Reviews are a wonderful thing. I almost always review a product if given a chance. And as a side note, I rarely review books because I just don’t read as much as I once did. I do a lot of reviews through Trip Advisor.
I write a review because I know how extremely helpful they are to me when I purchase an item, or go on vacation, or eat at a new restaurant. (Also a thing of the past…;)) I rely heavily on them. They have usually been pretty accurate as well. If I read about a hotel being dirty, or the staff not friendly or helpful, and we stayed at that hotel, it was what the review said. Kind of rare that it was inaccurate. I don’t believe most people write reviews to be nasty or bring a product, or place down. If they are, you can generally see through that angst.
By their very nature, reviews are subjective. You are giving your opinion. Some people are more opinionated than others. Reviewers may look at the product as a half-full item, or half-empty. When I write a review, I try to highlight the positive, state the negative. If it’s mostly negative, again, I try to state it, rather than pound home my opinion. It’s better to let those reading it come to their conclusions objectively if possible.
As an author, book reviews are extremely important, and a huge marketing tool. Book sales, check-outs at the library, and reading groups are based on other’s opinion about that book. And it can be good or bad.
I greatly appreciate a reader taking the time to write a review. I love to talk with my readers and hear their take-away of my stories. I write what is important to me, things that I have struggled with in my own life. It is my therapy. If that reaches someone else and helps in any way…or gives hope, my purpose has been fulfilled.
Reviews are needed. Write them when available, state your opinion as objectively as possible.
Please, please keep this in mind. Don’t review a product you haven’t given a fair chance. If it’s a book, and you just can’t read it for whatever reason, state that. But please don’t review what you have not read. We’ve all had the experience of something not beginning so great and ending up to be the best thing ever.