I normally try to be careful about what I say about things like reviews, but I noticed something that really gets my goat. On Barnes & Noble, someone left this one-star review for my mystery novel This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies:
This may be a great book. I read another Reed Ferguson, but this one came out with the typography all garbled so it could not be understood.
Seriously??? Where is the review of the book? Where’s the discussion of what you liked (or didn’t like) about the story, the characters and so on? This review has nothing to do with the book…and that’s what a review should be about.
All this reviewer has done is hurt me as an author. Why? Because that one star affects my overall rating, which other shoppers see, and it affects my ability to advertize, as many sites want a minimum review rating (usually 4 stars or higher).
I’m all for honest reviews…of the book! You want to tell me I stink as a writer, that’s okay. I can take it. If you say that I have typos or grammatical errors, that’s a fair critique. I’ve learned things from reviews, both positive and negative, and before someone says I’m saying don’t give negative reviews, let’s be clear. I’m not.
What I am saying is that if you have a problem with an a book’s formatting – it’s garbled, didn’t get delivered correctly, etc. – things the author has no control of – then the complaint should be taken to the company. Why? Because Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other sites don’t read the reviews! They have no idea that you’re upset, like this reviewer was.
I get it – you’re upset that the product you bought wasn’t what you expected. And here’s the thing: I’m just as upset as you are that you didn’t get the ebook delivered correctly. That stinks. But again, to leave this kind of review only hurts the author. It doesn’t help you get the issue straightened out. It doesn’t help Amazon or whatever site improve their systems. They do need to know, but trying to alert them with a negative review isn’t the way to do it.
So, a plea from an author, if you run into this situation, please think about the author before you write this kind of review.
What do you think?