Reviews: Some general rules

It’s common for me to read the reviews of a new author before I choose buy and I doubt I’m alone in this.   With this in mind there has to be a degree of transparency.

Over enthusiastic praise from friends or family may help increase ratings and generate interest, but they often fail to offer a rounded opinion.  I want to hear about the good and the bad – it’s rare for a book to cater to everyone’s tastes.

So, if there are a few conversion/typographical/grammatical errors then make it clear, as far as E-books go these can be easily corrected.  Did you find it predictable? the text too descriptive? or the characters under developed?

That said, for every indie book* I read, I’m going to post a review here.  But first I want to make clear some general rules:

1) Word limit – “time is money” or at least a precious commodity.  All reviews will be limited to <500 words.

2) Transparency – if I’m asked by an author to review their work I will ask permission before it’s posted here.  When this is the case it will be made clear in the post.  This does not however mean they have an input on the content, it’s a general courtesy.

3) Rating – for a quick overall opinion.  If you want the details you’ll just have to read the review.  Each review will have a rating from 1-6 stars as defined below.

6: Exceptional.  I’ll rarely give this out (which is why it sits outside the generic ‘5-star rating’ format).  It generally marks a book that is responsible for late nights and a sudden reduction in work output.  i.e. it shouldn’t be missed.  My most recent example of this would have to be (and forgive the cliche) the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larson.

5: Excellent. This is the kind of book that has me reaching for more from the author.

4: A good read. I enjoyed the story (which is often the main) but there may have been points where the writing was a little clumsy, predictable, or repetitive.

3: Average. Similar to 4 I enjoyed the story but it perhaps didn’t have that spark of imagination or creativity that has me reaching for the book again sometime in the future.

2: Below average. Readable but not likely to stay on my bookshelf.  This could mean it needs some work, or the storyline was too predictable.

1: *Yawn*. Couldn’t, or found it extremely difficult to finish.  This could be because it was too far removed from my preferred genres, or it was way too descriptive, but more likely it was just poorly written.

Notice that the 1-3 star ratings are a little ambiguous.  In some cases I recognise that the book needs some work and this will be covered in the review.

With all this in mind if you’re interested in having your book reviewed please contact me with a short synopsis.

I will also make notes on all reviews – for any author interested in seeing these, feel free to contact me.

*Note that I’m using the term indie book to describe self-published and work processed through small press or independent publishers.

Now – click on the ‘Reviews’ category if you want to see more.

About indie e-books is aimed at providing a common platform for indie writers and publishers to show-case their work. The content is kept limited to one (free) short story per author to give the reader an idea of the writing style and talent involved and to help forward them on to more substantial work.
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30 Responses to Reviews: Some general rules

  1. What a great idea you have here! An invaluable service to independent authors, and very well written! Congratulations and all the best to you…Jo

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  25. amcosgrove says:

    Love your honest rating system! I try to avoid family and friends giving me feed back unless they are in the writing industry as its always slgihtly biased and doesnt usually lend much to making the book a better piece of work!

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