Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why a Three Star Review Could Mean a Great Read

As a book blogging reviewer I often get some questions about why I have reviewed a novel at THREE STARS and yet raved about the great read. It is quite simple really. I use my own personal rubric for rating each book that comes to me (I also have any of the reviewers working under me use this same rubric). Let me explain this rubric now.

How I Give Out Stars

The Unique Star - I have read a lot of books. So have the reviewers that work with me. Yet one thing remains the same, we all enjoy a good unique read. That is why the first star I will give a book goes to a unique read. If we read something that is unique or unlike anything we have read before, then this star is earned. However, if you have just rewrote a novel that is too similar to a previous read, this star blacks out and it will not be given out. After all, no one wants to read another Hunger Games no matter how much they enjoyed that novel. So unique books will earn at least one star from The Schwartz Reviews.

The Perfection Star – One of my greatest pet peeves as a reader are the mistakes found within the pages of a novel. It irks me all to hell to see an unpolished version of your novel for review. If you didn’t take the time or energy or whatever to ensure that your novel is reader ready then you will not earn this star. I may let a mistake or two slip by, but any more than that and I will make a note of it and dock you this star. However, you are guaranteed this star if you send your novel in for an edit/proof reading.

The Rating Stars – The last three stars are based on how well I (or any reviewers I work with) enjoy the novel. While reading the book we will take notes all the way through, some are used to show quotes to use, but the majority show how we felt during certain parts of the novel (what we enjoyed, what we disliked, emotions, etc.). This is where the real rating comes into play in regards to the entertainment level of the novel.
·         0 Stars – The book was not enjoyable at all.
·         1 Star – The book was OK I guess
·         2 Stars – The book was a good read
·         3 Stars – The book was a GREAT read

Why You Should Read the Whole Review

Now that we all know how I rate the novels that I read, let’s get to the important part of this post. I know that several people just look at the stars and then move on, but there are some important things in the review that you may not want to miss. For instance, by reading the review I write, you will know exactly what stars the book earned. Which means, you will be better informed in order to make a decision about whether or not you would like to purchase the novel I reviewed.

I make it quite clear in each review where the stars came from, as long as you know how I review that is. I make it a point to say:
“This was quite the unique read…”
“I found a few errors within the pages…”
Just by those two statements, you now know that the book earned The Unique Star and that it did not earn The Perfection Star. Therefore, if that review states that the book was rated at FOUR STARS, you now know that it earned 3 out of 3 of The Rating Stars. Which means? I thought that it was a GREAT read!

However, if you did not read the whole review, you would be left in the dark as to why the novel is rated the way that it is. Which is silly when I shout it out loud just by the way I do my ratings J

Why You Shouldn’t Count a THREE STAR Review Out

Let’s say that I reviewed a novel that did not earn The Unique Star or The Perfection Star but that I found was still an amazing edge-of-your-seat thrilling page turner of a read so it earned 3 out of 3 of The Rating Stars. You wouldn’t understand the awesomeness of this novel if you didn’t read the review to find where it earned its stars. Which means, you may count the novel out when really, it should be added to the top of your TBR list! Tsk Tsk! Don’t miss out on the amazing reads that I find!

More About My Reviews

OK. So now we know where the stars come from and that they aren’t just given out randomly and that there is a system behind every star. Check. What about the rest of my review? If you follow this blog (firstly, huge shout out to you and you have my thanks) then you have noticed some changes over the past month while I iron out some rough edges. I’m quite happy with the new format that I use. What does THAT mean? It means that every review written follows a systematic approach to allow for easy information for the readers. Here is how it all works:
The Rating – First things first, I will write a short sentence or two describing the overall feeling of the read along with the star rating.
Schwartz Synopsis – Here I thought I would briefly describe the novel in my own words. I mean anyone can copy the author’s synopsis from the back of a book or the synopsis on any buy page or goodreads. So just to be different, here at The Schwartz Reviews, we make our own (without spoilers).
Schwartz Thoughts – This is the important section. This is where you will find out what stars were earned throughout the book. You will find any pros and cons about the read. Plus, you will be informed of any personal thoughts that I (or my reviewers) had during the read. Were there errors? Was it unique? What were our emotions? Were the characters developed well? Was it realistic? All that and more in this section.
The Recommendation – Here is where we generalize who would enjoy this book. Maybe paranormal lovers? Pirate readers? Historic fans? This is always at the bottom of the review.
The Reviewer – Who wrote the review? This will always be stated in brackets at the bottom. I, Kristine Schwartz, the creator of this blog will personally go over every review to perfect it as well as post it. So rest assured, I am the only poster to the page. I do, however, enlist various family members to help me do some reading. After all, I almost always have well over 300 emails in my account at any given time and want to ensure I help as many authors as possible.
Buy Links – This is where I make it super easy for you to find the reviewed book. I place buy links for amazon, kindle, kobo, and/or nook where available.

The End

And that right there folks, is everything you need to know about how I do my reviews, and why it is important to read the whole review before deciding on whether the novel is for you or not. Does this all make sense now? Do you have any questions? Leave a COMMENT and I will reply personally. Till then, Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post and so very true. Don't ever rule out a 3 star review! I'm a new follower via google+ please follow me back :)


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