Author's Views on 3 Star Ratings

Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome to the authors point of view of the 3 star rating event!! I sent out a bat signal and these 4 awesomely awesome authors actually And here is what they had to say!

Author Opinions

Evelyn Lafont author of The Vampire Relationship series and Pack Mistress Series
Authors are in a very difficult position. First, they owe it to themselves to listen to their gut and write their stories however they should be written. But then, I believe that if they are going to charge for these stories, they have to have certain quality control measures in place through beta readers, critique partners, editors and proofreaders. Combined, these efforts should result in a fully realized work that the author feels good about and that is worthy of putting on the shelves.
Readers and reviewers are not in a difficult position. They read things and they either like them or they don't. Then, they assign a star rating that sums up their personal experience--something that no author can control or predict. Readers and reviewers who buy books and/ or take the time to read them and talk about them--for better or worse--do not owe authors anything. Nothing. They could buy an author's book for the sole purpose of wiping their asses with the pages after the apocalypse. And if they do so, they can write a 2-star review that discusses how those pages gave them paper cuts around their anus. Because that is the experience they had with that book. Other readers who also intend to use the same book for bathroom purposes can then look at their review and say, "Ouchie, I'd better skip that one." But those with anal cut fetishes will read the review and say, "Awwww hells to the yeah! This is the book for me!"
Reviews are about conveying one user's experience with a product to other potential users. Unfortunately, too many authors are using reviews as a means to manipulate sales (sock puppets anyone?), to sabotage competitors, to get hurt feelings, or to take writing lessons from. This way lies madness. Authors, love the work that you put out. Stand by it. Write and produce books that you know have a value to some reader, somewhere. Work hard to find that reader so they can enjoy your work. Don't take reviews personally--and don't be obnoxious about criticism. If you don't want your work to have honest, albeit subjective, feedback from the buying and reviewing public, put it back in your bottom drawer with your porn. Yeah, that's right--I know where you store the porn. 

Stacey Kennedy author of 1 Night Stand Series, Frost Bite series, 
The Watcher Series and much much more
Reviews are so subjective and it really depends on the reviewer what a 3 star means. For me, it’s all about what is written in the review. Some of my best reviews have been 3 stars. It’s been nothing but a glowing review. I’ve seen plenty of reviewers who never give out 5 stars. So a 4 star would mean “This book was perfection!” And a 3 star would be just below that. They could walk away from it, but they enjoyed it.
I think as authors we have to realize that we don’t go gaga over every book either. It’s really easy to be offended when it comes down to your work, but I always try and remember that there are a lot of books that I don’t put on my 5 star shelf. I always try and focus on the words written in the review and the good that the reviewer took away from the book. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in what stars they give, but if you focus on what a reviewer actually said, why they enjoyed it, why they didn’t, then it’s a whole lot easier to accept whatever stars they given and be happy with it. A reviewer doesn’t have to love your book and everything about it, but as long as the time spent reading it was enjoyable and made them smile, then that to me is a job well done!
-Stacey Kennedy

Eve Langlais author of F.U.C series, Princess of Hell series, Pack series and much much more
Hmmm, my opinion on three stars. Well first let's start with the others. Four and five stars, as you can imagine make me, as an author, super happy. It means the reader got what I was trying to convey, slipped into my created world and connected with my characters. Woohoo! Totally awesome.

One and two stars, while sad for me to see, mean the reader just didn't like my style. Do I stress about it? Nope, because not every story can't please everybody.  It's just impossible. Just like I hate peas and hubby loves them. Some things just can't be helped. And when I see that happen, I truly wish those readers the best in finding an author who hits their happy spot.

But three stars...Those make me sad. When I see a three star on one of my stories it means while I intrigued a reader enough for them to finish, I missed something either in my world building, characterization or relationship between the hero and heroine that would have made them love it. Three stars means I almost got it right for that reader, almost made them finish with a happy smile. Three stars means I failed. And that totally sucks.

Here's another interesting thing about three stars (and fours actually). When I write a sequel in a series, I read all the three and four star reviews for the preceding story. I try to see where I went wrong and how I can avoid it in the new tale. I then read the five stars and see what I did right, and make sure I keep that aspect as best as I can in the sequel. Does it always work? Nope. Not even close lol. No matter how hard I try, I end up with a new batch of opinions, a new flock of three stars and other stars, the reviews varying because each reader reacts to a story in a different way. And you know what? That's perfectly normal. Readers are entitled to their emotions about how a piece made them feel. Stories are never the same, ever. The emotional connections differ.  The world building changes. How you, the reader, react to the hero and heroine depends on your own personality and life experiences. There is never a right or wrong review, just how the story made you feel. So go ahead and post the three star review, because if a reader doesn't tell me what went wrong, then I, as the author, can never write a story that's just right for you.

Heather Hildenbrand author of Dirty Blood series and Across the Galaxy series
Ratings mean a couple of different things for me.

First and last and always, a rating is nothing more than ONE person’s opinion of my work. That person may gush and gab about how awesome they thought my book is, or they may hate it like it’s the worst thing since the Turducken. I think THAT is self-explanatory. (Actually, some people like the idea of the Turducken. It’s all relative, just like an opinion differs from reader to reader.)

I take every review with a grain of salt. But still, I TAKE every review.

Because the flip side to that is that every opinion counts. Everyone who reads your book has something to offer, because readers are the ones you’re trying to please. I’ll say it again, lest a writer forgets. READERS are the ones you’re trying to please.

Bottom line is this: a 3 star is better than a 2 star. And it’s dayam better than a 1 star! It means they think you’re decent. You’re not Hemingway. But you’re not Rebecca Black’s lyricist either.

Things could always be worse.
**So again, how do you guys feel?**
And thanks again to these awesome authors for giving us their opinions!


  1. "They could buy an author's book for the sole purpose of wiping their asses with the pages after the apocalypse. And if they do so, they can write a 2-star review that discusses how those pages gave them paper cuts around their anus. "

    BAHAHAHA I can't even read the rest because this has me in tears!

  2. When I give a 3 star review I always state why in my review and it is not always a bad thing when I rate I also use .5 so for me a 3 star rating is pretty good.I enjoyed the story. and I recommend that some one checks it out. I think when some ppl give ratings that they rate on the edits also and some ppl need to realize that mistakes happen no one is perfect.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Obviously these ladies are very mature about the way they handle their review. Three star reviews don't mean the book is bad. To me it means the book was good, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't one of the best books I've ever read. Honestly I trust reviewers who are more likely to give a book three stars vs. the ones who give out five stars all the time. Someone who always gives high ratings, I frankly don't trust their opinion as much.

  4. I can see where it is a natural human tendency to have one's effort looked on as par excellence, but books are so subjective to taste. These authors in their own special ways seem to understand that. Even with their kind understanding, I do think care should be taken as a reviewer to think and articulate exactly what grabbed you or didn't grab you about the book so there is a basis for the rating.

    Thanks for the posting! And thank you authors for your thoughts!

  5. Authors should never face a grade as fail or success for their books, they're results of people's opinion, and that is very variable and subjective =)

  6. I loved this post. Thanks for adding it.


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