Friday, January 13, 2012

Bad Comments and Bad Reviews Discussion

I want to talk about something that is kind of a touchy subject today. This is something that came up the other day in the Yahoo Group that I operate, Romance Book Bloggers, bad comments and bad reviews.

Bad blog comments...

Do you ever get bad comments on your blog? I know that I never have gotten one but heard recently that a friend of mine got a bad comment on a review that she posted that was degrading towards the author and had a ton of spoilers in it. What would you do in this situation? Would you delete the post? Comment back? If so, what would you say? I know that I would tell them that all comments and opinions are respected, however comments such as this are not allowed and therefore was deleted. 

Now onto bad reviews....

I once saw a 1 star review on Amazon for an absolutely amazing book. I thought "how did this book get 1 star?" I had to go check it out. The reviewer hadn't even read the book :( Her 1 star rating was based on the fact that the publisher had to move around release dates and she wasn't able to get the book in a timely manner. WTF?!?! Really!? You DO NOT write a review and rate a book badly based on that. That, in my opinion, is unprofessional and rude. However....I understand the frustration in this situation. If you have a problem like this I feel that the publisher themselves should be contacted personally and last resort, email the author. What do you think of this situation? What would you do?

There is a certain author, who just got New York Times Best Selling, two books in a row, I might add, that continues to get horrible reviews from one specific reviewer. Some of you might know who I am talking about and if that is the case, please keep names anonymous. My question is, why would you continue to read a series if you think they are that bad? Is there a certain appeal to reading a bad book? If I don't enjoy a book/series/author I just don't read them anymore. I don't continue to give bad reviews. Honestly I don't normally give bad reviews period. The lowest score I will give publicly is a 3. If my feelings about a book are worse then that, I will contact the author, tell them, explain why, and then ask if they want me to post my review or not.  What do you do?

This is one of those topics that I could go on and on about. Bad reviews/comments really piss me off and I don't understand how some people can be so rude and hurtful. I know first hand that you can give a negative review and still have it be positive in the author's eyes. You have to have tact and you need to put yourself in the author's shoes and think "Would I want that said about me?" If the answer is no, then don't say it. Rephrase it to say the same thing in a way that is courteous and respectful.

I understand that this is a very controversial subject and it might raise some hairs. Please understand that these are my opinions and my opinions only and I know that not everyone feels the same way as me. Please keep comments respectful or they will be deleted. 

* I love to get comments here on Romance Book Craze so go forth and share your thoughts*


  1. I might read a second book in a series by an author even if I didn't like the first book much but I would limit any review to saying that I didn't like the first book, tried the second book to see if it had resolved the issues I had with the first book - with either a yes or no to that but I would not try a third book if I didn't like it and I would simply move onto something else. There are too many books and it should never be personal:)

  2. I have such strong feelings about this topic. In fact, it is the reason I started reviewing and blogging. I am very aware of the incident you sited. Disrespect is unacceptable in any venue, any aspect of life, whether you are talking to your child, your boss, or the world at large through a book review. If a writer does a poor job of writing a book, the fact remains he or she has poured her heart and soul into writing that book and deserves consideration for effort and respect for whatever good you an find in the project. I once gave a 2 1/2 for a really terribly written book, full of plot holes and disconnects, and I felt so bad about it, despite the fact that I made many positive comments. I thought the author had potential, which is why I didn't just not review the book. However, now I don't give anything below a 3, and if I find a book like that one - poorly done but with potential - I'll send the author a private message instead of publishing a review. One other thing, related to the 1-star review where the reviewer did not read the book. If anyone feels compelled to comment on a book they haven't read, DO NOT RATE IT! Just remark DNR (did not read)) but better yet, keep your keyboard closed. Thank you for bringing up this important topic.

  3. I do reviews for an online site, as well as on both my blogs. On my newer blog, I've eliminated 'ratings' completely, and just give a blurb followed by MY OPINION. That is what a review is, a reader's opinion of the book. I realize that what I like may be different than what another reader may like, and something I rave about may not appeal to the next person. But I am always objective and never negative, no matter what.

