One-Star Reviews, Again… #IWSG

This post was written as part of the IWSG monthly, first Wednesday of the month, posts.

All authors need reviews, preferably positive ones, but independent authors, like me, need them more than traditionally published authors.

I need reviews for reassurance and recognition.

I’m insecure, because no ‘big name’ agent or publisher has accepted my work, and I need ‘other’ readers and writers to believe in me, because I don’t write for myself, I write for others, so what others say means a lot to me.

I’ve already written a post about getting negative reviews here, so I won’t repeat myself, but what I will say is that readers are entitled to dislike my book. Some may not enjoy the plot, others may hate my characters, and some more may cringe at my writing style. I have to live with that. I can live with that.

I have 2 one-star reviews for book 1, All Hallows at Eyre Hall. I’m not happy with either of them, but I understand that once an artist’s work is released to the world, it belongs to the audience, readers, or viewers, etc., and they can say what they like.

I do find consolation in my 34 4 and 5 star reviews, and the knowledge that bad reviews happen to everyone, including classic authors such as Henry Miller, Margaret Atwood, Ernest Hemingway, Vonnegut, Margaret Mitchel, and a few more, read on…

But what happens when you get a one star review because the reader wanted a paperback and discovers she’s bought an ebook? And instead of returning it to amazon, she asks you, the author to return it?

I know authors aren’t supposed to reply, but I did. I told her how to get a refund from Amazon. If she does get the refund, which I’ll never know, what happens to the review? Will anyone (the reader /amazon) bother to remove it? Can you ask Amazon to remove it? Will they remove it?


Probably not. The chances are a bad review will stick with you forever.

The only way to counteract one-star reviews is by getting honest positive reviews.

Sometimes people read your novel, enjoy it, they even tell you they liked it, but there’s no review. Readers are reading hundreds of my pages on KDP (I know because Amazon informs authors every day of the pages readers are reading, and we get paid accordingly), and I’m selling a few copies almost every day. So, why don’t readers write reviews?

I often ask ‘readers’ about this, and they’re usually either unused to writing reviews, or worried about writing an ‘unprofessional’ review. If they knew how much it meant to the author, just to write a few words of praise, I’m sure they’d all write reviews.

I tell everyone I know to write reviews of everything they read, but many of them, who are avid readers, have never written a public review.

I’m sure everyone who reads this post writes reviews, but how can we convince everyone who reads to write a review? Any ideas?

Check out what other insecure writers are saying here.

Published by LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

35 thoughts on “One-Star Reviews, Again… #IWSG

  1. Your work will speak for itself. If people prefer to read to bad reviews over 34 good ones then I’d hate to see how they handle the rest of their lives. I always get a sample before i commit to buying. You’re on my sample list, i have so many books going. But i like what i see so far.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for dropping by and commenting 🙂 I read the blurb and then I always get a sample first too, unless it’s recommended by a friend, or I’ve read other books by the author, then I often jump in and buy. I do also peek at the reviews, but they don’t condition my decision more than any other factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No idea; I agree, you should just stick with the good and ignore the bad. I’ve mention reviewing to everyone who says they have or are going to read one of mine but the number who do is paltry I think. That’s just the way it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think reviewing is a relatively new phenomenon, and people aren’t yet aware of the power they have. I’m sure in a few years’ time we’ll even be reviewing the ads we see on bill boards as we drive or walk along the streets. We’re pioneers. 2007 is when self publishing with amazon started. We need to find pioneer reviewers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never reviewed before I started writing, It wouldn’t have occurred to me and I had no idea how important it was and I most people will think like that. I have put a note in the back of my books about it in the hope of encouraging some people to review but I know most won’t. It is something people will learn in time though.

    I would ask Amazon for that review to be removed actually Luccia. If you point it out to them and say what you’ve done to try and sort out the situation I think they should remove it. I saw one once where someone had 1 starred a book because the download hadn’t arrived. That’s not the authors fault or anything to do with the book so the review shouldn’t be on there IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you know how I feel about posting 1 or two star reviews – If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. Maybe this is wrong-headed, but a bad review can be devastating to a new author. You can always contact them privately if you feel you need to vent, Having had a less than satisfactory review because the download was wacky (not my fault), I find it strange when readers blame you for digital issues. Typos, bad editing, etc. yes- but a lot of things can happen when things go between formats. Hang in there, Luccia!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I rarely write reviews and I decided about a month ago to start doing so whenever I read a book. It really amazed me how many authors responded with gratitude. I’m hoping to self publish a book in the next year, so I guess I need to prepare myself for all reviews, bad and good.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love and hate reviews! I love them because sometimes they give some good insite on what I may want to purchase and I hate them because I know there are people out there that are just never satisfied! They can always find something to complain about which kind of skews the over all percentage of good vs bad. So I think in the end as long as you have more good and only a few bad – you shouldn’t even worry about the bad and just be proud of the work you were brave enough to share with the world because it takes guts to make th
    at leap!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Call me precious, but I think people who leave one star reviews, especially accompanied with nasty scathing comments, are just that–nasty scathing people.
    If I start reading a book and see early on that it’s bad, which you can generally tell as soon as you start reading it, then I stop, and I don’t leave a review, partly because I know what it takes to write a book, and partly because I haven’t read the whole thing and therefore have no right to comment.
    People who read an entire book and then say it’s garbage confuse me. If it was that bad, how did you keep going to the end?
    I never leave a review lower than a three, and even then, I try and find a reason to give them another one.
    But then, maybe I’m just soft…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think reviews serve a purpose, regardless of the stars given. If for instance, an author receives a large number of two star reviews and they all mentioned the same problem with a book, the author might want to consider their comments. Silly reviews, such as the one you received, are a pain but no one pays attention to them. I do disagree that negative reviews should not be posted. Books are not cheap. I want some guidance from other readers on their responses to a book in which I am interested. I listen to a lot of audio books and do post reviews, positive and negative, without regard to the author’s feelings. If I purchase a book, I feel I am allowed to express my reactions. It’s included in the purchase price. That said, I have stopped paying much attention to Amazon reviews because so many authors have been hiring people to post good reviews, hence the notation on reviews now showing if the reviewer is a verified purchaser. If a book only has five star reviews, it makes me suspicious. 🙂 Good luck with your books!


    1. I understand your point of view. Of course we are all entitled to express our opinions, even if the product or service is free, at least in the part of the world where we live. I live a stone’s throw from countries where expressing views gets you into big trouble! On the other hand, I think politeness is underrated. I always bear in mind people’s feelings. I guess I’m used to it through my work. I’m a teacher and I always think very carefully about how to make a negative comment as positive and helpful as possible, but of course, I often have to point out where there’s room for improvement, and I do so. Thanks for sharing your opinion and your words if encouragement 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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