As the various ebook platforms have made it easier than ever for writers to publish their works. Not surprisingly, thousands of ebooks have flooded the market. Regardless of the genre, you can find something about everything. Fiction, in particular, has swelled with some lists topping out in the millions.
The challenging part of all this is that you don’t have so much time to read all ‘good’ books. There are hundreds of free books uploaded regularly. Some of them are great while others tend to be mediocre; another books even make you wonder if the person knows how to write on English. Fortunately, there are some tricks you can use to make sure that you’re getting a decent book.
Check Out the 3 and 4 Star Reviews
When you’re looking to buy new books or at least download free samples, it’s a good idea to check out the reviews. The reviews give you a feel for it, although you’ll want to watch out for spoilers. However, you’ll notice that some reviews are worth more than ever.
The 5 star reviews, for instance, just gush praise that not even Hemmingway or Dickens could live up to in most cases. The 1 and 2 star reviews, on the other hand, are generally brief, lacking in punctuation, and give off a general “I hate the world and everything in it” sort of vibe.
Speaking generally, the 3 and 4 star reviews are generally more in-depth. These reviews go over the pros and cons in most cases and evaluate the book on the basis of merit. Some of them even offer recommendations or disclose personal biases. The longer and more detailed the review is, the more likely that the reader did invest the time in understanding the book and came away with a fact based opinion.
Look for the Helpful Side of the Reviews
On sites like Amazon, other members of the community can rank the reviews. Give priority to those reviews that have more help marks next to them. These are individuals who have demonstrated an ability to provide valid information and solid reviews to the community. People can be rather protective of their online reputations, and so, if there are more than a handful of positive responses, this is probably a reviewer who takes her role quite seriously.
Just Take the Plunge
If there are no reviews though and the book looks interesting, just take the plunge. If the blurb catches your fascination or there is something that you want to know more about but there are no reviews, then become the reviewer.
Even though it’s not necessarily fun, the worst thing that can happen is that the book is no good. In that case, you can write a review detailing your experience. However, if you’re going to give it a 1 or 2 star review, remember to use complete sentences and back up your arguments so that people don’t pass over your review.