This may sound paranoid, but I’m curious if other authors have this experience. Ever since I published my first novel, I find the thought of reviewing other people’s work intimidating. Mainly, I am afraid to post anything other than a glowing five star review for fear that the author will see it as an attack that requires retaliation.
The thing is that I am hard to please. I consider myself well-read, so the issue becomes: the more I read, that harder it is going to be to knock my socks off.
In regards to fiction I’d score a book as such:
1 Star – Couldn’t finish it
2 Stars – Finished it, but it felt like work
3 Stars – Not bad, no annoying wording or typos, story was interesting enough
4 Stars – Three Stars + Some originality + couldn’t put it down
5 stars – Four Stars + Changed something about the way I look at the world
Now that I’ve been in the self-publishing game myself I know how devastating it can be to get a three star review, especially if the writer doesn’t have a lot of positive reviews to buffer its effects. So I find I only write a review if my conscience doesn’t have any reservations about giving the book in question a perfect score. This is troublesome, because how often does a book truly blow your mind?
Its probably a misplaced fear, but the truth is that making a spiteful enemy could have devastating effects on the business end of publishing.
Any other authors struggle with this?