Monday, December 11, 2017

Customer Reviews... Good, Bad, and Best!

I always cringe when I see a new review has come up on my books. I'm never sure what they will say. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, and some make me see blood.

The following reviews are for my first Sabrina Strong book Ascension.

The latest one went thus:

Topic/story was great. However, grammar and spelling drove me crazy. Too many gaps in the story line. Erratic starting and stopping of chapters. Towards the end there was a very large gap in the story. I realize the first book was free. However, I'm not sure if I am captivated to find out more about the story line.
Best of luck in your continued adventures.

This one gave me two stars. I must say I'm not sure what she means by gaps in the story line, or "Erratic starting and stopping of chapters". The start of a chapter is when a new scene beings and the end of it is either the end of a scene, or when the writer wishes to stop in the middle of something, and make you want to read on. Apparently, since this person did read on, that trick did it's job. It's not something I made up. If she ever reads other authors she should note this happens quite a lot. Patricia Cornwell will stop in the middle of things, end the chapter and start right where she stopped. It is a writer's perogative, I would think, how they want to do this, but in many writing suggestions by seasoned writers, what I do is what I've learned from those seasoned writers.

Let's take another one. This was one of my better ones. These are both taken from Amazon.

I LOVED this book. The intrigue really had me wondering what was going to happen next. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. If it is half as good as this one is, I am in for a real treat.
I would recommend this series for anyone loving this genre.

The above was a 5-star review. This woman did read all five books, and gave reviews on all of them. I was hoping to hear from her again. In fact she asked me to let her know when the 6th one came out. Unfortunately I don't know what happened to her. Her facebook entries ended sometime earlier in the year. I have no idea what might have happened to her.

Some of my best reviews come from facebook, in fact. People who are real fans will find me or my books and leave some sort of review.

This one was left for me yesterday, and believe me it takes the bite out of the first one I shared with you.

Absolutley LOVE your books ...can.t wait for #7 of sabrinas!!

I like these because I can thank the person directly on facebook. I find that interacting with fans is the best way to keep them interested. 

Even though my publisher has stated that reviews sell your books, I think word of mouth is better than a hand full of reviews. I can't make someone leave a review, and really paying for a review is just like bribing someone to say something nice. I find that somehow dishonest. I know other authors do this, and lovely that they've got money to burn on such things. (I don't make that much as a writer and even if I did I wouldn't pay for a damned review!) People make a review either because they want to, or have the inclination of leaving reviews of books they have read. If you check the names of those people who leave the review, you'll see what I mean. You can go and read all of their reviews and see if they are stingingly honest with all their reviews, never give more than 3 stars, or if they enjoy books of a certain genre and make nice reviews on most or all.

Here is one that I got at my Author Page on Facebook:

This morning I sent this out to one of the 'reading groups' I belong to;
Hey everyone;
I just last night ( ok- 1am!) finished the Sabrina Strong series by Lorelei Bell. Al 5 of them - started them on the 26th and could not stop! Most unique vampire series I have come across in MANY years- you do need to read them in order though - there must be a 6th and more coming & I just cannot wait!!!
Happy Memorial Day, All !!

As you can see, many of my fans are here and interacting with me there. Which is good. I know that people buy my books because there are sales all the time. A "free" ebook will boost sales on the rest of the books, which is what an author of a series hopes for.

Well, I'll end this rambling for now. Just wanted to share this with everyone. Hoping for more reviews on my books @ Amazon, though. I like to see them. Just don't like those 1- or 2-star ones.


  1. Even the bad ones have a purpose- they tell other readers that not everyone reviewing your book is a close personal friend expected to leave five star reviews.

  2. William's right about bad reviews. I've gained something from even the bad ones...unless they're illiterate or just trolls.

    I agree with you, too. Good word of mouth beats reviews every time. I know people who have said they loved my books but wouldn't post a review if held at gunpoint. Even giving them free books doesn't get a review.

  3. ~So true William!
    ~No, Norma. Free books do not induce people to leave a review. I guess it's just too much to ask.


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