One of my most least favorite words is reviews. In particular, book reviews! Oy! And I handle the review submissions for TMP and my reasoning isn't because I hate my job. I love it.
The reason for my disdain is because no matter what, book reviews are subjective. Plain and simple. Have you ever read the disclaimer about fair or impartial reviews. Great! I honestly believe that the reviewer follows this rule but their taste does not always match mine. And while they might love one aspect but they could hate another and I may feel the opposite.
If you are a new writer or have a book out or about to, please, please, please, remember that book reviews are subjective. The review is entitled to their opinion when it concerns your work. Never engage them. Some industry folks, including reviewers, say stay away. The review isn't for the author, its for the readers.
And the sad thing is many book sales or rankings are dependent on book reviews. But who actually pays attention to them. Do you make all your reading decisions based on reviews? Do you read them for every details or do you pay attention the over star rating? What sites do you refer to build up your TBR list?
Personally, I don't base my reading choices on reviews. I might scan the star rating and I occassionally will read one but I go on word-of-mouth or stick with my favorite authors. Heck, I've been known to do just a genre search and pick out a new author.
I read a wonderful blog post by Katie McGarry where she discusses reviews and the recent incident involving an author who stalked and contacted the reviewer. If you get a chance, click on the link and read her post. It is fantastic. Truthful. Honest.
And I completely agree.
Do you have a review story? As an author, did you thank the reviewer or stay away?