“Are You A Review Snob?”


“Help an author … leave a review.”

I see it daily … that little quote we readers, reviewers, blogs, authors, personal assistants, et al, post all the time in our groups, our outgoing email signature, in events – it’s everywhere. I’m just beginning to wonder if we’ve forgotten one very important part of this sentence: “Help an author!” 

It’s happening more and more frequently. I’ve heard countless authors being torn to shreds by the holier than thou, Review Snobs. What part of Help An Author,” is so difficult to understand? I’m perplexed and quite fed up, to be frank. Why are we tearing these writers to pieces? We receive ARC’s for FREE; we win copies of books for FREE; we read it when we get time and then what? Well, it’s review time, right? Because that’s what we do in the Indie community – we help each other out and we leave an honest, respectful and polite review for said author’s very hard work, which probably took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears for he or she to so nicely gift to us in exchange for an honest review.

But, wait! Are we taking this too far? I mean, if you already know you don’t like a specific genre or sub-genre, why are you standing in line for an ARC you already know you aren’t going like in the first place?? Is it a competition to see how many books you can put on your Kindle or e-reader? Is it a race? An obsession? I mean, leaving an honest review for an author, in my opinion, is for some of the following reasons:

  1. To let the author know how you viewed, felt, or reacted when reading his or her hard work.
  2. To let others know your honest thoughts about the story.
  3. To help an author (there’s that quote again!) by respectfully and politely suggesting enhancements or improvements.
  4. To share with the world how much you loved a story and you hope everyone will love reading it.

Ahhh … here’s part of the problem.

Not. Everyone. Enjoys. The. Same. Genres. 

News to you? Not me. There are certain books I simply have no interest in because of their genre. I can’t help it. I have no interest in reading a technical “how to” or “DIY” book, but some of you may love those books. We are all different. So, why are we jumping up and down for FREE books of a sub-genre we don’t like? And why in the hell would you read book two if you hated book one?? I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. Furthermore, if you simply hate a story, why don’t you kindly approach the author (who will usually appreciate the risk you took to be very honest with him or her) to discuss your reasons for rating with one or two stars? Remember our quote?

“Help an author … leave a review.”

So, if I just hate a story, chances are I’m not finishing the entire book. In that case, if I have received a FREE ARC or been gifted a book, I may either contact the author or simply write on my review, “DNR (did not read).” Nothing else needed, in this case. This allows the potential reader to perhaps read other reviews, use the “look inside” feature offered by Amazon, and make his or her own choice about reading the story, rather than reading a review consisting of how terrible the book was (Are you a Review Snob?). Another thing I do for a story I don’t think I can really write a helpful review for is just not write a review. Period. That’s just me.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I do not advocate for dishonest reviews just because you like an author…or don’t. Nope. I do my best, always, to keep my work full of good ethics and integrity, because that’s very important to me. Some stories totally wow me, some are fabulous and some are good. Then, there’s the stories that all read the same, only with different circumstances, as a lot of others in specific genres. You know what I’m talking about. If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all.

So, what does an author truly want to see in a review? Have you ever tried asking? I’m sure they all want five stars and best sellers, period, but that’s just not realistic. I think most authors I communicate with are more drawn to their three-star reviews than any of the others. Why? They seem to be the most helpful (Help an author … ) reviews, honest, and realistic. With that being said, please don’t think I’m saying a review is most legitimate if it has only three stars. If you feel a story deserves five stars,  by all means, shout it to the world. I know I do. So, here are a few things authors have told me personally he or she likes to see in a review:

  1. Respect (no need to tear a hard working writer to pieces).
  2. Spoiler-free reviews (don’t ruin it for others, really).
  3. Quotes a reader really enjoyed from their book.
  4. How did the book make you feel?
  5. Do you have a polite and friendly suggestion (for anything deeper than a quick note, try emailing or private messaging the author first)?
  6. Purchase links, links to the authors’ social media sites, etc.
  7. Just be kind. There’s no need to be mean and callous to get your point across. Sometimes, less is more.
  8. Share your review on Amazon, Goodreads, and any other social media sites you use. This is truly helping an author by leaving a review.

