Remember Match Game back in the 1970s? Ah, that Gene Rayburn was a kick.
And I just dated myself. LOL
However, it's not a game that I'm referring to with that post title. Nor is it very humorous. In my archives, I did a post called The Rapunzel Effect. One of the comments inspired a reply from me that truly created a spark of emotion.
I was talking about reviews rated a three on the LASR or Whipped Cream review sites. That rating isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. It's what I term a summer read: something fun, it helps to pass the time in an enjoyable manner. Sometimes a reader doesn't want a heavy hitter, just an infusion of romance. Short stories do that but they also tend to see more three ratings than not.
Why do I think 3 has a bad rap? Easy - it's because of how the review is written. The Rapunzel Effect addresses that so I'm not going to repeat myself.
What I am trying to point out is this: The rating has to match the review.
A review simply cannot have the words: excellent, perfect, great, in the conclusion of the review where previously, the writer was blasting negatives throughout. The review will not be taken seriously--especially if the reviewer decided to give a four or better rating.
The reader is going to come away scratching their head, "I thought the reviewer hated the book.(?)"
Here's a review of one of my favorite stories. It's a four book rating but the writer mentions something that justifies it being a four. I also think if it hadn't been included, I would have expected a higher rating, but that could be my personal prejudice.
A reviewer cannot give a gushing and glowing report and use those same positive words yet give a three rating. That makes no sense! There has be something that prevented it from getting a higher score. The reviewer has to say so. Has to. Otherwise, how can a reader trust the rating?
Here's an example: DON'T FENCE ME IN
Don't even get me started on how the review doesn't even give a potential reader any insight. That's a different post. But, see what I mean?
She claimed it was 'well researched' and 'solid'. So, why didn't it rate higher?
A better example of a three rating is this: BEHIND THE BENCH
Sure, something wasn't quite perfect for her, but the fact that the reviewer enjoyed the reading experience was not lost on me.
Now in this example, the reviewer hated the book. The tone of the review and the rating totally matched. I don't advocate this type of harsh and in depth microscopic carnage but the writer certainly was eloquent in her distaste. LOVE IN THE TIME OF DRAGONS.
By the same token, whenever a reviewer gives a reason for a three book or cherry, they need to do it with respect and civility. Reviews are not supposed to make an author bleed.
If authors are seeing a lot of negative and scathing comments regarding their work, and the majority of those are rated threes, it's not a wonder that poor little number 3 has had a bad rep. It's not fair. It's a generic paint brush tactic that is tarnishing everything.
A three rating can be a good thing, TEXT ME
- when the review is written right. Need a Refresher? REVIEWS CLASS #2
Make the rating match the review. Make sense. And play nice.