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Discussion Starter #1
Do you read one-star reviews? If so, why? If not, why? If you do read them, do they ever dissuade you from downloading a book, or do they make you want to read the book?

I read them. I hate it when a book is poorly edited or written, and one-star reviews always mention the editing if it's bad. Also, I don't like being surprised with explicit material. I'd rather know ahead of time what to expect.

I have downloaded books before, based off of the bad reviews. I like to see if I agree or disagree with what the reviewer said, if it isn't something regarding grammar. :)
 

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I look at 1 stars all the time. I check to see if someone complained about certain things. Like the book ended up on a cliffhanger with no notice in the description, its part of an installment. Or if it is a different genre as it was sold as.
There is usually a lot of stuff I can find out in 1 stars.

 

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I scan them, and read carefully if it seems profitable.  Mainly looking for a common complaint between them about something that would bother me.
 

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Yes, I read them. Not necessarily every time but if I'm unsure about trying a sample, I read a few positive and few negative reviews. Depending on what they say, it may influence my decision to check it out further. Sometimes what someone didn't like about the book is not something that would really bother me. Or it may be complaints about formatting or editing which I can tell has since been resolved. But the average consensus holds more weight for me - there's always going to be someone who doesn't like a book and as long as those are in the minority, I figure it should be pretty safe.
 

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Yep. I want to see if any have information I may find useful. is that information repeated by others?
 

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7vn11vn said:
If I see one or two in a long list of reviews I don't bother, but if there are a bunch of them I'll check them out.
If the reviews are all 5-stars followed by a handful of 1 and 2-star reviews - then I immediately want to know what's wrong with the book and whether those 5-stars are all friends and relatives posting.
 

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I usually read them or skim them to see what they say. I have been scared away from a few books by 1 star reviews that made the book sound like a waste of time and money. That said, however, I tend to ignore 1 star reviews that don't give a real explanation. If you didn't like a book, I want to know why. It's not enough to simply say that you didn't like the book. Maybe the thing that you didn't like about it is something that isn't a deal breaker for me. Plus I think explanations are beneficial to the authors because every author can use constructive criticism.
 

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Yes I do. Especially if I'm paying a high price for a Kindle book. But sometimes what the reviewer says still makes me want to buy the book. I bought NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith last week. The reviews weren't good, and I could see this was because they said she was trying a new, experimental style, different to her usual style which readers had enjoyed. That intrigued me.
 

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I ALWAYS check the low reviews. And I, too, like to compare what I have read with the low reviews to see if I agree.

I do feel bad giving low reviews. But sometimes, it is really necessary. I won't admit to how many times I've purchased a book because it sounded interesting without reading the reviews, and then it turns out to be awful. Boring stories or uninteresting plots are one thing (highly subjective), but bad writing and poor grammar is another. :) I just have to warn potential buyers and, more importantly, the author about the need for an editor.

Alba
 

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I actually don't read too many reviews of books--good or bad-- until after I read the book. I want to know if others thought the same thing about the book that I did.  :D However, if I see a book as three or less stars overall and more than a handful of reviews, I'll just skip it entirely. If it has 3 stars but lots of reviews, I'll take it that the book must have something controversial that divided readers. That's not a bad thing depending on what it is.

Mostly, I glance at the rating and read the blurb. If it sounds intriguing, I do the Look Inside feature. If it seems well written and I want to read past the first few pages, I'll buy it.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
MaryMcDonald said:
If it sounds intriguing, I do the Look Inside feature. If it seems well written and I want to read past the first few pages, I'll buy it.
I really need to do that more often. You can almost always tell how well a book is written by looking inside, but I forget to do that sometimes.

I have a hard time taking a risk on new authors and rarely download books from someone new, unless the book is really low priced or even free. Maybe this is a bad thing, but honestly, we've all been burned, haven't we? I've never been much of a risk taker. :)
 

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Andrea Pearson said:
I really need to do that more often. You can almost always tell how well a book is written by looking inside, but I forget to do that sometimes.

I have a hard time taking a risk on new authors and rarely download books from someone new, unless the book is really low priced or even free. Maybe this is a bad thing, but honestly, we've all been burned, haven't we? I've never been much of a risk taker. :)
That's what the Kindle sample feature is for. :)

And yes, I tend to look at the lower starred reviews for many of the reasons cited above, but taking any that just say it was bad without any reason why with as much of a grain of salt as those that just say it was great -- I'm looking for both positive and negative reactions from reviewers who seem to look for the same sort of things in a book that I do -- and I always sample anything from a new (to me) author, unless it's free or on sale for a limited time.
 

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I'm more likely to read 1-star reviews than 5-stars.  Seeing what sort of things people complain about can go a long way to ascertain both the quality of the book ( mostly vague or nitpicky 1-stars is a reason to buy a book) and the content.  It's also a good way to find out whether the book really is what it's advertising itself to be.

Well-written, informative, and thorough low reviews tell you a lot more about a book than most positive reviews.
 

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I often wish I had used the 'Look Inside' feature, and I would never have bought the books. However, some books have a great start but the authors just can't write a whole novel. There again, some write an average first chapter but the whole novel is good and takes a while to get into. So maybe the Look Inside isn't that helpful unless it is actually dire.
 

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Geoffrey said:
If the reviews are all 5-stars followed by a handful of 1 and 2-star reviews - then I immediately want to know what's wrong with the book and whether those 5-stars are all friends and relatives posting.
Yes, that's a good point. I figure that there are always going to be a few who don't like something, so I don't give them that much weight. What I'm most interested in is if the complaints are about bad editing and grammar. I'd rather read a bad story than a good one that is full of errors. Actually, I'd rather not read either. :)
 

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UnderControl said:
I'll read them, but the biggest review factor for me is the percentage of 4 and 5 star reviews to lower star reviews.
I'm with you. For example, if it's a Stephen King book and it has far more 3s, 4s, and 5s than 1 star reviews, then I'll certainly read it. If most of the reviews are 1 and 2 stars, then I probably wouldn't, no matter how much I liked the author.
 
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