Introducing Kevin Cooper
Kevin Cooper has created an amazing website for reviewing books and highlighting authors with interviews and allowing authors to rave about their new and upcoming publications. Kevin strongly believes that writing honest and sincere reviews is the best way one can support authors. He hosts an annual book award which is a crystal diamond-shaped paperweight engraved with the book award acknowledgment and year.
I really like his style, and asked if he would be interested in doing a guest post for Always Write. He agreed.
If you write or read book reviews you will appreciate his insight into writing a great review. This is part one in a series.
This is the first of a short series of four posts covering reviews where I shall discuss writing reviews for all the star ratings. From when we shouldn’t write a five-star review, to why we should write lower star reviews, and how to do so in a constructive manner.
The Five-Star Review
The five-star review is probably one of the easiest reviews to write no matter what genre(s) you’re into. You love the work, there are no issues surrounding grammar and sentence structure, the plot is excellent, and the story entices you to keep reading. In some cases, you probably love the work in as much you want a sequel or wait eagerly in anticipation for the author’s next work to come out. Everything you say in your review screams out something like, “Guys, you gotta read this book… It’s fabulous!” This is usually followed by great praise for the author. If this is not the case, if the book you have just read doesn’t quite tick all the boxes for you, then it shouldn’t be a five-star review.
There are many reasons why you give five-star reviews for works that are found lacking:
- You know/like the author.
- You don’t want to offend the author.
- The author gave you a five-five star review and you feel obligated to return the favour.
- You don’t like being negative.
- You’re afraid that if you criticise, the author may retaliate.
- You only write five-star reviews.
The reasons can be endless, but either way, you look at it, it’s dishonest to other readers, and you are deceiving yourself if you think you are doing the author or yourself any favours.
Because, if a reader buys a book based on your review and it does not live up to the expectations that you have influenced, there could be serious repercussions. They may they take it out on the said author by leaving a very negative review, they may even criticise your review. They most certainly will never rely upon any future reviews you write.
However, I don’t want you to be deterred from writing a five-star review. What I just said above, is probably a worst-case scenario. All I want to do is for you to start thinking about whether you should or shouldn’t write a five-star review. If you have to think about it, you probably shouldn’t. There is nothing wrong with writing a four-star, three-star, or if necessary even two or one-star reviews. Be honest, be constructive, and let folks know why you chose to give any particular star rating.
Join me as I continue my short series, On Reviews. My next episode will cover the four-star review where I will discuss how the four-star review can be as rewarding to write a five-star review and the positive impact of a well-written four-star review.
Kevin Cooper is an author & songwriter. He studied in both England and in the US. Since returning to England, Kevin authored several works and recorded/released a few of his songs. He is working on several projects which include a fantasy, and working towards his first full music album.
Books and Music By Kevin Cooper
Animal Tales, The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn. Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear. Miedo 2: A Reckoning With Fear. The Devil’s Apology. Reflections. Music Releases: All I Can Say. Magical. Elaine. Christmas Time!