What expectations would you have of your friends? That they would…
- read it
- read it and review it favourably
- read it and review it honestly
- not read it but share/retweet your marketing posts about the book
- not read it but brag about their friend who wrote a book
- ask for a free copy
- expect a free copy
- buy a copy and read it
- buy a copy even if they’ve no intention of reading it
These questions arose after I spotted a tweet which said:
“I would like to call a special meeting of friends who rate their friends’ books fewer than 5 stars on Goodreads and ask whyeee?”
(this tweet has been reproduced grammatical errors, weird spelling ‘n all by the way)
I didn’t reply… but I really, really wanted to.
I’ve read a book written by someone I know in real life, and I’ve read books written by people I know online. I’ve reviewed them all honestly, while ensuring I have something favourable to say about each.
My grading policy is fairly straightforward:
5 stars = exceptional / I loved it/was blown away by it
4 stars = very good / I really liked/enjoyed it
3 stars = good / I liked/enjoyed it
2 stars = it was an OK read
1 star = it was pretty rubbish
I know I’m regarded as a tough grader, but then I’m (very) serious about books.
Most of what I read falls into the middle category. I apply the same principle to Indie authors as I would to friends, in that I’m slightly less critical in my grading. For example, I would find it hard to give less than 3 stars to anyone in that category unless what they wrote was truly awful/laden with inaccuracies, but am tougher on established authors who are in no danger of suffering due to my review. Most friends have received 3 stars and a few 4 stars, but I’d never give a book the top score of 5 stars unless I believed it was exceptional. As a result, according to one responder to that tweet, I’m no friend…
I wondered whether the person writing the tweet would pay for positive reviews (yes, that’s a thing). I suspect not, but I also wondered if they realised that they were equating friendship with the currency by which they could buy a 5 star review?
What are your thoughts on the subject – as either the writer or the friend?
© Debra Carey, 2021