Can you trust negative reviews?

Negative Reviews

Why you can’t really trust negative reviews


Hello to all my friends and readers. I’m very interested in reviews, including negative reviews.

In preparing for the imminent release of my newest book Perfect Prey, the sequel to The Trafficking Consortium, I’ve kept my eyes and ears open to anything that might be relevant to you, my readers, and all readers alike about why one buys and reads books.

This morning I came across this NY Times article written by Caroline Beaton. She is a freelance writer and producer who sends a monthly newsletter about science and society. She wrote the following article ( on reviews.

Now as all writers and independent publishers know, our books live and die by the reviews people put on our products. In my case, people either write extraordinarily positive or extremely negative reviews. Given the subject matter of my stories, I feel that is understandable.


What bothered me were negative reviews based on pure emotion due to the subject matter fell outside their usual comfort levels. Let me say this in response. I wanted to write something different that appealed to a decently sized reader base which stood out among the crowd. Not wanting to compete with thousands of authors with similar material, I looked long and hard to find a less populated niche of competing books. I found that niche and I proudly write my stories to stand out from the crowd.

Then today I found this article. For the most part, it confirms my findings and beliefs, yet articulated in a way that I might not have considered. The essay is not focused on books but rather on all online products for sale. I still feel that it is pertinent to my arguments on the decision process to read a book or not.

Postive and Negative ReviewsAmazon and other online retailers would have you believe that if a product has a bunch of five-star reviews, it must be good. Inversely, if it has a bunch of one-star reviews, it must not be good. In my case, my books garner either five-star or one-star reviews. Very few are in the middle. Combined those reviews net out to about three-stars, which may appear to be mediocre.

What is important to remember, is to read the language of the review in the context of the book. One of them doesn’t even apply to one of my books but rather a pair of socks. Huh? Obviously, the reviewer made a mistake, but there is little I can do about it. If I could edit or delete someone else’s review, that would destroy the confidence of the buyer in the decision-making process.

“Pay attention to contextual details and specific facts rather than reviewers’ general impressions and ratings. The number of stars someone selects often has “very little to do with” their review text, Dr. Gretzel said. People have different rating standards, and written explanations are inherently more nuanced.”
~Ulrike Gretzel, a communications professor at the University of Southern California and the director of research at Netnografica

Writing Reviews

Still, from my sales figures, I have an audience out there. Thousands of people have bought my books. Few have written a review. So, as a writer, how can I decide on whether what I write is what they want?

Negative Reviews

That’s a hard question.

“Very few people write reviews. It’s about 1.5 percent or 15 people out of 1,000. Should we be relying on these people if we’re part of the other 985?”
~Duncan Simester, a marketing professor at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management

We all read the reviews and make decisions based upon them. As an author, I would want everyone to write a review so that I can learn. However, as a consumer, I depend upon the reviews written to decide whether I buy or not, and at the same time, rarely post a review. I try to be good about them, knowing what I know from both sides. I still fail to do justice to my fellow authors. What I do know, is that to me, negative reviews have more weight in my decision-making process than positive ones.

“People are much more likely to write reviews if they have extreme emotions about something. This is why you see so many rave reviews and so many rancorous ones.”
~Eric K. Clemons, who teaches information management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.


“We want to feel secure in our decision-making processes. We use negative reviews to understand our risk and reduce our losses, studies show. — Put simply, we should distrust online reviews because emotions are involved.”
~Lauren Dragan, an analyst of consumer feedback as the audio tech products reviewer at Wirecutter, a New York Times company.

My thoughts

As I read and processed this article, I understand and agree with most of the conclusions made therein. However, I want people to write reviews, both good and bad regarding my books. I need the feedback. To me, the only bad review is the one not written. All I ask as you write your review, write constructive and meaningful evaluations of your opinions, without letting your emotions drive your words. That’s all I ask.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Thank you Readers

The Breakup

AwesomeThank You Readers

I want to say thank you to June Allan for your 5 five star review of my book, ‘The Breakup’.

I also want to say thank you to Winfield who graciously posted 5 star reviews on each of my books in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy.

You’re awesome. Thank you.

The Breakup
The Breakup
Her Client Book 1
Her Client
Her Overseer Book 2
Her Overseer
Her Essentia Book 3
Her Essentia
Her Client Trilogy
Her Client Trilogy


Sunday Update 1/15

The Trafficking Consortium Front Book Cover

Sunday Update 1/15

It’s Sunday morning, and for the first time in a very long time, I see blue sky above. They tell me that within the U.S.; my city has the second fewest blue skies throughout the year. Seattle being the first.

FootballSpeaking of Seattle, the Seahawks went down quickly to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round of the American Football playoffs yesterday. Damn, they were my girlfriends pick to appear in the Super Bowl. We also had hoped that the Houston Texans would topple the Patriots, but as expected, they didn’t. They did put up a great fight against the home team. I thought it was going to be a blow-out and it wasn’t, despite the final score. For once, though, officiating didn’t feel all that one-sided for a change. Others may have a different opinion, but that’s what I got out of the game.

I hate to say it, but I think that the teams that will play in the Super Bowl will be New England vs. Dallas. The two teams I hate the most. Hey, don’t kill me. That’s how I have always felt, and probably will for the rest of my life. And for you Boston fans, let me just say, I love your city, been there a few times. I just hate the team. Dallas, to me, the only good thing you got going are the cheerleaders. There, I said it. Just don’t shoot me. Green Bay Packers, can you do it today? Can you put down the Cowboys in this afternoon’s game? I’m rooting for you.

Of course, my home team hasn’t made the playoffs in seventeen years. What the f#$&? So, what does that tell you?

Enough about weather and sports. I’m sure that there are enough weather and sports outlets out there that can fill your hungry minds.

The Trafficking ConsortiumI’m pretty sure my book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’  is ready for publishing. I’m just waiting on a couple of responses from my beta readers who are reading an advance release copy (ARC) of the book. I’m excited and nervous to read their reviews. Damn, the wait is excruciating.

If you want your own ARC of ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’  click the free button where you can download it free. All I ask that you write a review and post it on my site. You can do that, right? Free buttonJust click the envelope on my home page, This is a limited time offer. The promotion will end once the book is published.

It does deal with a tough subject, although the story is not as horrific as the ‘Her Client’ trilogy. I wrote it intentionally that way. Sure, there’s sex and death in the book but so do most suspense dramas. It’s a first person view of someone caught up in the human trafficking trade and what happens throughout their captivity. While they hate their captivity, they grow as a person and start to see their life in a whole new way. Suitable for all readers 18+. I think you’ll like it.


Time to refill my coffee, so, thank you for reading this. Remember, if you want your free ARC copy of ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ click the free button where you can download it free. Antique sealed dispatch letterAll I ask that you write a review and post it on my site. This is a limited time offer. The promotion will end once the book is published. All I ask that you write a review and post it on my site. Just click the envelope on my home page,

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