As are all authors, or I should say most, I'm always anxious to have reviews roll in from some of the professional review sites, and I'm also pleased when I get one from a reader on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other book seller's store. A Four or a Five Star review and I'm elated. Anything below that and I am bummed. Recently I asked myself—is my thinking skewed?
Well, yes, I think it is. First off, everyone has different opinions and each person comes away with something different from what they read. Some focus on plot, others on characters. A few make note of every editing error, but most people read for pure enjoyment. With that said, I shouldn't expect all reviews to be 4's and 5's. It's a good thing too, because I have gotten 3's and a couple of 2's. I must admit though the 2 hurt like the devil, but I got over the slap to my ego. As writers we must suck it up and go on. Take what we can from the review and go from there. After all, the review may have some legitimate criticism. Contrary to our belief, we are not perfect.
On another note, how about posting reviews. Do you believe in giving your friends a 5 just because they're you're friend? I don't. If I can't give them at least a 3 or 4, I don't leave a review. Tell them in a kind and constructive manner why you ranked them as you did.
And I certainly don't want people giving me a 5 star review based on friendship. Give me what you think the story deserves and tell me why—in a nice way.
There are certain aspects of a story that are important to each of us. Please don't introduce a character to me and then forget about him/or her. I need to know what happened to them. Now when I say introduce, I mean you've given me a description in a setting with their name and connected them in some way to the plot. The same with plot elements. If you've made me think the killer is a mountain lion because the hero saw one feasting on a body on the side of the road. Make sure I know why it wasn't the murderer. For example, autopsy results show the person's throat was cut with a knife, not with an animal's sharp teeth.
Regardless of what we think, no author deserves to be slammed, mocked or embarrassed by a book review. Professionals do not denegrate and attack their fellow associates. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
These are just a few of my pet peeves and I know some of you—readers and writers— have your own. Please share them with us so we can all learn through your experience.