I’ve recently had some thoughts regarding Amazon reviewers. I’ve come to recognize that many reviewers fall into certain types. At another level, I suspect that the reviews for each type reflect the personality type that resides behind them. Follow me here.
So far I’ve received 20 Amazon reviews for my book, THE OTHER. Of those, fourteen are fives. I’m very happy about that. There are also a two, a three, and three fours. A good mix. Does Amazon think so? I’m sure they have a formula to crunch this data.
And that raised the question for me: are all five-star reviews equal? I suspect not. Allow me to describe some types I have encountered. But first, let me say that anyone who takes the time and effort to review a book is tops in my own particular book.
The person who assigned THE OTHER a two rating was clearly in the wrong genre and expected something totally different. Perhaps my tags were insufficiently clear. The three rating was from a reviewer who was disappointed in the change of pace (and POV, I suspect) and the ending. Fair enough.
The four ratings are notable in that the reviews posted with the ratings would have been more appropriate to a five. This type of reviewer is what I’d call a low-baller, one who wishes to leave room to assign a five to that extraordinary book that might come along one day.
There are several types among my fives. Some have a history of assigning nothing but fives, including one reviewer who reviewed close to 150 books for Amazon, all of which were assigned fives. These are the kind souls, people who wish to encourage writers, not critique them. Another group I’ve named the Enthusiasts for their excitement about certain elements of the writing, such as the research, or the pace, or the setting. The final group consists of those who appreciate and understand what the author has attempted to do within the narrow confines of the particular genre.
Which type do I prefer? In fact, all of them. Each brings an important perspective to the table, each is valid, and I grow as a writer with each. I thank them all.