Friday, May 4, 2012

Stop giving your friend five star reviews!!!!

I've been thinking a lot about book reviews lately. Every author - especially debut authors - need reviews on their books. Book reviews sell books, as does word of mouth. But, it seems to me more often than not, friends and family of the author are posting reviews, rather than your everyday reader.

I've gone book pages on Amazon and looked through reviews of authors I'm familiar with. One particular book had seven reviews - three five stars, one four stars, and three two stars. The higher stars were from other authors from a writer's forum most of us frequent. The lower three were unknown to me.

This particular situation got me thinking even deeper about reviews; would I want good reviews only because someone knows me, or because they like my work? I think the answer is obvious here.

And here's another question: Can the good reviews on a bad book lend discredibility to the reviewers' work? Will someone realize that Joan Smith - author of Blah, blah blah gave a good review on a bad book and question their talent?
Okay, now that we've delved into this little arena, how about unsolicited reviews? When one reaches out on social networks and begs  asks their "friends" to read and review their work, does this seem desperate, or like someone truly believes in their book and wants to know the opinion of the general public?

What about you? Do you read reviews before buying books? And, if you're a writer, do you seek out reviews from bloggers and book reviewers?