“So how do you compare critique and reviews?”
“Ah.” I wasn’t going to argue and ask silly questions.
“A critique is done on a work-in-progress. The critique partner is expected to carefully read the submission, analyze it, dissect it, and point the author to the things that need corrections. A critique is not about flattering your best friend, it’s about being honest and helping an author improve her writing. No one except you and your CP is going to read the comments. But a review is a very different thing.”
“So what exactly is a review?” I said to encourage the famous reviewer to elaborate on reviews.
“Remember a review is done on a book already published. A reviewer cannot change the book by giving advice, therefore a reviewer should abstain from saying negative things about a published book. A good reviewer should restrict herself to highlight the points she likes in a book.”
“Do I understand you right? A review should always been good?”
“Yes, a review is supposed to help sell the book. Therefore a good reviewer will abstain from mentioning things she doesn’t like. Remember, reading and judging a story is so subjective and will depend on the reader’s taste. What I don’t like as a reviewer, another reader may like. A good reviewer should never destroy a book with nasty comments.”
“Interesting. You have a good point here. So what do you do if you really think the story is poorly written?”
“If I have nothing good to say about a book, I don’t review it.”
“What if you have committed to review it and discover mid-way, you don’t approve of the writing?”
“If I am already committed to review it and my employer is expecting a review, I will grade it, give it a 2 or a 3, but I will still say something good about it. Let’s face if there was absolutely nothing a reader may like about that book, the publisher wouldn’t have published it.”
“So you have never trash a book?”
“Never. By trashing a book, one would trash not only the author, but also the editor and the publisher. Trashing a book means that the reviewer is a bad reviewer who has a streak of nastiness and should not be allowed to review books.”
“Wow, I like that. I wish you could review my books.” It never hurts to try to get a review when one is guaranteed good review.
“Nope. I never review authors I know or met before,” the lady said with a peremptory tone and a sweet smile.
Have you ever received a bad review? I did from readers determined to hurt my book and promote others' as is the case with this last review I received on Amazon from 'Not Telling' who wrote: "Skip this and go find real Greek romances by Sarah Morgan and Abby Green." Two HQ Presents authors. If she likes Harlequin romances why is she reading my books?! I read Sarah Morgan. She's a wonderful writer, USA Today bestselling author, and 2012 Rita Finalist. Wow, to be compared to her, even in a negative way is fabulous, but the reviewer has no right to promote her authors on my review and denigrate me in doing so.
In that case, remember your book is good but your reviewer is bad.
Example of great review:
Amazing! By LAS Reviewer: "Babies in the Bargain was just amazing! It started out very dramatic and got my attention from the first paragraph."http://tinyurl.com/6mcd6e3
Unforgettable By Seniorcitizen
"This is a five star plus from Mona Risk. Pulled me in within the first chapter of Right Name, Wrong Man, and kept me hooked. And oh, that night in Paris in a Heavy rainstorm - I just had to re- read it several times for the sheer pleasure of it. I couldn't have imagined it any better. "http://tinyurl.com/85o4wg7
Highly recommend this book!! By Brenda
"LOVED This story!!! Very well thought out and flowed so perfectly!"
Breathtaking Setting for a Scintillating Romance!"The tenderness melded with fiery passion in 'Her Greek Romance' is perfect for that gorgeous setting."~Beth Trissel