Reviews!

As I struggle each day to write new stories, I occasionally look at what my competition is doing. It is wonderful to know that at least a few people are successful.

I’ve become quite envious of those writers who have a string of five star reviews. How does one publish a book and in less than a week have ten, twenty or even thirty-five star reviews? What is even more impressive is when you see they are verified purchasers. Well done!

I may be a cynic, but as I was reviewing the details about one book (granted it was part of a series) that in less than a week had eighteen five star reviews I saw a pattern. Most of the other books in the series had 32 to 36 five star reviews. It seems strange that each book in the series ended up with approximately the same number of five star reviews.

Putting this out as a question. Do any of you fellow writers get so many reviews almost instantly?

For me, the answer is one of two things. The person who wrote the stories is very good at finding beta readers who are willing to post reviews after the book is published. After publication, the beta readers can “buy” the book, return it to get their money back, and still be a verified purchasers. Maybe this doesn’t happen, but it seems strange that a series with multiple five-star review titles, all end up with 30 to 35 reviews. Just seems strange.

The second idea is that some external review company will sell reviews for a price.

Am I being too much of a cynic to believe the reviews are some sort of package deal? Just my observations as I look at my own work and wish for even a single three-star review.

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Reviews

Writing can be such a thrill, or a grind.  Each day I attempt to put words to “paper”.  Some days it is easier than others.  But then comes the hard part.  Reading the words that I have written.  When I first took it upon myself to dedicate myself to my writing, these last tasks were forgotten.  I was content to put words down and move on.

I even had a smug feeling that after a few re-reads, my works were exceptionally well written.  What a joke that is.  I just recently read that Walt Whitman was still reworking ‘Blades of Grass’ on his deathbed.  No writer should consider their work complete until they die.  There is always something you could have done better.

But is it perfect, or just ready for the public to read?  When you release it to the public, it is time for the reviews.

Reviews!  Writers all pray for them.  Good or bad I want them so I can see where I stand as a writer.  But what about the one that is totally basis?

I got a bad review, which did not bother me too much.  I expect good and bad reviews for the same work.  But I looked at the reviewers list of reviews.  Twenty five were posted in a two day span.  Six were full length novels up to 450 pages.  There were works with over two thousand four hundred pages listed.  Maybe they were holding the reviews.  But close to a thousand pages were published in the last two weeks.  A lot of reading.  Wish I could read or even write that fast.

That review did not bother me.  My next bad review did!

I read the story they had panned.

My word, if I had read that from another author, I would not have been so kind in my review as to give it a two star, maybe a minus two star would be more like it. 

Reviews, good or bad we all look for them.  Please take the time to review a book the next time you read one.  It might help the writer to improve.