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  • Writer's picturewilliamseileen10

My one star review rant...

Updated: Jan 2

Buyer Beware - Net Galley! Desperate - albeit ethical- authors know that you can’t buy a review; however, that being said, one can buy a listing on a review website like Net Galley. Listing on a site that is home to many pre-release, traditionally sponsored books is a pricey option and – as I learned the hard way - a risky one to boot.

I admit I was spoiled coming out of the starting gate.

My first review was a five star one from a reviewer on Reedsy Discovery where a listing is reasonably priced ($50). Still, you can’t choose your reviewer or know what they will say about your brand new baby book! (And like mothers of newborns we can only marvel at all of its fingers and toes! Can’t everyone see how amazing this creature is?)

Technically, reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and so forth are considered editorial reviews which are to be distinguished from reviews from random readers. Editorial reviews are entered under the description of your book on Amazon or printed on your book cover. (I am not counting ARC readers found through Book Sprouts or Book Sirens as random since they have agreed to review your book - and while they might not love it - they will be respectful.)

Susan Griggs of Reedsy described my memoir, The Gosling Bride, by correctly identifying the genre (harder than you would think) mentioning the language, the ending (structure), and a few key details. And kudos to her for copying the review to Good Reads and the reader’s review section of Amazon. Really, she didn’t have to do that.

Conversely, six months into this review garnering process, my one-star nemesis on Net Galley confesses in her ‘review’ that she did not read the book, and therein lies the gist of my rant. Here’s her comment: “I struggled to get into reading this book so never got to finish it.”

Okay, the review is not that terrible on second read, but as my first review on Net Galley its open/closed dismissal guarantees other readers won’t pick it up. In my not so humble opinion, I would have thought it more professional to read the book and give it a proper review or – even better - just leave it alone. Furthermore, her site nickname says she’s a librarian….huh?!

I purchased my listing on Net Galley through a promo web site called BooksGoSocial. I had a coupon. They gave me feedback on the design of my Amazon book page, enticements on both counts. I still paid them something like $130 for what? Bad publicity as it turns out.

In my next blog post, I’ll review the platforms I’ve used to get editorial reviews: Online Book Club org, Readers’ Favorites, and Self Publishing Review.

As I come to the end of this blog post I’m already over it.

Afterall, wouldn’t only five star reviews of your book be an indicator of how narrow your audience really is?

Have you ever given or gotten a one star review?

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