I’m noticing a trend. No matter what site I go to, even the Foodnetwork sites, more people are leaving ratings but no review. I know that writing a review takes time and thought. But many times when I see a 3 or a 4 rating, I wonder what didn’t quite work for the person who left it. And many times, I can’t guess what fell flat.

I’m a huge fan of The Kitchen every Saturday morning. If it’s on, I”m usually watching it. And a chef shows how to make a dish, I go to print the recipe because it sounds good, and I see that it has a three star review. I click on the review, and there’s nothing but a rating. What does that mean? Does it mean something in the recipe didn’t work or that the reader doesn’t like poblano peppers? Or onions? I can never tell.

When I first started writing, more readers shared a review, and I read all of them. I might or might not agree, but the reviews made me think. Maybe I should make the pace faster, add more or less description, whatever the readers liked or disliked. I took it seriously. When I get three stars, I’m not sure what to think. What worked? What didn’t? Or was this a reader who gave mostly three stars unless the book wowed them? So, the reader liked it but wasn’t wowed.

Ratings are odd. People leave them on FoodNetwork when they haven’t even made the recipe. I’m not complaining. I’m sure happy to get any feedback from writers. But ratings give me a hint of how the reader felt. Reviews give me information and ideas to take into consideration. BUT, I know everyone’s busy these days. So I’m just happy when a reader takes the time to read my book and give me feedback. I’ve just been surprised how much feedback has changed so quickly. More ratings, lots fewer reviews. It’s been interesting.

11 thoughts on “Reviews

  1. I write awful reviews, but I’ve finally learned that even a “great story!” or “wonderful characters!” is better than just a rating. However, I won’t review unless I can give it a 4 or a 5, which isn’t really fair to anyone, but as a writer, I won’t do anything that might cause harm to another writer. Kind of a quandary sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do the same thing. If I can’t give a book at least 3.5 stars, I just don’t do anything–because just because a book doesn’t do it for me, someone else might love it, and I don’t want to turn any reader away.


  2. I wholeheartedly agree. I hate that people can leave ratings without reviews. I’ve seen too many written reviews that say, “One star. I hate this genre.” It tanks the book’s average, but at least I know I can discount it as nonsense. If that same person can just give one star and not say why, I don’t know if it’s for a ridiculous reason or if the writing is actually bad. I’m sure the policy is to encourage more feedback, but it’s not actually feedback. Not quality feedback, anyway. Long story short, I’m not a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard there are even malicious groups who leave one star ratings then brag about it in their caves. Never bought the book. Never read the sneak peek. They’re just being mean. I honestly believe I have a few of those. My previous two publications received that treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard of that, too. Sad, isn’t it? One time, I got a one star and the next day, it was gone. I never knew if the reader deleted it or if Amazon did. One author swore that a group on Goodreads targeted her and gave every book she wrote one star ratings the minute her books came out. She was challenging the ratings on Goodreads but I don’t know how that turned out.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I hate the Amazon allows this to happen. Sometimes when I finish a book I’ll give it a star rating on Goodreads but not write my review right away. (Only if I give it a positive rating.) If I rate a book three stars or less, I’ll write the review to let others know my reasoning before assigning a star rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay! Glad to see you online again. The one star doesn’t stab me anymore either, but I still think it’s just tacky. It’s when I get 3 stars that I wish the reader would comment about what worked and what didn’t.


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