Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why I Give a Bad Review

I admit it, I like buying those relatively short pieces off Amazon for .99  cents. It's probably why I write them; I write (or try to write) what I would like to read. I know a lot of writers think the .99 cent buyers don't really care about investing their emotions into the story, or keeping track of which authors resonate with us and which didn't, but we do. At least, I do. For .99 cents, I may not get a long, intricate novel, but I can get a taste for the author's style, and if I like it, I'll be more willing in the future to spend more money. Which is usually exactly the point of authors offering their stuff for .99 cents.

If I read something and really like it, I leave a good review. If it's okay but needs a quick fix, I'll say that, too; one time I thought a story needed a key piece of information put in the Amazon description, and my advice was followed. It may be that the author was being told this by a lot of people and not just me, but still, I felt good about my advice being followed.

If I don't like what I read, and it's the writing style and not something that can be quickly fixed, I don't leave a bad review. I don't like to do that. Unless...unless it's really, really bad. Like, I'm finding spelling and grammar mistakes that any computer would point out kind of bad. Or I was promised one thing in the description and got something completely different kind of bad. Then, I leave a bad review because I feel like the author didn't give a shit about me as a reader. S/he got me to invest the .99 cents, but didn't even try to hand me something of quality in return. I feel cheated, and when I feel cheated, I try to warn people not to make the same mistake I did, and keep them from getting cheated, too.

Today I had to write two (2) bad reviews. Both of them were for the same reason: the writer didn't bother to state in the description what I was buying wasn't a full story. They were part of a story, the beginning of a story, but in both cases they ended quite suddenly, mid-plot. I don't mean there were some loose ends; I don't mean there was some foreshadowing for a sequel. I'm saying the end came like the blade of a guillotine, and I was left looking at a bloody stump of a head and wondering where the fuck the body had run off to. I mean, I was engrossed, I was connected, I was in, and then the story just stopped and I was like 'whaa...?'
Sure enough, I click to the next page, and there's some text telling me if I like what I read, I can buy the next part...available soon!

Oh I'll just snap that up! Not.

Here's the thing about buying any kind of literature for a kindle: I can't get an immediate idea how long it is. I can't flip the pages in my hands, I can't visually see the size of the thing. And I certainly can't skip to the end and read the last page where it basically says 'to be continued.' The author (or publisher) has to include all that in the description. If they don't, they run the risk of pissing off their readers. Hell, sometimes you'll include all that in the description and you'll STILL get pissed off readers. I had one reader give me a bad review because she thought one of my stories was too short, even though I clearly state they are short stories. But at least I felt like I had done all I could.

Erotica is not like fantasy, or sci-fi. You cannot leave your readers hanging. If you do, you damn well better warn them in advance. Cause if you let it come as a surprise, you're not being funny, or coy, or creative; you're just being mean and leaving your readers pissed off.

And the last thing you want to do is leave your readers pissed off. That is a sure-fire way to get bad reviews. At least from this reader.

No comments:

Post a Comment