Being Your Own Reviewer?

A random thought hit me in the brain today. I’m still rubbing the bruise. What if…as an author, you wrote a review of your own book on sites like Amazon and Goodreads? I’m sure that happens actually, an author could totally boost their ratings by making up fake screen names and writing reviews on their stuff, right? I wouldn’t (who has time for that anyway, gotta write!), but I thought it would be funny to make up false (as in, they would never actually get posted) reviews for my books.

For example:

The Moongate

The honest review: 4 stars. Would give it 3 1/2 stars if I had that option. Pretty good story overall, but you can tell it’s the author’s first book. She likes fairies and unicorns a little bit too much – she probably collects them. (true enough) Still, it had its fair share of action and conflict, so I’m looking forward to the sequel!

The fake review: 5 STARS OMG!!1! Best book I’ve ever read! I can’t wait for the next one to come out! The characters are soooo awesome and hawt and I’m like team Theryn all the way even though there’s no love triangle! When is there gonna be a movie?!

( I rarely do that; I’m usually a 4-star reviewer if I like the book. Unless it’s Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, then I’m one of those raving 5-star fans. Most of us could use a little bit of constructive criticism!)

The snarky Goodreads review: 1 star, and if I could give it 0 I would. Or negative 50 billion. Can we say Mary Sue? This author needs a serious trip to reality-ville. Or she’s on a serious trip. I read somewhere that she’s a Mormon stay-at-home mom with no English degree, so it’s obvious she’s just trying to cash in on the success of Twilight!

(First time I ever heard of the description Mary Sue was when I was writing The Moongate’s first draft. For weeks I obsessed over whether Nissa was a Mary Sue. I did all the tests to see if she was, I lost sleep over it, and I’ll admit I even cried over it. In the end, I accepted that if this book ever gets published, some people will probably think she’s a Mary Sue and others will think she’s all right. At least she’s likable.)

Cobalt

The honest review: 4 solid stars. (Told you I like giving out 4 stars!) Now we’re talking. The author has a few books under her belt now, her writing is more solid, and the action and imagination in the plot make up for her slight difficulties in character development. Plus – killer trees and airships! Pretty cool. Good introduction to lighthearted steampunk for the tween to young adult.

The fake review: 5++++!!! There are goggles and airship pirates and gears and corsets! This book is so steampunk it makes me want to barf cogs.

The snarky Goodreads review: A big fat zero in the shape of a clock gear. Obviously this author thinks she’s a steampunk just because she’s friends with some of the members of Abney Park. Poseur. I mean, sentient moving trees? Since when did steampunk shift from Victorian sci-fi to fantasy? Just because there are a few airships in the story? I bet she glues gears on her knickers and calls it steampunk. She probably wears Hot Topic goggles too.

That was actually more fun than I’d thought it would be. I especially had fun being snarky at myself! *giggles*

So anyway. My buddy ol’ pal Samantha (who is in college so she won’t have to deal with any comments about being a writer without a degree) tagged me in a fun meme!

The rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 authors

Okay, so I’m the world’s worst tagger. I’m going to tell you guys to look at my follower list, and if you’re in my top 7 newest followers, then you’re tagged and you should do this meme! Or if you’re not one of those lucky 7 and you like this meme, do it anyway.

So here’s my excerpt from Cobalt. It shows up as more than 7 lines here on Blogger, but it’s about 7 3/4 lines in my ms. I had to keep in the little bit of extra to avoid cutting a sentence short.

“All this time,” he squeaked, “all these years flying over the trees and making port in the most remote Forest villages possible, if only to catch a rumor or a glimpse. To think, I could have found one of you here on Murdock! I never knew that’s what old Stark dealt in. Everyone knew he was an expert on Cobalt, but I’d have never guessed how he gained his knowledge…”

Kate shrank back against Anthia, who wrapped one hand around her shoulder and rested the other on her knife hilt.

“Oh, don’t you worry,” Fletcher said with a chuckle. “That must be why I wasn’t in the loop. Never did want to trade my ship in for one of the bigger ones, see, those that could handle human cargo.”

So. If you wrote a review on your book or WIP, how would you write it? How many stars would you bestow upon your pride and joy, and would you be honest or would load up your review with sugar and a cherry on top? Come on, you can be honest here!

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7 thoughts on “Being Your Own Reviewer?

  1. I love my book, so it's hard not to be biased. And I'm growing as a writer, so I would seriously doubt that it will be the best work I ever produce.

    However, our take on a book–for me anyway–depends upon how it impacts me in some way. I don't give many 5s. I save those for those books that touch me in some important way. So when I give a book a 4, I'm saying it's a stellar book and I loved it. But it didn't touch my core in some way that's significant to me. Someone else can read it and not be touched at all. And rate it accordingly.

    If that makes sense.

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  2. Thanks for the shout out buddy ol' pal! It's too bad I'm not an English major eh (I fully believe people are capable of writing novels with or without degrees, by the way)? Your reviews cracked me up! I think my fake review (from my friends of course, because I would never :D) would go something like this:

    OMG she's like the best EVRRR! No one understands ppl my age better than she does bc shes been there u kno??? I'm totes giving her 5 stars. If it were possible I would give her 34639867439876 stars!!!!!

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  3. That totally makes sense! I'm very picky about those 5 stars. I won't even give my own books 5 stars in an honest review, because I know they have so much room for improvement. I think once mine is out there and I'm asking my friends for reviews to start me up, I'll also ask them not to give out 5 stars just because they're my friends. I appreciate honesty! I have friends who love The Moongate, but it's not anywhere close to Harry Potter and I hope they know it. LOL

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  4. Tee hee hee! And I agree, I don't think an English degree should be a requirement to be an author. I think any kind of degree probably makes you look better to an agent or publisher, but everything I've learned about writing I've done on my own. This includes writers' groups, conferences, and my own reading and research. If I had my way, I'd definitely be working toward a degree though, but that'll have to wait.

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  5. I am SO with you on the rating thing.

    I'd give my first book 3.5 stars. Good story, lacking a bit in language, a few things could have been tied up better.

    My next – 4 stars, would recommend to a few people.

    HOPEFULLY, one will come out that I can say – ok. I really earned those 5-star ratings, lol.

    Takes time…

    Like

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