Let's talk reviews... Don't look at me like that, you have nothing to be afraid of. I have met some truly wonderful bloggers who are awesome and I have encountered some who are not so awesome, but we will get to that later.
What do I like to see in a review? I like to know did the reader enjoy the story and something that they loved about it. A review doesn't have to be long to get the point across. To be honest I don't like reviews that giveaway the whole plot of a book. Why? Because if I read said review before buying a book, I have no need to purchase it- the review just told me the whole story.
Now the ratings. What's with all the half stars that are rounded down? I thought when you say 3.5 you round to a 4. That's what I learned in math class. I have no answer for this it boggles my mind too!
Then there's the dreaded bad review. Everyone will get one it doesn't matter who you are it's going to happen. Thankfully I've reached a point where the negative reviews don't gut me. But how did I handle it before this point? I would react like any other normal person I'd get pissed off, pout, bitch and moan. Then after letting it sink in that someone didn't love what I have written I go back and read the review again to see if it holds any useful information. If they don't I move on. A review can be critical and constructive without insulting the author. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Right? That's what reviews are opinions. Do not comment on negative reviews or ask others to do so. If you can't fight the urge then message them privately and ask if they could give you some insight on why they didn't enjoy the book. Do not be defensive and try not to take it personal. I guarantee you've not loved everything you have read either. Keep that in mind- different strokes for different folks.
Now here's where I'm going to make people mad I'm sure but if it offends you maybe you are the ones guilty of doing it. I love when a blog contacts me because they are interested in reading my book. Most of the time I will give an ARC if I am familiar with the blogger. But what I don't like is when someone asks me or any author for a review copy and then they never follow through with the review. If the book isn't to your taste and you do not plan to review send the author a message. Hey thanks for giving me the opportunity to read your work. I have to let you know that this was a DNF for me or I feel that I can't give this book a proper review. Seriously it is okay. I promise not to hunt you down or talk badly about you. I would rather know that you don't plan to review if that's the case.
Then there's the book hoarders . What do I mean by this? There are people who contact as many authors as possible to ask for ARC's only to never read them. Why do they do this? I don't know. Are they sharing them or pirating them? Could be. Bottom line don't ask for a review copy and not follow through end of story. Don't get it out your pitchforks and light your torches just yet.
I have met some truly awesome blogs out there who I wouldn't ever be able to say thanks enough to for their support. It is amazing how dedicated a lot of bloggers are to supporting their favorite authors. You guys rock!
And finally I am debating doing away with ARC copies all together. Am I giving myself the kiss of death? Maybe. Time will tell. But here's why... I want reviews from people who bought my book and loved it so much that they feel the need to write a review.
As always this is my thoughts and experiences. Use your own judgment when it comes to your work and who you entrust it with. And remember if you love something review it.