WARNING: I wrote this before I had my morning coffee.
No matter how hard reviewers try to convince those receiving 3 star reviews that it isn’t the end of the world, or their career, it seems we are fighting an uphill battle. Five star reviews shouldn’t be tossed out like handfuls of confetti, that just cheapens the review and renders it meaningless. It should mean something, it should define the best of the best.
Three stars are nothing to sneeze at, a 3 star review shouldn’t be swept under the carpet. In the book world it means the reviewer liked it and it didn’t exhibit any major, glaring flaws. A good job. Nowadays that seems to be almost a surprise to the reader, unfettered self-publishing hasn’t done the self-published author any favors.
No one should receive or demand 5 stars for just doing their job. A job done above the standard, now that is worthy of 4 0r 5 stars. Flawless execution, outstanding plots, surprising twists contribute to this.
Why am I wittering on you ask? Because of this. I mean, really? Beyond the letter about the salesman there are two responses beside Prudie, the second on page 2. This sort of horrifies me.
No one, no one, is 5 stars all the time and to demand that they are, or that the customer has to lie and say they are, negates the review process. Just shove a printed form at every person entering the dealership or store that has only the option of checking off 5 stars and be done with it.
Just like a significant number of authors and places like Bookbub, these businesses aren’t listening to the people that matter (the ones spending the money), they are fixated on those 5 stars, nothing less.
I can remember performances where I was grateful to remember the choreography from beginning to end or happy all the scarves and jewelry didn’t fall off, or that the stage held up (gruesome), and I know that none of those times were worthy of 5 stars. Well, maybe 5 for not falling off or through that damned stage…
None of us are 5 star worthy every time we do something and that’s good. That means when that 5 stars come along we know we’ve done something outstanding, something special. All 5 stars all the time loses all meaning.
You know what we need? We need to make 3 the new 5. We need a place like Bookbub that only promotes books with x number of 3 star reviews, call it Perfectly Good Books or somesuch. We need to grab complaining authors by the ear and ask them why they are complaining about 3 star reviews that liked their book. We need to march into the dealership or store manager’s office toss that little form or whatever on his or her desk and ask what’s so wrong with 3 stars?
I’ll tell you what’s so wrong with 3 stars… NOTHING