I was thrilled when a reader recently gave one of my publications a five-star review on Amazon. (Most of my reviews have been on Smashwords, so just getting one on Amazon was exciting.) Then I read that some people don't think very highly of them! In fact, I read that one reader discounts all five-star reviews, assuming that they come from friends or family. That reader also discounts all the one-star reviews, and reads only the others, the moderately-starred two-, three-, and four-star reviews.
Do you tend to give out many five-star ones? I used to casually give top reviews to every book I rated on Amazon. After realizing that they are meaningless to some people, I've started giving four-star reviews instead. That's probably more realistic, after all. I suppose a five-star should only go to the best book you've read all year, or maybe in the last six months.
I like to do other authors favors. I know how hard they work and what an effort it is to get to the stage where you have a book to be reviewed. But if it's not a favor to give a five-star review, then I don't want to do it.
By the way, if I couldn't rate a book at least four stars, I wouldn't even think of reviewing it. What do you think? Do you take the five-star reviews seriously? Or not?
(I'm still thrilled with the five-star review I got, no matter what!)
(Painting: Starry Night Over the Rhone by Van Gogh)