10 Bad Reviews Which Will Actually Increase Your Book Sales

Tara Sparling writes

Look at my face. Seriously. Take a good long look at this face. It’s blue. And why is that? Why is my face the colour of childish summer skies, frozen computer screens, and musical moons?

It’s because I’m BLUE IN THE FACE telling you that 5-star reviews do not sell books. Stand-alone 5* reviews (rather than bunched together in aggregate, which I admit wield pens of power and therefore refuse to deal with here) are as much of an incentive to readers to buy a book as broccoli yoghurt is to naughty children to behave. They are meaningless: often vapid: frequently regarded as fake, and I have blogged about them so many times that my fingers are weary and my face is blue.

You know what can sell your books, though? A bad review, that’s what. And why is that? Because bad reviews contain 97.5% more useful information than good reviews, that’s why.

10 Bad Reviews Which Will Actually Increase Your Book Sales This…

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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4 Responses to 10 Bad Reviews Which Will Actually Increase Your Book Sales

  1. M. Oniker says:

    I’m not much a one for following reblogs (especially from serial rebloggers), but I’m glad you posted this. It was fun and brilliant. It also made me realize that I also shop by negative comments (not in whole, but a lot).

    Liked by 3 people

    • I can’t stand “serial rebloggers” who never seem to have any posts of their own. For the most part, I just reblog the weekly “Authors Answer” posts from I Read Encyclopedias for Fun, and I do that because my brother and our friend Greg are participating in that. Otherwise, I reblog only occasionally when I think something is particularly interesting or useful to people who read MY blog.

      Concerning book reviews: I ALWAYS read the “bad” reviews. Okay, that’s partly so I can mark the one-star ones as unhelpful, as they almost invariably are, because they just say things like ‘this book sux I could of write better then this!!!!!’ or ‘I don’t like this genre.’

      If a review says, ‘I found this book disappointing. I prefer sci-fi romance, and there wasn’t enough sex in this story”… Well, as I’ve said before, that’s a good reason for me to buy that book. If someone gives a low rating to, say, a paranormal romance because of the ‘bad language and taking the Lord’s name in vain,’ I’m gonna roll my eyes at the reviewer and possible write a snarky blog post all about them. 🙂 (What? A werewolf threesome in explicit detail is okay, but cussing is right out? Something is WRONG with those people.)

      The five-star reviews on most books don’t even say WHY the reviewer liked the book so much. That’s as useless as a review not stating WHY the book “sux”.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. J.R. Handley says:

    I saw this blog too definitely worth sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

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