Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Launch!! + Are Book Ratings Helpful?

As this is my first Writer's Voice post in 2013, I'll wish all of you a very Happy New Year to kick things off. I hope January is treating you all well!

So far, this has been a crazy year for me. As of January 22nd, I officially became a publisher in addition to an author, editor and wedding planner. Iambe Books, LLC (my publishing label) proudly launched Interred (Chronicles of the Interred #1), the debut novel of Marilyn Almodóvar. *tosses confetti*

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I would like to offer one of you an e-book copy of Interred, as well as a magnet and wristband inspired by the book. To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post. I'll give you some comment fodder shortly! For now, let's learn a bit more about the book:

Interred (Chronicles of the Interred #1)

Time has never been an issue for Baxter Jacobs, but then she never knew she had the ability to Bend it. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Baxter inherits a pendant that will change her life.

Connected to the pendant is a dark and mysterious young man named Declan Ashdown. Trapped in a Time loop for the past 122 years, Declan needs Baxter’s help to escape. The only problem is, she has no idea how to do it.

To acquire the power she needs to free him, she’ll become one of the Interred, those whose Magical abilities emerge as they come of age. When she does, she’ll discover that Declan isn’t the only one interested in the fact that she’s a Time Bender.

As the Interment arrives, Baxter knows this will be no Sweet Sixteen. A vengeful relative and the ruthless Council are determined to control her. Declan’s powerful and charming descendant, Jack Ashdown, claims he can save her. She’ll soon have to decide who she can trust, and how to master her new abilities before Time runs out.

Now that I've caught your attention, I'll give you the topic on which I'd love your comments. It has to do with book ratings and, in part, reviews. Now that I've got seven published works of my own and I've been heavily involved in the publication of an eighth, I've read many, many book reviews. They all range in tone and content, which is to be expected. All readers are different, right?

My question is why some reviewers offer reviews of books that list only positive--often glowing--praise for the book, but they rate it less than five stars. If a reviewer doesn't rate a book five stars, shouldn't there be some reason provided? Speaking as an author, I really and truly want to know why my book didn't rate five stars when a reviewer took the time to read and review it. That way, if I see a theme among the comments, I can work on that in future books. If the review is only positive, I have no idea what I've done wrong!

What are your thoughts on this? Do you write reviews for less than five stars without explaining why you did so? Inquiring minds want to know. :) All comments will be eligible to win the Interred e-book, magnet and wristband. If you don't win but would like to purchase the book, you can do so for just $2.99 at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

For now, please fill us in on your rating and review system!


  1. I personally give out reasons why the book wasn't for me, as well as the problems I had with the book, when writing a review. But from past drama, some reviewers might find it risky to do so as some authors have claimed it to be bullying.

  2. What an excellent point, Felicia! It's very sad when we're to the point where even the slightest criticism is portrayed as bullying. What's the point of a review if reviewers aren't comfortable being honest?

  3. On my blog I might write a review for less than 4 stars, but I won't put it on Goodreads or Amazon etc. without the author's ok. The ones I have had like that I have talked to the author and told them why I didn't like the book. Usually it is a matter of taste. For me the rating starts with the first line. I want to be pulled in. Then if my excitement is held through the whole book we are doing good. Finally I find a lot of books cheat you at the ending and it seems like the author just rushed it to finish it. So if the ending is in you get it all.

    1. Lorne, you've randomly been selected as the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations! Please e-mail me at Raine(at)IambeBooks(dot)com to claim your prizes. Thanks to everyone for entering!

  4. I like your approach, Lorne. Thanks for taking a moment to tell us about it! :)

  5. I normally do not explain why I give a book less than five stars if the rating is around four stars or so :)

    For me, I tend to pick out and highlight the positive aspects of every book and dwell more on those points. Often, the final rating has nothing to do with how many praises I've given the book in my review, but more of how the book stands in comparison to all the books I've read. A five-star read is phenomenon and a classic in my read books, while a four-star read may simply be a good favourite.

    A book may have many areas which I do admire, but it may not be my cup of tea and hence, the rating might be less than four.

    Hope this helps! :)


  6. Thanks for contributing your thoughts on this topic, Sel!