Of late I’ve noticed a bit of discussion about that never-ending topic, reviews. I’ve had a few things to say about that subject before today. But on this occasion I want to illustrate how ‘reviews’ are used in – shall we say – unexpected ways.
This was the one and only review of my book Morgan’s Choice on Smashwords. The reviewer awarded the book two stars. **— Here’s the review, in full.
“Just wanted to tell you that I loved your book, Supertech, and couldn’t wait to read the follow-up, Morgan’s Choice, so I purchased it soon after. I would like to say that I enjoyed this book every bit as much as I enjoyed the first, but I ran into a problem. The copy of the book I purchased and downloaded to my Sony reader died at page 63. I cannot move past that page, in fact it shut my whole reader down. I can’t even read it on my computer. I wish you the best of luck with all your books and am saddened I didn’t get to finish Morgan’s Choice. What I did read, however, drew me in and made me want to read more.”
There’s no way an author can respond or contact a reviewer on Smashwords, but I contacted Smashwords, knowing they would have this person’s email address, and asked their support people to suggest that she contact me direct at my email address so I could send her a new copy of the book. Mind you, I don’t believe there was anything wrong with the file on the Smashwords site. I had downloaded it to check the content, and did so again. But it’s about solving a problem in the fastest possible way. The lady did contact me and I sent her a new version of the file, asking her to get in touch if she had any further problems. She didn’t, so I expect that was okay.
So… a few questions.
Was the review about the book? Definitely – what she read of it. And I have no cause for complaint on that score.
Was the complaint fair? Definitely. She’d paid for something she didn’t receive.
Was the complaint addressed to the right person? No. It was a technical problem which should have been raised with Smashwords – having first made sure the issue was not with the reader, or the internet connection.
But readers are people. They will do what they think is right for them. Suck it up, guys. That’s life.