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On Reviews: The Tricky Three-Star Review

On Reviews When to Write a Three-Star Review

Always Write proudly hosts Kevin Cooper for the third of his series on writing the three-star review. How do you handle reviewing average books, especially when you know people in the writing community? How do you feel when you get one? Kevin gives comforting advice to both the reviewers and the authors. Read on to find out the tricks to the trade when giving or receiving a three-star review.

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three-Star Reviews

ON REVIEWS

Series Three

The Tricky Three-Star Review

Three-star reviews are probably the trickiest of all reviews. Few people like to write them, and even fewer like to receive them. Personally, I don’t mind receiving a three-star review as long as it’s honest and has something to say which I can learn from, albeit, like all authors, I do prefer five-star and four-star reviews.
First and foremost as with all reviews, when writing the three-star review, one should be perfectly honest without being offensive. One way we can achieve this is by looking at reviews in the same manner as one’s perspective of the school/university rating systems. E.g.: A five-star review would be equivalent to an A… for excellent work; Four-star reviews are equivalent to receiving a B… for very good work. This brings us to the three-star review… (You’ve guessed it!) C.
So what’s wrong with a C or a three-star review? It actually means that the work is equally as good as most everybody else’s!

Nobody Likes Being Average

It’s a funny old world we live in. We love democracy because it provides everyone with a voice. We fight for equality and a fairer society. But, nobody likes being average.

The key to writing a good three-star review is the same as that of receiving one: Firstly, remember that three-stars, still means your work has been viewed by your reviewer to be as good as most anyone else’s they have read or anyone’s else’s out there. Don’t take offense to it. Instead look for why the reviewer decided to give you a three-star rating. Even if you don’t agree with the reviewer, try to be open-minded about the reasons they give for their rating. If they haven’t given any reasons and/or it’s one of those reviews that are not really a review, (Less than a simple paragraph with no detail) ignore it.

Give Some Indication As to Why You Gave the Book a Three-Star Review

All reviews should consist of at least one paragraph with some important detail included. However, one doesn’t have to write a full summary of the work which could end up as long as one of the chapters, if not longer, in said work either. Bear this in mind when writing your three-stars review and at the very least give some indication as to why you decided to give it three stars, and if possible what changes would be necessary to improve the rating you gave.

That’s it for now folks. Join me later as I discuss two and one-star reviews in my final episode of On Reviews.

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5 replies »

  1. I usually don’t give anything less than a three star review and I’ve never considered 3 stars to be a negative for the author. No, the book wasn’t up to a 4 or 5 star review, but I still found something about it that I enjoyed. The book might have had weak character development but a great plot, certainly nothing that couldn’t be rectified.

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  2. I have one 3 star rating on Goodreads but no review which is frustrating! My three other reviews are all 5 star and 4 stars. I wouldn’t be offended by a three star review especially as I am a new writer but of course I would prefer 4/5 stars! I tend to be selective what I review and normally find books I read fall in the 4/5 star category and a tiny minority I rate 3 stars.

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Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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