what do you think of buying book reviews? Want to know my opinion? A heinous practice, that's what I think---or rather, what I thought.
But then stars became too important and, by god, even more random. In the last couple of days I've looked around Amazon and Goodreads and found:
a 1-star review for a friend's book that hasn't had ARCs sent out yet. (Jackie Ivie)
a few "omigod I lurve this book! it's a keeper!" 2- or 3-star reviews (nearly every book out there has something like that).
1- or 2-star reviews with reviewers complaining about all the sex sex in the story that is clearly labeled EROTICA
1- or 2-star reviews with reviewers complaining how they thought they were getting a full length novel on a story that is labeled SHORT STORY
1- or 2-star reviews on paperback copies of books for the slow delivery of those books.
bushels and truck-loads of 5-star reviews for books that won't be out for a year or so -- because the reviewers love the authors (I can't bring myself to despise those reviews, but really. They're just as unreality based as the others)
The stars mean next to nothing to some of the people who click the buttons. (note the word some, it's important.**) But when it comes to operating in the promo world, they mean everything. You can't get much done in terms of promo without the star currency.
Fine. IF we need reviews And IF a big chunk of the people pasting stars aren't actually using brain-cells when they click, why not buy some reviews? That path seems less repulsive and dishonest every day.
I'd rather have some honest "I dislike this story and here's why" reviews that I bought than a bunch of "I hate this thing--I haven't read it but I know I hate it because it has a ugly guy on the cover" sort of reviews someone passing by might post.
Of course I'd enjoy "I love this story and here's why" but the honesty bushwa is what I'm ranting about now. Honesty and actual thoughtful analysis -- and reading at least a big chunk of the book....That's what I want. And I no longer associate it exclusively with freely-offered reviews.
I'll save the "why do you hate my perfectly wonderful stories" for another emotional outburst.
**because obviously I'm not talking about your reviews