    I try not to judge a series without reading at least two in the series. I also try to read them in order, simply for the continuity of the storyline. There is nothing worse than reading a book and feeling lost because it is a second or third book in a series, and isn't really stand alone. When reviewing these types of books, I always use a disclaimer that these are a linked series and really need to be read in order.

    When I review for the site, since I have the privilege of choosing what I get to read/review, I have less problems with disappointment in the books I read, so I have never had to 'rate' a book lower than a four. I try to find something to like in every book I review, trying to always keep it positive.

  4. This subject also strikes a cord with me. I didn't realize how nasty some reviewers could be until an author friend of mine encountered such a person on Amazon. Authors pour their heart and soul, blood and tears into their works and who am I (certainly not someone talented enough to write a book) to write a hurtful review? If you didn't care for a book, there are ways to review it without being cutting. What ever happened to constructive criticism?

  5. I am in total agreement. My thoughts are, just because I don't like a book doesn't mean someone else won't. So keep my bad reviews to myself. I won't post them at all. I do let the author or publisher know and if they want the review I will send it to them. One thing I practice at GP is that if one of us does not like the book, we try to get another to read it. If neither of us can give it a three or more it does not go up, but at least I feel like we've given it a fair chance.

    Honestly, I love books so there are few I give less than a three to. I had my first ever HORRIBLE book last week, so bad I couldn't even give it a 1.5, there was NOT A DAMN THING I could find to like about the book, except that it was short. I begged for one of my reviewers to read it, just to make sure it wasn't just something I wasn't in the mood for. They didn't like it either, felt the same way I did.

    Bad comments, I will delete. For me bad isn't that they disagree with our review, but that they were rude, snarky or disrespectful about the author. I just deleted my first one and posted a comment to the effect that I appreciate their feedback but comments such as theirs would be deleted.

    Great post Leagh!

  6. I am not an author or even a very good reviewer (as in, I don't know how to write up a review very well). I just love to read.

    On my Goodreads profile, I state that I am not a book critic and if a book draws me in to where I have a really hard time putting it down, no matter how long or short the book is, I will give it a 5.

    I don't have the imagination or talent that it takes to put these stories together. I won't in any way assume that I have the right to tell any author that they don't know what they are doing.

    I have come across some books that had mus-spelled words or choppy sentences, but those are probably just typos. I wish I could go in and correct them, as I have seen reviews for these books where the author is basically bashed for this. I think it is unfair, due to the fact of being a fan myself, I want the next book ASAP, which, to me, seems to make the author push them out faster. What can we expect, other then the next book with some errors?

    Sorry, I know I have several errors in this, but I just get so irritated over this.

    I want to thank all the authors out there for their wonderful imaginations and talent. Books take me away from the stress's in my life and I have a hard time tolerating disrespect of any kind.


  7. Much of what you mentioned about was the basis for my leaving Goodreads the first time. Some of the reviews that they permitted, that people who don't like a particular author get their book just to bash it, pick it apart or make insinuations.

    I write reviews very sparingly because to be frank, I feel like I totally suck. Rating books, well if I really liked it, where it gave me a book high, of course it would get a five. Other than that I have no idea how to rate it. The few reviews I do write is when I win ARCs.

    As for comments... I would say you delete the post and somehow email the person to explain why it was deleted and so forth.


Books I've Read and Enjoyed!

Nauti Boy
Reno's Chance: A Navy Seals Story
Rescue Me
Honk If You Love Real Men: Four Tales of Erotic Romance
Long Hard Ride
Wild Card
Dangerous Games
Hidden Agendas
Killer Secrets
Heat Seeker
Black Jack
Loving Lies
Cowgirl Up and Ride
Tied Up, Tied Down
Rough, Raw, and Ready
Rode Hard, Put Up Wet
Branded as Trouble
All Jacked Up

Leagh's favorite books »