As an author I love to read other authors' books as well. I love to read a book that have me hook from page one to the ending, and since there are millions of book out there, I like to choose a book by it's reviews. I hate to pick a book and then once I read it, I get bored and I feel like the book is dragging on. But how reliable are the reviews. I have found some books that's are 4 or 5 stars and found out that It wasn't a good book to me as well as some of the reviews that gave it 1 or 2 stars. I try to look at the low rating to see what is bad about the book(if any) and compare to 4 stars that some reviewers have given the same book.
Stars are very arbitrary. A good review will examine both the strengths and weaknesses of a book in such a way that it'll give you an idea of whether you'd like the book. Different people like different books for different reasons. That's why I refuse to use a star-based rating system on my blog, even though I'll sometimes rate things on Goodreads.
I don't choose by Amazon reviews, but I do read a lot of blog reviews which influence my decisions a lot. If I've been following a blogger for a while I get to know how their taste in books meshes with mine, and I learn about books that I wouldn't have otherwise heard of. My TBR list has grown exponentially that way.
That's a good point about the stars reviews. Some people give out starts without telling what they like about the book. So I base my reviews on the stars alone, I want to know what you like about the book or didn't like. Thanks Grace
I agree with Grace. When I give a low review, I give a reason. I do give the books stars but notice some people do not. I think the stars also give me a reason to read a review. I like to read reviews before I write my own.
No, I choose a book after reading the sample. I will, however, read the reviews once I'm at the stage of writing my own, to see if others agreed with me.
I look at everything when I buy a book - blurb, cover, reviews, stars. But probably most important are the reviews, from which I will pick a selection. Do the reviews chime with my likes and dislikes? That can mean that a bad review might result in my buying, if it is clear that what the review criticises is something that appeals to me.
What Zoe said. I read mostly romance, but I do NOT like sex in my romance novels. Amazon reviews of romance novels fall into two distinct camps on this issue: not enough sex, or too much sex. I sort of wish Amazon would create a sub category in the romance section for "no sex romances." As it is, I end up reading a lot of YA romances, just because I know they will be chaste.
There is hope, though. Right now, I am reading "Twixt," by Diane J. Reed. So far it is chaste with grown-up issues and themes. I am loving it. I am 53% through it.
And no, I'm not a prude. I am just married and looking for a sense of fascination, wonder and beauty in the stories I read. Sex lost all of that for me years ago.
Depends on the book.
If I really want to read it (part of a series or an author I like) then no but if it's something out of the blue I will read some of the reviews (especially on blogs).
The 5 star reviews by family members/friends or those that only have one review (signed up to Amazon to pump up that book) are usually ignored or work against the publication.
I'm not sure if you guys are talking about judging a book by its reviews or its ratings.
Reviews give you more than a number. A well-done review backs up opinions with facts, and gives you a readers-eye feel for the book. Not only that, but if you make a habit of reading reviews, you begin to notice which reviewers share your tastes, and which ones don't. This can give you a lot of valuable information about whether or not to try a book.
If I'm considering a book, but I don't know any of the reviewers, I will typically look at a selection of reviews of different ratings, to see if I can get a feel for its strengths and weaknesses.
As for ratings...they can be somewhat misleading, especially early on. I've seen authors get all their friends together and flood a book with 5-star ratings on goodreads and the like....I am instantly wary of a book with too many five-star reviews up front. This is why, I am perfectly happy to see honest 3 and 4-star reviews of my own books. (1's and 2's sting a bit, but they come with the territory. :) )
Once a book has a lot of ratings....oh, let's say over a hundred....I do think they begin to represent an average impression of the book. But you (whoever you are), aren't an average reader. You're a random reader. Makes a difference.
On a slightly related note (feels like I'm talking about 3 different things!)
I'm an author, too, so I'm with you on wanting to give book a try. I'm also a reviewer, so I see things from both ends. As an author who is still developing a following, I just kind of want to say, "But hey, give me a chance!" As a reviewer, I know I need to earn those chances.After all, even "free" books cost time.
If you're an author with no reviews, or very few reviews, I will still consider giving you a chance if you are professional, if you have a web site (part of being professional, IMO), and if I can see a sample of your work (just put chapter one on your web site).
I like to look at the low rating as well just because I know that some of 5 stars rating are from friends or family. I have gotten a book like that and It was very disappointing! I should have looked at the low rating instead.
I also like to read the reviews, but lately I find that they irritate me more than help me. There are always people who have something negative to say and really nitpick and there are always those who love the book and gush about it. I find that the middle-of-the-road reviews tend to be the most helpful. Usually those people list the good and the bad. However, I have read some of the negative reviews for my favorite books and found that there are plenty of people who hated them and thought they were horrible. Ultimately, it's just someone's opinion and unless you know the person you can't know if you agree with them.
I know how you feel. I have gotten a book that had three 5 stars then the rest were four stars and a two gave one stars and they explain why. I got the book and there were errors, the story was predictable and slow. I was looking at the high rating when I should be looking at the low rating.
For me when it comes to rating a book I look at how well the story was written if it catches me right off and holds me to it tell I can't put it down. I've had a few I've given 5 stars to because they were page turners and well worth others to read them. I think everyone has their idea of whether a book should be rated high or low. Not all the books I've reviewed have I given a star rating at all. If their worth it then I do. I just want people to know that I enjoyed the book. Whether they read the book its really up to them.