When reviewing a book, do you ever wonder how many stars to give it?
Many people have -- but don't let it stop you from leaving your feedback!
Here's what the stars mean for book reviews on Amazon, according to "Inside the Inkwell". I like their rating scale, so I'm reposting part of it with a few modifications and added thoughts.
Enjoyed the book in the way that it was meant -- it delivered what the description promised. It may have given you a break from reality, surrounded you with lifelike characters, or perhaps made you smile or learn something. If you really liked the book, in addition to rating it, you can check out the author's website to see if there are more books in progress.
Generally liked the book -- you like it, but an issue with the book detracted from your enjoyment. This issue could be too much repetition in the writing, an annoying plot hole, way too many typos, etc. You might consider being a bit kinder in your rating of a self-published book (especially a low-cost one) than one that has a larger publisher backing it. Be specific in your review and if it was a plot hole or something you didn't understand, consider emailing the author through their website or contact info at the end of the book.
Neither liked nor disliked the book—you are not sure if you like it or not. You might read it again if you were stuck in quarantine and this was all you had… (that may have been why you read it in the first place!) Anyway, be aware that this review hurts an author’s rating because some advertisers and listing services don’t allow 3-star books, so consider leaving no review if you are on the fence.
The book is plagued by serious issues and you want to prevent others from suffering.
For example, the book is marketed as "hilariously funny" but it turns out to be not humorous at all to you. Or there are typos on practically every page (lack of editing,) serious inconsistencies, or a glaring lack of research. Or you found the plot, characters, or setting tedious and a waste of time. If you are giving this rating, be specific about what bothered you, it will be helpful to other readers as well as the author.
Colossal failure. You really regret picking this book and would like your money and time back. It could be that there was no plot and it was so boring you couldn't keep reading. Leave this rating if you want to discourage the author from writing another book.
Does this sound anything like how you review a book?
Please add your comments below or join the conversation on my Facebook page!
Thanks for reading!
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Insights on writing, characters, humor and other tidbits from the author of the "Scoops and Schemes" series of novels.
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Nancy's books are available for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers. Find retailers here.