Guest Blogger: Marcie Turner: Negative Reviews – From the View of a Reviewer

Have you ever wondered what goes into a negative review? Fear of a negative review can scare some authors to the point of not publicizing their book. Believe it or not, I’ve run into a few. So what’s the point of a negative review? Authors are afraid of them. Reviewers who write them are considered bad guys? Why would a reviewer write a negative review?

Well, there is value to come from negative reviews, if done right. For that reason, Literary Wealth has welcomed back Marcie Turner to to give us, both readers and authors a view from a reviewer.

Marcie Turner
Reviewer, Blogger, Editor

Reviews can be a sensitive subject, especially when it comes to negative reviews.  I think it might be best to first look at what a review is. A review is an opinion of a book. Reviews aren’t literary critiques. They are simply opinions of people from all walks of life, who like to read books. I know this seems like a given, but I think there are times that people lose sight of this fact.

I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but writing a negative review is not easy. I don’t do it a lot, but occasionally it is required. I take no pleasure in it. I feel it’s necessary because I’m giving my honest opinion for something that I’ve read, and I think there is value in negative reviews.

  • Not all people like the same thing. Unless a book is read by the Stepford Wives Book Club, you’re going to get a variety of opinions. Think of it like this. If you polled fifty people who have watched the latest Batman movie, you’re going to get a variety of opinions from ‘best movie ever!’ to ‘meh, it was okay’ to ‘I wish I could get those hours of my life back.’ The same goes for the book world. Different strokes for different folks.
  • A well-written negative review can give some great feedback. If a person can explain why the book didn’t work for them, it might be worth some consideration. Does that mean an author should change the book? Absolutely not. It’s just food for thought.  Just remember it’s an opinion, and you don’t have to agree with it.
  • Just because I don’t like a book doesn’t mean I won’t recommend it to someone else. I know this seems crazy, but hear me out. I know that just because I don’t like a book, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t going to love it. In a negative review, what the reviewer might not like about it, you might want to read the book for that exact reason.
  • If a person has an axe to grind there are some ways to tell:  If the reviewer writes more about the author, or the genre than the book, or a book is ripped apart without actually telling you the reason why they didn’t like it. That should raise some red flags. If you’re unsure, don’t forget that you can check out other reviews written by a reviewer on practically any site. If most of their reviews are ripping books apart then they have bigger issues. I mean seriously, who reads a bunch of books they know they’re going to hate? Who has that kind of time?

The bottom line is that reviews are subjective. What works for one person might not work for someone else. Life experiences build our ability to connect with certain books and characters. Different opinions make the world go ‘round, and they make for great discussions.

To find out more about Marcie Turner, visit her blog at:

2Read or Not To Read:  http://www.2readornot2read.com

Looking Glass Editing: http://lookingglassediting.blogspot.com/

Thank you so much, Marcie, for being on Literary Wealth! Here’s to Hoping You Get Discovered Today!

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Marcie Turner: Negative Reviews – From the View of a Reviewer

  1. A bad review is hard to look at–even if you have 10 great ones. But I totally agree with you–different strokes for different folks. I had a bad review recently, and yes I did take some of the reviewer’s thoughts and am using them constructively in my writing. Will I change the book she ripped on? Not one single word! But you have to take the bad with the good–that’s life. Thanks for the post, Marcie!

    • Thanks Cindy. Taking the good with the bad is life-in every sense. I’m glad you’re able to use a negative review to your advantage.

  2. Lauren Carr

    I agree. Writers are artists and most of us are quite sensitive. As hard as I try to ignore a bad review, it still find myself going back to look at it. It took me years to get to the point where I can shrug off the bad review where it is clear the reviewer has issues of their own.

    There is one horrible review for It’s Murder, My Son’s audio book on audible.com, where the reviewers into ripping the audio publisher. Then she ripped into my book. Recognizing that her issue was with the publisher, I was able to laugh at it. I even printed it up and took it to a publishing class I was teaching and read it to the class. We all laughed.

    But done well, and constructively, criticism in a review can help the author. For example, more than one reviewer has mentioned that I have many characters in my mysteries and they can, at times, get confused,even though they like the characters. Well, I’m not going to reduce the number of characters in my books, otherwise, readers can flip a coin to find out the killer. However, keeping the criticism in mind, for Shades of Murder, I included a cast of characters in the front, and more than one reviewer has said they liked that.

    That makes everyone happy!

    Thank you for a great post, Marcie!

    Best,
    Lauren

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