Rant: Don’t Be THAT Book Reviewer

So this is a mini rant.  I don’t think I’ve ever done one here, actually, but I was pretty steamed.

Your favorite author releases a book.  Great!  Now, what do you do?

Do you:

  1. Buy/borrow it, read it and leave glowing (or not) review about the contents of the book
  2. Not buy it and leave a review ranting that this isn’t the series you want them working on and give a 1 star because how dare them not cater to you
  3. Not buy it and leave a review ranting about how it isn’t in Kindle Unlimited and you refuse to pay money for their work so are giving 1 star
  4. Not buy it and leave review slamming this author, their books, and their unborn children and tell everyone they should buy this other author’s books instead
  5. Not buy it and complain that the series isn’t complete on every social media site ever because you won’t buy it until it’s complete

I’ll give you a moment to think here.

First of all, if you didn’t buy/borrow and read the book, DON’T LEAVE A REVIEW.  You didn’t read it.  Don’t leave a review.  It’s THAT SIMPLE.

Second of all, the author is going write the series that keep their bills paid.  This means if a series isn’t selling well (or was pirated so badly it isn’t selling well) then that series is going to the back burner to maybe be worked on later.

Third, the author is under NO OBLIGATION to put their book in Kindle Unlimited.  This program restricts them from selling places like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Apple.  This hurts their sales, and a KU read pays out WAY less than a purchase.

Fourth, don’t like this author?  Think we should read someone else instead?  Spread that opinion far and wide on social media, but the reviews are NOT a place to do this.  The review is a review of THAT BOOK by THAT AUTHOR.  Not a place to shill other authors.

Last of all, the series isn’t complete?  Look, authors have to pay their bills.  If everyone waits for a series to complete IT NEVER WILL because it made NO SALES.  Back burner to work on maybe, someday.  If you want a series to continue, keep buying it.  Purchases or borrows tell an author the series is good and that people like it, AND they pay the bills, so this is huge incentive to keep writing.

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that the correct answer is the first one.

  1. Buy/borrow it, read it and leave glowing (or not) review about the contents of the book

Even if you didn’t like the book, this is fine.  Not every book is a good fit for you.  Leave a review saying why (politely) and rank it however you wish.  I generally count 3 stars as not that great, 4 stars as decent but not incredible, and 5 stars as the best thing since soft serve ice cream please-give-me-more.

If an author sees the same comments in the reviews over and over, it tells them something needs work.

But, honestly?  The reviews are for OTHER READERS.  Most authors don’t read them and PROFESSIONAL authors don’t interact with them.  Not even on Goodreads.  Especially not on Goodreads.

Reviews tell other readers what is good to read.


Don’t be THAT reviewer.