I’ve written about reviews before and how they affect the author. This particular event is somewhat different.
Here is the deal, so please tell me if I should be upset or not.
I have a novella on Amazon titled "Faithed Love". Originally, I wrote it as a Christian story, but at the end, after the couple gets married they make love. That was a mistake. Christians hate sex, so I had to change the category genre from Christian romance to Contemporary romance. I also made it clear in the description that this was not a Christian romance.
The first Christian readers left a 3 star, a 2 star and a 1 star. The first non-Christian readers left 5 stars. After I changed the description there were only 5 and 4 stars left on the book. Up until April 22, there were a total of 10 reviews.
I created a group on Facebook for friends to connect, read each other’s books and leave reviews or give feedback. The rule of the group stated at the time that if a book deserves less than 3 stars, to contact the author and not leave the review.
Someone I met on a writing community and became ‘friends’ with on FB, joined the group. We decided to read each other’s books and leave reviews. To my surprise this morning, I saw that she left me a review. The words were nice but the rating 2 stars.
Question: What am I to make of that?
I messaged her but she has not replied as yet. I want to know exactly, what caused her to leave such low rating. What was it about the book that she didn’t like. Why didn’t she put that in her review? Here are her exact words from the review:
“I really enjoyed the story as it reinforced the fact that a broken heart can be restored. I loved the ending as it looked back on the years before. Well done and an easy and inspiring read”
There is nothing in that review that called for a 2 star rating. She didn’t offer any tips, not problems with reading, not formatting issues, no development issues. Nothing but nice things.
Here is the deal. Negative reviews makes the writer feels bad. Negative reviews from friends makes the writer feels worse. If my friend wrote a bad book, I would rather contact the person and tell them the faults I found instead of leaving a bad review.
What would you do if your ‘friend’ would rather give you a low rating than contacting you first? Is this someone I can trust to have my back?
There is only one person I am sure who would rather email me than give me lows score and that Is James, my friend. Every time I publish something, he emails me tips on improvement. He refused to leave me a review on my last book, though he tells me that it deserves a 4 star rating. He would rather not leave a review than give less than 5 stars. James knows that reviews break or make the author on Amazon.
Sannel has been a true friend. She leaves me positive feedback every time and I want to thank her.
After messaging the reviewer requesting an explanation of her review and subsequent ratings (2 stars), she replied by stating that she left a 5 star rating and doesnt know what happened. I figure it could be a glitch of some sort. She went back and updated to a 5 star.
Still, I feel like I missed something. I really want to know what readers think, how they feel about a particular piece of mine. Thankfully, a friend has decided to reread the story for me to see if there was something 'fixable' in there.