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Dannica
10-08-2012, 08:31 PM
I offered to review a friend of a friend's books on Amazon because we were talking about how having a lot of reviews can really affect sales. Now, I'm regretting that decision because one of the books isn't that good. I'm not sure I'm comfortable giving it only 3 stars on Amazon after offering to review it, but I sort of feel that 4 stars is more than it deserves and I'm doing a disservice to readers to make everything I review 4 or 5 stars on Amazon.

Thoughts? I wondered if others had been in this situation?

Icedevimon
10-08-2012, 08:41 PM
The way I see it, a three star review isn't necessarily bad. I've given plenty of books three stars even if there were aspects of it I enjoyed. Three stars is average. You can still pass a class with a C. and in the end, you agreed to review the book, not to praise the author as our next great messiah. Give the book your honest review. If that's three star, then do it. The thing with reviews too is that something you don't like isn't necessarily something that others don't like. Someone may read your review, disagree with some of your points, and decide to pick up the book after all based on your differing tastes. I've done it before and ended up enjoying the choice.

PorterStarrByrd
10-08-2012, 08:43 PM
If you feel something is worth less than four stars but don't want to publicly rate it at that, don't rate it. Tell you friend why you feel that way and it'll improve his/her writing in the future (maybe).

Don't sell your soul for friendship.

Dannica
10-08-2012, 09:11 PM
Thanks for your advice. I had not really thought about the fact that a 3 star review is not necessarily a death-knell for sales.

Amadan
10-08-2012, 09:29 PM
Thanks for your advice. I had not really thought about the fact that a 3 star review is not necessarily a death-knell for sales.


A 1-star review is not a death-knell for sales. People really overestimate how much influence reviews have on sales. The fact that you have reviews is more important than the ratings. (Now if it has a lot of 1-star reviews, that will probably deter people.)

Chris P
10-08-2012, 09:39 PM
What Porter said. Be honest.

I do not review books on Amazon if I know the person. To be honest, I think the whole practice of stacked reviews is kind of cheap. I reviewed a friend's book once, and once I recognized that the user names of the other reviewers were the authors' parents (using multiple names) I vowed I wouldn't do it again. I hope nobody does it for me. Call me an idealist, but if the reviews aren't honest, what's the point?

veinglory
10-08-2012, 09:41 PM
If this is a friend I would send them the review and ask if they want you to post it. No reply means: no. :)

jjdebenedictis
10-08-2012, 10:31 PM
If you lie about how good the book is, you are helping to perpetuate a fraud against consumers, i.e. you are helping bilk people out of their money by misrepresenting how good the book is.

It isn't ethical to puff up your rating. Hang onto your integrity, and review the book honestly.

lhuds21
10-09-2012, 02:39 AM
Review the book honestly, in my opinion. Anyway, three stars is still good.

Susan Littlefield
10-09-2012, 05:32 AM
Anytime you review a book, whether you were offered or asked, you have an obligation to be honest. You don't have to be cruel, but if you feel it's worth 3 stars only, then that is what it's worth. There must have been some things you liked about the book, which you include, as well as whatever you did not like (grammar, spelling, poor plot, etc). :)

Sirion
10-10-2012, 11:55 AM
Three stars is fine, so long as you explain why.

A.P.M.
10-10-2012, 09:22 PM
A three star review would not deter me from the reading the book. I would read the review and see what the reviewer didn't like. If they mention something that I don't usually mind, I would read it anyway if the plot sounded interesting enough.

ccarver30
10-10-2012, 11:34 PM
3 sounds average. Is it really average though (or below)?

Motley
10-10-2012, 11:42 PM
I had this issue when I bought a friend's self-published book. She started reminding me to review it on Amazon etc. and I felt a bit trapped. I ended up giving it a tactful but honest review complete with three stars. She ended up not mentioning it at all and it didn't seem to change our relationship. Phew.

MartinD
10-10-2012, 11:46 PM
If you're worried you'll offend your friend (or the friend of your friend), contact them and share your review in advance of posting it. If they don't want you to post your thoughts, you'll hear from them.

As a reader, I tend to ignore the 5-star reviews, anyway, for fear that the comments will just be a series of praise-a-thons. Give me a good 3-star review any day.

meowzbark
10-11-2012, 06:03 AM
I would tell your friend that you didn't like the book and ask if she/he still wants you to review it. If she/he says yes, then give it 1, 2, or 3 stars without worry. Don't bump up a rating just to make the author feel better. It ruins your credibility.

I've had some authors say to post 1 star reviews and others tell me not to. I typically ask before agreeing to the review, but I would definitely ask if you don't want to risk a friendship.

To ccarver, I'd say that 3 stars is average. It means that you neither loved nor hated the book. I would say that 3 stars and up is a decent review. One and two star reviews typically mean that there's something majorly wrong with the book.

Susan Littlefield
10-11-2012, 07:18 AM
As a reader, I tend to ignore the 5-star reviews, anyway, for fear that the comments will just be a series of praise-a-thons. Give me a good 3-star review any day.

Same here.