“I enjoyed this book….”

I saw this yesterday on Google+ (via Adele Archer and DL Keur). It’s a link to a Grimace and Giggle piece by author Russ Linton. He writes on Amazon’s “cracking down” on reviews written by those with a so-called “established relationship” with the author:

Screen capture of Google+.
Screen capture of Google+.

A year and a half ago I noted how ugly I believed at times the “reviews” issue had become on Amazon. It’s a problem not unlike what we also encounter regularly on TripAdvisor – including (if we authors think we’ve got troubles) the dimwits who “rated” Auschwitz. Given Russ’s post, I thought I’d revisit a few of my thoughts here, and expand on them slightly.

I have never written a book review on Amazon or any other service. One reason is because my Amazon account is under my real name, not this pen name, and I don’t want one possibly tied to the other. True, I suppose I could create an account under my pen name also, yet reviewing others has never been a high priority of mine and I just prefer devoting my time and energy to my own novels for my own readers. However, now that I have the three novels completed and a fourth underway – and as a consequence feeling less need than a year or two ago to prove anything to myself about finishing the next book sooner rather than later – I have been thinking about doing some reviewing while I’m working on it.

Most of us as ordinary consumers never write “official” book reviews on Amazon. We tend to buy a book and that is usually that. If we like it, we may recommend it to friends and family, or even mention it positively online on our personal social media sites. If we don’t, we probably just put it aside unfinished and chalk it up to experience. (If it’s a paperback, we may end up donating it to a charity shop, or it ends up half-forgotten on a shelf somewhere. If it’s a “huge seller,” we may offer some negative word of mouth to those around us, or, again, offer an opinion on our personal social media sites.)

Free Stock Photo:	Teenage girl reading a book.
Free Stock Photo: Teenage girl reading a book.

All that said, maybe as readers we should begin to be more pro-active than we have been on Amazon and other places where books are actually sold? Have too few people been reviewing books on them? Suppose many more of us did so?

If you choose to, there’s no need to struggle to produce a New York Times level, academic-ese-style review. If you happen to like a book, a couple of honest sentences explaining why and giving it some stars is a “nice to have” that authors generally appreciate. That’ll more than suffice.

Free Stock Photo: Female hands typing on a laptop keyboard.
Free Stock Photo: Female hands typing on a laptop keyboard.

On the other hand, if you dislike a book, uh, ahem, well, you shouldn’t feel compelled to write any review at all. Surely you have much better things to do and higher priorities in daily life – other matters that need urgently sorting out first. You don’t have to go to all of the humongous trouble of sitting there for the long and tedious hours required to compose a negative or “1” star review. πŸ˜‰

Have a good Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Hopefully, you are enjoying whatever book you may be currently reading. Oh, and you may have also noticed I’ve never introduced the “rate this post” function here either. πŸ™‚

3 thoughts on ““I enjoyed this book….”

  1. Adele Archer February 25, 2016 / 9:58 am

    Totally agree. I’ve only written a couple of reviews but I won’t write a review for a book I’ve never actually finished because that would be wrong of me. And I’d feel uncomfortable writing a bad review too as I know how damaging that could be. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • R. J. Nello February 25, 2016 / 10:11 am

      Everyone seems to have an opinion on it, and I just think we should do what makes us comfortable.

      Would writing reviews of others’ books lead to more readers of mine? Maybe. But spending too much time reading others’ books to the finish to be able to write proper reviews would naturally also distract me from my own writing. A dilemma.

      Uh, oh, this just dawned on me: we’d better be careful. We talk a bit. If we go on like this, will we have an “established relationship”? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adele Archer February 25, 2016 / 10:40 am

        I know! Do the people we talk to because of social media count as ‘established’? It’s a mine field! πŸ˜”

        Liked by 1 person

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