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Phoebe Conn: Why I Love Reviews (Contest)
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013


I learned to read before I went to kindergarten and have always loved books. When I began to write, I knew how to create a memorable story because I had read so many. Every book provides a lesson of its own.

Book clubs are great places to make friends and read books you might not have chosen on your own. I belong to three book clubs and each has it own personality and focus. One group loves mysteries and sci/fi. Another reads women’s fiction, and the third has potluck dinners and selects a lot of nonfiction. If you have never belonged to a book club, you might want to join one or form one with your friends. You’ll be surprised at the different reactions to books. Some people will love a book and call it a favorite while others find it too tedious to finish.

This month, one book club read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. It’s been on the bestseller list for more than a year. It’s told by 16-year-old Hazel Grace who meets 17-year-old Augustus at a cancer support group. It’s a poignant story about life, love and death, important issues at every age. There are sure to be tears when you read it, but it’s also one of the best books I’ve read this year, or ever.

Most of the book club also loved the book, but one woman who is a hospital lab technician said some of the hospital details weren’t accurate, and that spoiled the book for her. We accept everyone’s opinion without asking them to justify it, but she made me wonder what the reviews were for the book on Amazon.

As of today, there are 5,795 reviews posted with the majority being 5 stars. Those who didn’t love the book often thought the teens were not realistic, and yet there were 5 star reviews written by teens. Obviously, not everyone loves the same thing. I once dated a man who ate only vanilla ice cream. Vanilla! When there are so many delicious flavors to try, why would anyone stick with vanilla? We didn’t argue over it, however, because there is no point in arguing over tastes, but I digress.

Many authors are so sensitive they cannot bear to read a poor review of their work. Should I receive one, I study it to learn why the reader didn’t enjoy the story. Many people leave lengthy, detailed reviews to categorize every aspect they found objectionable. Some comments are simply due to taste. Others are helpful if they point out something I should have caught, or could improve in later books. Perhaps I didn’t make motivations clear enough, or show why the heroine’s attitude toward the hero changed over time. Whatever the problem was, I give it a lot of thought and hope each of my books is better than the last. Thank you to all of you who take the time to write thoughtful reviews.

Do you buy books based on the reviews? Or will you buy a favorite author’s new book even if the reviews aren’t entirely positive? What if a friend recommends a book, but it has very few positive reviews? Do you write reviews?


My latest book, FIERCE PASSION is a November 5, 2013 release from Samhain Publishing. It’s the story of Ana Santilan, an haute couture model who has lost the great love of her life, a famed matador. She finds a new love, who comes with serious complications, and a stalker who wants her all to himself. With both passion and danger, it follows the Aragon family introduced in FIERCE LOVE, and FIERCE PRIDE.

I will be happy to give an ebook copy to someone who comments, and I hope you’ll want to write a review of FIERCE PASSION.

8 comments to “Phoebe Conn: Why I Love Reviews (Contest)”

  1. Toni Whitmire
    · November 6th, 2013 at 8:23 am · Link

    I would usually get a book if I like the excerpt or summery of the book after reading it

  2. Michelle - Snarky Mom
    · November 6th, 2013 at 8:45 am · Link

    I have to admit to writing reviews. I figure if an author takes the time to WRITE the book, the least I can do is offer them feedback. If only I could write as quickly/much as I want to read (I really am behind on my reviews LOL!)!! I have to admit that if I am unsure about a book, I do check out the reviews. One of my triggers is finding eether speling and gramar mistakes [pun intended] – so if I’m wavering on whether or not to take the plunge, and someone has RECENTLY noted (since I realize that some things gets fixed) that the text format was distracting, I know that it will bother me to the point that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the book. Otherwise, I try to always keep an open mind – because, after all, most of the written word is influenced solely by the writer’s experiences, hopes and dreams – and what is good for one isn’t always good for the other, right??

  3. Michelle Vasquez
    · November 6th, 2013 at 8:58 am · Link

    I did write reviews for years and I took it very seriously when I did. I’m a single mom who works full time and it just got to be too much for me. The pressure of getting books read on schedule and posting reviews was beginning to suck the pleasure out of reading for me, so it was time to ‘retire’ from reviewing. I am an avid reader, and I have a few favorite authors that I love so much I just automatically buy their new releases. Other times I will pick up books that have been recommended or that I saw on one of the blogs I read. (michellevasquez2001 at yahoo dot com)

  4. CJ
    · November 6th, 2013 at 12:26 pm · Link

    I haven’t ever bought a book based on a review. I have; however, bought books recommended by friends and family. And yes, I do by books just because they are written by favorite authors.


  5. Anne
    · November 6th, 2013 at 1:04 pm · Link

    I do take reviews into account when I know the reviewer and know that we have similar tastes. If a book by a favorite author gets really bad reviews, I’d probably try to get it from the library instead.

    I occasionally leave reviews especially if a book I really liked or hated gets many of the opposite reviews so that I can level it out a bit. If I know ahead of time that I will write a review it lessens my enjoyment because I feel I have to pay attention and read more carefully.

  6. Phoebe Conn
    · November 6th, 2013 at 1:13 pm · Link

    Thank you so much for responding to my questions. Your love for books is inspiring. I will choose a winner this evening.

  7. Becky H
    · November 6th, 2013 at 3:04 pm · Link

    I love to read. I read anything and everything, as time permits. Books and/or authors I adore will be reviewed on Amazon or Goodreads. As to how I chose a book, favorite authors usually get an automatic buy. An interesting blurb will get me. If either/or are new or questionable, I might look at reviews. But since my tbr read pile is in the four digit range, that doesn’t happen as often. Reviews can be helpful to the author as you pointed out, but to the reader . . . I find they often just reiterate the blurb, or do an entire book report on the story, thus leaving spoilers. I don’t usually find them helpful. So write a good book and become a favorite author, and write blurbs that will hook. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Phoebe Conn
    · November 7th, 2013 at 1:35 pm · Link

    Michelle Snark Mom is the winner! thank you for commenting. Please send me your email address:

    Phoebe C.

Comments are closed.