An Interesting Thing About Book Reviews

If you have bought books online, then you have likely sought the reviews to help you decide to purchase, specially if it’s a book by an Indie author. I have read them. Until now, I considered reviews according to the language and position of the reviewers.

Reading Ashes by Linda LaforgeBook Reviewers … categorized according to me

I try to take the comments on books into the perspective of who the reviewer is according to how they represent themselves. I have some unofficial categories when considering reviewers.

The reviewers I disregard or take less stock in are as follows:

one – Too picky, way way more Bookish than me. (And I read a lot these days!)

two – Too Angry to even consider their review. When they can’t spell it make sit all that much worse…

The reviewers I tend to appreciate more are as follows:

They start with what they like before critiquing because they don’t feel the need to crush anyone’s dream and they express themselves clearly.

How do authors get reviews?

Since I have recently published my own book on Amazon, Ashes, I discovered that the first part of the strategy to sell books is to get reviews. Most authors will say they all have to be shining reviews. And man, getting reviews is not as easy as I thought it would be! Yes, I have given my book to people hoping for a review, but they don’t necessarily follow through. Until recently, I had none.

So, I was advised to try an online community called GoodReads. I put up my profile and joined a few groups. Some are authors looking for reviews on their books, and in return, they read your work and do a review. Let’s just say I have been doing a lot of reading. The books I was working on have been put aside, as I too was hoping for speedy reviews. I received two great reviews too, though not the kind you’re thinking – I got a 3 out of 5 and a 4 out of 5. Because they are honest reviews by people who know their stuff, that’s great with me. I’ll do the same in return – an honest review.

Where to Trouble Starts

I have noticed a ton of reviews on books I have read that should be less than stellar. Way less. It’s that ‘review swap’. Too many writers are taking too much stock in getting perfect reviews. To get one, they may feel they have to give one. So when a book should get a 2 or 3 out of 5 because it’s littered with typos, spelling errors and giant plot holes, they get 5 stars.

I don’t think I could give a dishonest review. It’s not fair to the potential buyer and it’s not fair to the writer, who could grow and improve from the experience. (After all, they can edit and resubmit their book!) Something I hope to do with every new work I send out to share with the world. I would also like to be able to trust  book reviews, but now I don’t. It’s sad when another trust is broken…

by visual artist and art instructor and writer, Linda Laforge.
See her art and some of her writing at


  1. I feel the same way, Linda. Recently, I agreed to betaread a fellow writer’s latest work, and although I enjoyed the first book in the series, I didn’t enjoy her latest one as much. Afterward I was expected to review it, and I really did struggle with the review. I focused on what the story was as I perceived it and ended up giving it a 3 out 5 star rating, and felt a bit bad for it afterward even though I was honest. She’s a competent writer but wasn’t writing up to her usual standard and I focused on what I liked and didn’t like. But as you said, we need to be honest. What reader might not enjoy, another will.

    After the experience, I really thought about what reviews are and what they aren’t, and came to the conclusion that a review is more a reflection of the reader than the writer.

    I am also on Goodreads, Linda. Will look for you there. Let’s catch up!

  2. Hello,I am writting to you to say that your book reievw is amazing. I would have never written one like this, you are a very talented girl I have never heard of this book before. I would love to find out if she finds her true mum (please can you get back to me on my comment. Have you heard of a book called War Horse by Micheal Morpurgo he inspires with my reading and writting. From your blogging friend,Eleanor.

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