Reviewing Indie Books


Do you review Indie books differently? I feel like when I know this is a self published work, or a very small, unknown author, I have a different scale for reviewing. But is that the right thing to do?

Typically my star ratings on Goodreads and Amazon are more critical rather than personal (depending on the book), whereas in my bullet journal or this blog I give more of my personal star rating. For example, my critical review for Red Rising is 5 stars due plot, the character development, the writing style, etc. My personal review is 4.5 because during one part of the book, it dragged on a little bit too long for my personal taste. I started drifting in and out and would take breaks because it wasn’t gripping me. I’m starting to wonder if I should just merge the two ratings, if that makes sense so it’s more consistent, or maybe I’m just being too extra, haha!

So when it comes to indie authors, especially ones without editors, I usually overlook a lot of the grammatical issues and the writing style. I take it into a account but I’m not as hard on that person as even the best writers have editors. Hell, Stephen King has an editor! Understanding that indie authors want to get their names out there, I just try to push passed it – but then that got me thinking…. should we be doing that? If you are not a good writer, should we give praise just because you’re trying? If a book is not written well by a well known author, I don’t give them stars because they tried. If the story is there but the writing is bad, hiring an editor to help you get a publisher would help you!

I think that people need to understand that it typically takes a long time to write a book. The process is grueling, the criticism, even more so. I think I personally need to work on reviewing books with the understanding that people are going to read them and trust what I have to say. I’ve never lied, but I do withhold to a certain degree. It’s a slippery slope. If we sit and hype a book because a friend wrote it, the author is nice, etc, it’s deceiving the other people who may spend good money on the book that you may have personally not liked.

I recently had the opportunity to read a book by an indie author in which she told me not to review her book if it was going to be a bad rating. I don’t think that’s fair. Her Goodreads has only 5 stars and because I wanted to be nice, I almost didn’t review it so it wouldn’t drag down her  rating. After she repeatedly harassed myself and another reviewer, it got me thinking; I need to review this. You can see the full story on my Instagram @rqdavis_ in my highlights.

You can see my review for A Twisted Belief by Pearl Khatri by clicking *here* She has since blocked me on all forms of social media after harassing myself and another reviewer to remove the reviews.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! I’m finishing up The Black Witch via audio and will be reviewing that book soon!


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