The one-star reviews

I’d love to know more about the psychology of these. Why do people bother to write them? Especially if they want to hide behind a fake name? Hey, no-one knows it’s you unless you tell your friends, and why would you want to tell your friends you’re being a bit mean? (And sometimes a bit stupid, too.)

Bookbub ad, Kris Pearson, Jan 11, 2018

My novel COWBOY WANTS HER HEART has just finished its free run after being featured on Bookbub on January 11th. A total of more than 80,000 copies were downloaded free from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Smashwords and Google Play in case you're wondering. Incredible result. The hope was that it would sell more of my others if you enjoyed it. Yes – I’ve had some brilliant sales days since then.

The downside is just enough one and two-star reviews to knock the ranking from 4.5 stars down to 4 on Amazon because of course not everyone’s going to like it. Each time a book goes free many people who wouldn’t normally buy it do give it a go. Excellent! Some very nice new reviews have appeared.

And a few of the others, too. “Historical novel meets present day doesn’t work well.” Um – did this person have the right book? There’s nothing historical about it. But one sad star as a result, along with the comment “Good thing it was free.”

And more strangely, “Was an ok book really just wanted to get to the end of it. Will give other books a try.”  So if it was ok really and you’re willing to try some of my others, why would you give it only one star? And if you just wanted to get to the end of it, why was it ok? And as you didn’t seem to like it much, please don’t try any of my others if one star is all you’re willing to give me.

Authors have no comeback for inaccurate and thoughtless reviews. We have to grit our teeth and take it – in return for many months of hard work. I guess I’m asking you to think before you give a stinker of a review. Sure, if the book is full of typos and the story makes no sense, and the formatting makes it difficult to read and aspects of it are simply laughable… point them out! This is reviewing that’s really helpful for other readers.

To finish (and to cheer myself up) how about these: “Loved this book. It had just the right amount of conflict, passion, and a story line to keep it flowing.”

And, “A great plot with rich main characters is totally enjoyable. Hope you give this author some of your valuable time.” Both, incidentally, from people who were happy to add their real names to their reviews.

Bless you all. Reviews are an author’s life-blood – and I reckon readers can generally tell whether the reviewer has enough brain to give helpful opinions which can be taken seriously.

You missed the free download? It's only $2.99 US to spend time with Rory and Alfie in beautiful New Zealand countryside like this. Go to for the links to buy it. There's a nice free read there so you can judge if you might like it before you spend your hard-earned cash.