated me the most though, was a strange 1-star review regarding the book of a friend.  The reviewer went into great detail with their review.  They talked at length about the long, complicated plot.  That didn’t even remotely resemble the plot of the book they were reviewing.  Unfortunately, their description of the plot made it sound like a good book they had read and didn’t like.  I wouldn’t mind finding it, but it’s hard to find a book when you have 200 words describing nothing but the plot.  (My friend wrote a romance novel where a divorced woman finds love when she is forced to join the PTA in an attempt to stop her teenaged daughter from being bullied and the reviewer seems to have read a thriller about a girl who is kidnapped and her father goes to find her)

My favorite however, is the reviewer that left a 1-star review regarding a book that I bought and the review literally said “this was not the author or the series I had been reading.  I mixed them up.”  How is that the author’s fault?  I’ll never know.  Why it warranted a 1-star review is just as much of a mystery.

Dedicated readers of a series will praise all the books and people will consider them fake reviews.  But what about the bad reviews that literally have nothing to do with the book in question?  Should they also be considered fake reviews?

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  1. I saw a one-starred review of a friend’s book. The title of the review was “One Star”. The review read, “Thoroughly enjoyed the book.” Huh? I guess the reviewer didn’t understand the rating system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen that one. I did see one a few weeks ago for a set of headphones though that said “I bought these, they are not ink cartridges.” Um, what?!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sparky5805

     /  March 10, 2017

    First, I think some people just can’t help being an ass. Secondly, point me to the review that says women can’t be serial killers (or maybe in their case cereal killers). I’ll enlighten them. People need to pay attention to detail. I try very hard when I write a review not to give anything anyway. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, and that’s hard. Especially when it’s a book I’ve really, really enjoyed. But the thing I love about books is while I read your words, the book plays out in MY head, and what’s in there isn’t going to be in anyone else’s. So someone who leaves a really bad review, probably wasn’t capable of handling the subject matter to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person


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