The Negative Side Of 5 Star Reviews

You’ve probably read that title and wondered, what’s the downside to a five-star review? People are loving your stuff, it looks great on your book description,  so what’s the problem?

We Live In A Sceptical World – Remember when you used to see a book with ten ‘ five-star reviews’ and think ‘Wow that must be an amazing book”?

And then you bought.

And then you found out it wasn’t as hot as you’d been led to believe.

We’ve all made those purchases. And nowadays you and your readers are sceptical of these published unicorns.  No book is perfect, not even yours. The Harry Potter book series is one that’s overused as an example of this, but it’s still true.  If you’ve loved the books or the movies, a few minutes over there will reveal that not everyone holds those books in as high esteem as you do.

And why should it? If a book is universally seen as the best thing that came off the printing press, there’s something wrong.

Maybe there’s a reason for all those positive reviews. It might be that the book is a new release and those reviews are from fanatical fans. But if that shine doesn’t wear off with the occasional three-star or lower review, it’s going to raise a little suspicion in your potential buyer’s eyes.

Five-star reviews are good, but don’t worry about the odd lukewarm review you get either.  They can be just as helpful for your sales and give a fuller view of what your book is like.

You’ll Think You’re Better Than You Are – We’ve all seen those auditions on America/Britain’s Got Talent.  You watch the wannabe step up to the mark and open their mouth.

Depending on the little bit of backstory that goes on before that moment, you know how it’s going to go. – There’s probably a moment of falling open mouths, a laugh, a cringe, or Simon waving his arms frantically trying to cut the session short.

The contestant, on the other hand, is lost in the moment.  Expanding on that ‘tiny audience’ of locals that love them at the local Karaoke bar, they can see the stadiums already sold out and a truckload of cash being backed up to their door. – They’ve made it!

And so it is with authors.

I’ll admit it, getting five-star reviews is great for the ego, but do you learn anything from it? If those ten reviews came from people that know and love your work, even if it’s a shopping list, does that mean you’re a great writer?

It’s easy to think that because you’re getting five-star reviews you don’t need to work on your craft, learn to plot a better book, or that your characters couldn’t be better than they are. – There’s always room for improvement.  Your writing can always be better.

In months or years from now, you’ll look back at the book of yours that’s still got a five-star rating, and know it’s nowhere near as good as the one you published today.

You’ll Play It Safe – Give me an author that’s looking to write a five-star book for an audience, and I’ll show you an author that’s playing it safe and is a crowd-pleaser.

When it comes to writing, of course, you’ve got to write to market to make money, but don’t let the tail wag the dog.

If you want to jump genre’s, tackle the erotic part of the romance niche, or write a book just for you, do it.  We’re all on this planet for a limited time and who knows how many books we’ll be able to complete?

If you’re writing just for five-star reviews, and it’s not where you want to be or your heart’s at, you’ll look back at that time as wasted when you could have been working on your own pet project.

Of course, we all want to make a living from our writing, and it’s nice to pay the bills with your work, but if you’re afraid of tackling a subject because it’s going to challenge your audience or bring on the hate and low reviews you still should do it.

You can make it part of your schedule. Do a book for your audience, and then one for you, until you’ve got everything you want out of your system.

Writing work to please your audience is nice, and five star reviews are nice for the ego, but sometimes you’ve got to put that aside and do something solely for having it out there in the world.  – Who knows, maybe the five-star reviews may come later when it’s time has come?

You could argue that there’s nothing better than seeing your book sell well and have lots of fans reward you with a five-star rating.

But like a politician, always wanting to please as many people as possible to get re-elected, don’t make the mistake of writing work to solely get them.

You’ll never please everyone, you’re not as good as you’ll be tomorrow, and you’ll look back with satisfaction that you’ve written that types of books you wanted to write.

But I’ll admit it, the more positive your book looks the better it’s going to sell.  And the more reviews you can get the better it looks.  Not just the five-star ones.

If you’re having problem getting ball rolling with book reviews, you’ll love this easy way of doing it.