Showing posts with label mean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mean. Show all posts

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mean Horror Book Reviews and Learning to Review Properly | YA Talk

I've been recently diving more into YA horror and noticed a pattern - no matter who wrote it, you'll see that ALL horror books have very low ratings and the most upvoted reviews are exclusively negative. 

If you're active over there you might also know that books usually have 4+ star ratings unless they're exceptionally horrendous or offensive (well, not always...). 


So I'm asking - why do we hate horror?

Seriously. I think this might be a reason why YA horror isn't taking off as a genre. I'm seeing reviewers give books one star ratings because they didn't scare them shitless, give books extremely negative ratings simply because they play into a cliche - you'll find the most unnecessary reasons over there. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, entitled to writing a scalding review, but it's fairly obvious that reviewers and bloggers are extra mean when it comes to horror. 

I get it, horror is an extremely subjective genre. Of course not everything will scare you, of course not everything will work out for you - but I feel like a huge part of learning how to review is to learn to appreciate craft and calm down a little about your own preferences. Just because a book didn't work for you you don't have to rate it one star. That's a rookie mistake. You have so much impact on authors' careers and doing that is almost always a bad idea. 

The problem with this behavior is that this is probably one of the leading reasons why there is so little horror on the market in the first place. Bad reviews, no recommendations, scalding comments from reviewers - all that leads to less sales, less buzz, and people being less interested in reading those books in the first place. I constantly hear people say they want more YA horror, I see bloggers and reviewers alike complain about the lack of horror - but then turn around to give every single horror book they read a scalding review because it wasn't the right kind for them. Again, I'm not saying you can't review horror books negatively. But this systematic pattern of being mean about horror books is such a frustrating thing to see for anyone who truly enjoys YA horror.

Keep in mind that the world doesn't revolve around you.

I've rated books I personally disliked and could hardly finish five stars before because they are extremely important books by marginalized writers about marginalized teens that have no representation on the market. It's incredibly important that you review with the thought in mind whether SOME of your readers might enjoy the book. That's just an example - I can't wrap my head around this that it seems like everyone is being extra harsh about all horror books on the market. And don't get me started on diverse horror books. Their ratings are even worse! You can't tell me that this is a coincidence.

I don't know, you guys. This just makes me sad. 

Contrary to popular belief, reviewing is a very difficult thing that demands a lot of responsibility and maturity. Seeing horror author after horror author have their book tanked because it didn't work for some people personally is just disheartening to see. I want more YA horror. I'm happy to read as many horror books as I can. But I don't know if we'll even get any more if this behavior continues.



Do you like YA Horror? What's your favorite read? Let's talk YA.



More on reviewing: 

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

When You Have to Write a Negative Review | Book Blogging Etiquette (#4)




Opinions are a difficult matter on the internet. Sometimes you encounter more troll and hateful comments than genuine ones. People often use the anonimity of the internet to show the worst of themselves.

Especially as a book blogger, you may find yourself in a situation where you don't like something everyone likes. 




Of course you are free to share your opinion and tell people why you don't like a popular book. The key here is to put emphasis on the why:
  • Reasons: 
Always give reasons why you don't like something. Don't just express your hate with mean gifs and insults. Be professional about it and just state in a neutral voice why you're not a fan. Never insult. Neither the fans, nor the author. Words are your friend here, show that you have an education.

  • Voice: 
Again, no insults.You're going to want to write a review that shows constructive criticism. If you can't be constructive, simply be polite.

  • Other Perspectives: 
What I like to do before I'm typing up a ranty review is to think about the people who love this book. Maybe you're not the target audience, maybe you have a history with disliking that special genre, or you're just not in the mood for this. Don't demonize a book just because you weren't feeling it.

Think long and hard before you publish a negative review that might affect other people and keep them from buying the book. Is your hate justified? Is this an offensive book or do you just not like it because it doesn't fit your taste? There's a huge difference between the two. Do your best to judge which case you're dealing with.


But what about Goodreads reviews? 

Don't take Goodreads as an example, this is the worst thing you can do as an independent blogger. Goodreads may be a critique platform in theory, but in reality it's just a way for people who hate something equally to huddle and say mean things. You'll quickly notice that the most popular and most liked reviews there are the ones involving the meanest gifs and the rudest remarks. 

The question then is - should you follow that example to gain more success more quickly? 

The short answer is me screaming no with a megaphone.

The long answer is that you always have to keep in mind that the author might be reading this. I don't understand why this is so difficult for some people to grasp, but it takes an insane amount of work to write, edit, and get a book published. That's accomplishment on its own.

We as readers just feel responsible for providing helpful feedback if we decide to share our opinion on public platforms. Imagine if the author were reading that you called them an absolute retard for writing a book that should be used as toilet paper instead (someone actually said this on Goodreads). 

I'm not saying you're not allowed to rant, to express your disappointment over a book that didn't live up to your expectations. Of course you are allowed to voice your opinion, but please, please don't write any feedback that you couldn't deal with yourself. 

Ask yourself: if someone wrote this about your book - how would you react?


How do you handle writing bad reviews? Do you publish them at all?




More Etiquette:

You might want to check out my Book Blogging Tips series:


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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Why You Should Never Ever Take Review Inspiration From Goodreads | Book Blogging Tips (#34)




As a blogger, you probably also have a Goodreads account. Goodreads is a community where you can share reviews, book recommendations, and the like with your friends and discuss the latest books you read.

A huge part of the website is the review section. Anyone and everyone can publish reviews, sharing their opinion with the whole world. 

There are absolutely no rules, and this is exactly why the worst thing an aspiring blogger can do, is to copy-and-paste their super popular Goodreads reviews onto a blog.



The Difference Between Reviewing on Goodreads and Independently

Most reviews on Goodreads are angry rants. The more you write about why you hate a book, the more likes you're going to get from similar-minded people. While I'm a-ok with expressing a negative opinion, it always always always depends on the tone. On Goodreads, people can vote on your review. The more likes and comments it has, the more likely it is to get around and be seen by a lot of people. Logically, the reviews that are shared a lot are the ones that polarize. 

Consequentially - what do people do when they want to get famous on Goodreads? Write controversial reviews, mostly involving swear words, GIFs, quotes, and anything to support your negative or positive opinion. 

If you're reviewing on a blog, your focus isn't on the looks of the review, but the content. At least it should be. Of course you're supposed to have a certain common theme and aesthetic to your reviews, but it's all about your opinion.
On Goodreads, it's all about attention, getting comments and likes, and ideally also ridiculing the author. 

Why Goodreads-Reviewing Is Terrible 

On Goodreads you won't only find a lot readers, but also authors.
Many popular and famous authors do have a Goodreads account, so there's a chance that they'll read what you have written. Most popular Goodreads Reviewers don't have independent blogs and strictly stick to the website. But I've seen a few people try to transition with those hate-filled and flat out mean reviews you'll find on the site.

If you don't know what I mean by goodreads-reviewing, here's a review from a very popular Goodreads reviewer for Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein


[Source]


Imagine being the author and having to read that your book made someone want to gouge their eyes out. So much work from a copious amount of people goes into writing a book. If you're going to review it, don't do it like this. It's insanely disrespectful, childish, and mean.

As an aspiring blogger, I can just urge you to aim for the highest level of professionalism you can, while staying true to yourself. Don't look at Goodreads and try to write your reviews like the popular people on there. 


What's Your Opinion on Goodreads-

Reviewing?


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