Hello all, and I trust everyone (in the UK, at least) is enjoying their bank holiday weekend.
I have just spent the past few days down south in the land of Southampton visiting the other half. What have you all been doing?
As I’m sat on the train home a thought occurred to me. I won’t disclose what it was just yet, so you’ll have to wait. But I just thought I’d let you all aware of how my week has gone and the goings on.
In terms of productivity and getting back into the routine of things, it has been slow. For some reason unbeknownst to me (perhaps I’ve used it too much) the Scrivener app on my phone ceases to work anymore, insofar as it crashes everytime I open it up. This has, rather ashamedly, hindered my writing, as it is the fastest and most efficient way for me to write. I have tried to contact the help desk on Twitter but to no avail. Thus, the progress on my fantasy novel has had to come to a slow halt as there are about 1500 words that are currently “missing”. But with any luck, it will sort itself out and I will be back writing again.
It hasn’t all been a week of mothing, however. No, in fact I have completed a short story of approximately 2800 words within the space of a day, and I will be editing/tweaking/generally reading through before submitting to the Reedsy weekly competition.
I cannot disclose what it is about just yet, but not before long I shall post it here and you can enjoy it to your heart’s content!
Anyway, enough about my week. Let us address my thought. I was reading through my emails and saw one from BookBub (for those who don’t know what it is, it’s a book advertising company that promote particular books on offer to potentially millions of customers) and the description detailed to me that this current book had over 1,000 five-star reviews on goodreads.
and I thought to myself, well what does it matter?
It seems that everywhere you look authors are requesting reviews for their novels, and they have every right to do so. Of course, I’m sure I’ll be one of those, too. But the problem I have with it is, is that if everywhere you shop around – from a customer perspective -has over 1,000 five-star reviews then you’re no way more inclined to choose book A over book B.
The constant need to accumulate reviews, I believe, is nullifying the effect said reviews will have on your book.
No one is going to take the time to read through 1,000 reasons why the book is good/great/phenomenal/fantastic – or whatever adjective the reviewer has used. Rather, they want to read the much fewer reasons why the book only achieved one-star, don’t they?
Everyone does it. Let’s say, for example, you want to buy a Hoover from Amazon, and you’ve found a really nice one with all the bells and whistles (or, handles and suction compressors in this case). It’s got tonnes of reviews, all good mostly, but you focus on the one-two- star reviews because you want to find out what’s wrong with it or why that particular person didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to. Now, for me, if the poor rating doesn’t seem to make sense or hinder my opinion on the Hoover, then I will most likely still buy it anyway, because the power of one is greater than the power of five.
You may not agree with me, and I completely accept that. But I think that 1000s of “generic” five-star reviews saturate the market. Instead, I would rather people’s honest reviews. After all, writing is a developmental career. No one writes a masterpiece after their first time, rather, they grow into the writer they become and the use of helpful reviews will do that.
Anyway, that was just my thought. Not sure if it even made sense! But alas, it helps to get these things out of your mind and into the world so you can focus on other things.