Reviewers, Readers, and Authors

person writing funny image

Last night I caught a discussion between authors and reviewers on Facebook.  Things got rough! I guess the author missed the memo about not responding to bad reviews. Maybe that memo refers to Amazon reviews.

Maybe part of the problem is perception. on a scale of 1-5, 3 would be average. Are we unwilling to have our books called average? Would a worker accept a 3 on a job review? We even feel bad when we get a 4!

Is the problem about comments? If a reviewer hates a book’s main character, does that make the book or the writer bad? Does that deserve a low of 2 or 1?

If the review says a book is interesting and kept the reviewer reading but was riddled with errors, does that mean the book deserves a 2 or a 1?  Maybe pointing out an error would help the author. Sometimes readers and reviewers don’t know the grammar rules or get colloquialisms. Sometimes an author just missed small things. FYI, Amazon points out some errors so authors can fix them.

What if the reviewer says a book or author would benefit from having a developmental editor, is that review from a “reader”, another author, or maybe an editor?  How many  readers would suggest a developmental editor?

Some reviewers seem to be on ego trips. They say things to tear down the author’s belief in her book. Others seem genuine.

Keep in mind that most of us are really average or close.

Remember that there are books we don’t enjoy. Some of us feel the need to spare an author’s feelings. Some of us have no time to read books or review books we don’t like. Is that helpful to readers?

Reviews aren’t really for authors, but they are for readers. Reviewers, please remember the review is for readers, so make comments to let a reader know about the book. Frustration, Men, Student.

Is this the author or the reviewer trying to say something nice? Author/121044561311561 Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab

A scene from Maribelle’s Magic in Finding Love’s Magic

By the time she strolled into Maribelle’s Flower Shop she had taken three text orders for “something exotic” and the “perfect candy” for anniversaries. Love my Smartphone!  Cassandra already worked behind her candy counter in the building she shared with Maribelle, making the most perfect flower candies, a bit like marzipan but even better. The woman had a way with candy that bordered on magic.  And Maribelle should know.

“Good morning, Cassandra. I have three orders for you. I’ll write them down.”

“Did you get them on your phone?” Cassandra placed a tray of orchid shaped candies in the mirrored glass case.

“Yes, I’m finally learning to use it.”  She waved a hand in the air as though she hadn’t been fighting with the gadget for months.

“A call or text?” Cassandra straightened up and raised her black eyebrows.


“You could forward a text to me.”

“If I knew how!”

“Hand me your phone.” The candy maker grinned as she tapped the face of the phone. “Got it.”

When Maribelle curled her lip at Cassandra the younger woman laughed. She has such a pretty face and lustrous curly black hair. Why would such a lovely person not have a boyfriend?

“Thanks.” Maribelle stepped into her small office and sat at her cluttered desk. Turning on her Mac laptop, she prepared to research Seth Carson, the man who couldn’t be in the same room with Jasmine without arguing with her. She skimmed through the previous twenty years, since she had known them for that time and they’d hated each other long before that, according to gossip.  When she found an online yearbook for the county high school, she hit gold.  Jasmine had been homecoming queen, with him as the king. Photos of her as head cheerleader mirrored him as football captain. They had tied for most likely to succeed. They looked like the perfect couple.  So when had trouble sneaked into paradise?  She had more research to do, but she had flower orders to fill first.

Maribelle’s flowers were magic, grown from seeds carefully tended from her garden on Olympus. Each year she collected seeds and tended bulbs to make sure she had flowers no one else could have. Every evening she talked with the plants, and every morning she had fresh blooms.

From her walk-in refrigerated storeroom in the back of the building she pulled blossoms that only she could have on earth. She gathered crimson orchids and red tipped silver roses, stunning separately and spectacular together. Each bloom looked like a jewel and smelled heavenly.  She grabbed sprays of baby’s breath and bridal wreath and took the flowers to the front to arrange in delicate vases of hand-blown glass made by one of her neighbors two stores down.

After she filled the orders she made a special arrangement to deliver to an attorney. Taking a single red tipped silver rose, she went to lunch at Sadie’s Diner, the place she knew she could get the most gossip and likely see her next lawyer victims.





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7 Responses to Reviewers, Readers, and Authors

  1. I review novels for the New York Journal of Books.A genre I thoroughly dislike is time travel and I also hate stories told in the first person present. For some reason I get a lot of those. I always make it clear I do not personally like time travel and 1st PP but that the review is unbiased in spite of that and I always give a fair review. If it’s a good story I say so, whether it’s a genre or written in a tense I don’t like. One reviewer I knew gave a book a bad review because the characters smoked and she disliked smoking. I hope I can say I’m fairer than that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lizzi Newton says:

    This is a great and insightful post. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say reviews are for readers. The idea is to share a readers point of view with other readers. Most readers don’t care about grammar, which is subjective to begin with. A reader in Britain will likely “speak” differently to one in the American South. That reader may not enjoy the local voice of a character. Then again, that different voice makes a character more believable. Reviewers should keep their audience in mind. Also, I’m going to have to read your book. It definitely got my attention!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sure you are fairer!


  4. I’ve cried over 1 and 2 -star reviews. It’s hard when someone calls you book poor. One reviewer didn’t like my premise for the vampire and gave my book a 1. I hated her, but I didn’t refute her review. I just emailed all my writer friends for reassurance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think writers and reviewers on the same page! They are following different rules! Reviewers are just individuals and we need to remember that. We all have different tastes. Adults don’t usually throw food at a hostess and say it sucked! Reviewers might consider that,


  6. Josie says:

    Very well said, MM. An insightful post.


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