Over the last few years, I’ve reviewed dozens and dozens books. Sometimes authors ask me to elaborate a bit more on my reviews in a private email and I'm okay with that. They're not asking me to change the review, so I see no problem with it.
But there was this one time when an author emailed me and said they appreciated my review and they didn't sweat negative ratings and that they would take everything I said into consideration.
I didn't understand what they meant really since I gave the book 3 STARS. How is that a negative rating? I guess this would depend on what others define as “negative”. But in my world a 3-STAR rating means “I liked it, though there were a few issues.”
Believe me, the review itself was not negative either. I did as any good reviewer would. I talked highs and lows, what irked me and what really worked for me. I went on about the characters, pacing, and the overall plot. I even mentioned an interest in the second book. Trust me, if I really dislike the first book in a series, I ain’t reading the rest of ‘em!
Nothing against the author though, because I see this a lot. Authors really think 3-STAR ratings are B.A.D. No, people. 1 and 2-STAR ratings are bad. 3-STARS are G.O.O.D. A lot of authors (and readers) see a 3-STAR review and immediately write a book off.
Why do you do this???
Those are the books you need to check out. Books with all 5-STAR ratings are the gambles, and chances are, you’ll probably lose big. I have. Many times.
Again, 3-STAR ratings are NOT bad. The only time they have a negative impact is when the review doesn’t match the rating. Either the reviewer gave a really great review and a lower rating, or a negative review and a higher rating. I know most authors won’t complain about the latter, but it doesn’t do an author any good really. Once people read the review, they’ll see how off the rating is and pass judgment that way. Not a good look for you as an author, let alone the reviewer.
Bottom line? Stop hating! A 3-STAR review is a positive (I really don't care what GR and the Zon have to say about it). I rarely write 5-STAR reviews and those books that I do rate that high, absolutely deserve it. So just think twice about brushing off a 3-STAR rating. Really dig into the review and understand what the reviewer is saying about the book, before you throw up your hands and add it to your "Never-Gonna-Read" list.