A negative review is not bad.
A bad review is when someone gives one star on Amazon and says, “I don’t know if I like this book. I haven’t read it yet.” That calls for reporting, except I’m not sure it helps to report someone who’s not clever enough to figure out that when Amazon sends you an email asking “What did you think of this?” an immediate answer is not obligatory.
A bad review is when someone gives five stars on Goodreads and says, “ZOMG This book was like, so totally awesome I was all …” and then they follow it up with 18 gifs that have no meaning to you because you haven’t seen those TV shows.
Use your words, people.
A negative review, by contrast, is a well-reasoned statement for why the reviewer didn’t like the book. A well-placed negative review may very well sell a book to someone whose tastes differ from the reviewer. I, for one, have bought romance novels because someone wrote a review that said something like, “This was well-written, but I’m disappointed because there’s no sex and the characters are always praying.” Sold!
Besides, when a book has nothing but five-star reviews, it looks like the author is paying people to leave positive reviews … or at least cajoling family and friends into doing so.
All of which is prelude to my pointing out that Alara’s Call got its first two-star review, offered here verbatim, which is to say [sic]:
The writing is very good, the characters believeable but what I really dislike is the idea of a female God. This goes against the bible and the author says she is a christian ?
No thank you, this goes against evrything the bible says and I immediately erased it from my kindle.
As much as it stings to have someone who doesn’t even know me question the sincerity of my faith, I appreciate the reviewer’s effort in leaving any review at all. And by calling attention to the thing that offended the reviewer the most, perhaps that review will have a few of my fellow feminists saying Sold! to Alara’s Call.