Dear Authors, Why that one star review just made me buy your book!!

I am a reader. I mean obviously, I run a book blog where I read and review books. But I read because I love reading, just for the sake of reading. I’ll read the label on your beer, or the wine menu, or the walls in the bathroom.

But my one guilty pleasure, is reading your one-star reviews. I spend a shameful amount of time combing Amazon for the best (worst??) reviews I can find. For reference, this is the best one star review a person could hope for in an entire lifetime >>

Writing a review about a book you really love can be hard for some. To be able to put those emotions into words that sound better than “I loved it…because it was perfect!” How do you describe something that made your heart sing and your emotions dance? It’s not always easy.

But the one star reviews….oh how I love thee. For a person to go out and purposefully one star a book and then write the accompanying review, some ranting and raving, they saw something that they didn’t like in the book. They saw it, they identified it early on, and now they are going to tell you all about it. Maybe they didn’t finish, or maybe they couldn’t stop staring at the words in your terrible book; they are so triggered that they have to write about it.

Now, the average everyday one star review is typically just a couple lines of what the reader thought to be offensive or what they didn’t like about the book. Others will write a review longer than a college thesis and more descriptive than a sex scene in a Lucia Franco book about what the reader found to be offensive or what they didn’t like. Either way, nestled inside these reviews I find the most valuable tidbits of information about your books, since these angry readers are the quickest to identify “problem spots” that point me directly where I need to go without any other direction.

“There was way too much graphic sex” = Thank you, I’ll one-click straightaway!
“Wow, this is so messed up! There is some disturbing shit going on in this book” = Thank you, I’ll be moving this to the top of my TBR!
“The characters were manipulative and unlikable” = Thank you! I love dramatic and over the top people!
“I felt like I needed to wash my brain after I finished reading this” = you have just one-clicked your way into my dark heart. The more offended the reader the better, in my honest opinion.
“The grammar was terrible!” “Learn to spell!” Lucky for you, I love fan-fiction!

Others would likely benefit from following suit as well, since you can also readily identify areas that may be problems for you such as trigger warnings and undesirable plot points. I know I have heard other readers say this too–I am not alone.

Do you see? 5 star reviews look gorgeous all lined up in a row and they get you top billing. But those one stars of yours just drove your book on a highway right into my Kindle.


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Sara is a book hobbit that lives in a house of all boys, located in the promised land. Books stack the walls to the ceiling in some places, and she just keeps adding more. She was raised on top of a mountain that is locked in the dead of winter ten months of the year. She wears a size eleven shoe and enjoys her chicken cooked on the BBQ grill. In addition to reading she enjoys pinning crafts on Pinterest that she will never make and watching movies about people with sad lives or documentaries about serial killers.

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