Since I’m discussing author reviews right now, I’d sort of like to introduce one of my personal etiquette rules. This is my personal ethic and does not have to be yours, nor is it a rule or requirement from anyone. When I receive an ARC, first of all, I am honored. I am honored the author trusts and values my opinion well enough to send me a copy of their very hard work-their art. I don’t take that lightly. So, when it’s time for me to write my review for an ARC or freebie (however received), I really try to first purchase the Amazon eBook before reviewing. Not only does this help an author, it also places the words, “Verified Purchase” on my review, lending more credibility to my review. Again, this is my personal thing and is not requested from me EVER by any author. I only wanted to share with you what my personal take is on proper book etiquette.

Now that I’ve probably pissed off half the Indie community with my title on this blog post, I have a question for you: What is your true motivation when you write a review? Our reviews can truly help an author learn and grow if written with respect and courtesy, but when a reviewer begins to tear an authors hours and weeks or months of work, ignoring his or her family, eating on the laptop, writing for our pleasure, I’ve heard it simply causes some authors to just want to give up. That’s not okay. Don’t do that. Really.

As a reviewer and blogger in this community, I believe it’s time we all go back to the basics – you know, back when you were “new” and wrote reviews from your hearts, rather than for ulterior motives. Are you a Review Snob? 

“Help an author … leave a review.”

~Have You Heard? Book Blog

Have You Heard? Book Blog


Grand Prize Giveaway for the Bluestocking Belles New Release Event, Hopeful Hearts Ball, hosted by PA In A Pinch


a Rafflecopter giveaway Enter Here <<<——-


Holly and Hopeful Hearts Box Set by The Bluestocking Belles is now live!!


☆•* ❤ *•☆Happy Release Day ☆•* ❤ *•☆

The BellesInBlue are celebrating the release of our 2016 holiday box set, Holly and Hopeful Hearts!

When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?

The Belles are proud to present eight never before published novellas centered on the Duchess of Haverford’s ball. Her favorite cause is also one dear to our hearts, women’s education. 25% of all proceeds will be donated to the Malala Fund.

Amazon US: http://ow.ly/INwa3049Ey3
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iBooks: http://ow.ly/JcSI304jGWE
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Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/664559

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BR: http://amzn.to/2dnlzZI
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ES: http://amzn.to/2dnmUQc
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UK: http://ow.ly/ZMuH3049ELM


Hopeful Hearts Ball to be hosted on Sunday, November 13, 2016 by PA In A Pinch.



How to make a fair indie book awards event.

Author Kyle Perkins

by Kyle Perkins.

I have been an author for nearly a year now and have seen and been in several “indie book award” events. The problem is, most of them are made with a clear agenda to either get some friends a few shiny new titles, or for the coordinators to gain some exposure. Which is fine, we all need exposure. We need to make them fair, though. Even if it’s just one indie event a year that’s fair. I have an idea on how to do this, maybe a few of us can get together and make it happen?

My idea is this: Do the events exactly as they are being done now, except separate people by their total social media following. So, for instance, they would have a “Best Dystopian Author 1-5k likes” then “Best Dystopian Author 5-10k likes” etc. Right now, it’s just a popularity contest. If I go…

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Bad Deeds by Lisa Renee Jones: Cover Reveal



Title: Bad Deeds
Series: Dirty Money #3
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 8, 2017

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in Bad Deeds, the smoldering, scorching next novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.Would you bleed for the one you love?

To save his family empire from the grip of the drug cartel, Shane is pushed to the edge of darkness, forced to make choices he might never make. His father is dying. His brother is desperate to rule the empire and this means war and all gloves are off. His brother only thought he knew what dirty meant. Shane is about to give it new meaning. There is another war brewing though, and that one, is inside him, his battle between right and wrong, light and dark, and in the heat of the night, it is Emily he turns to for escape. Driving her to new limits, pushing her to accept a part of him that even he cannot.

In every one of Shane’s seductive demands, Emily can taste and feel, his torment, his struggle to save his family and not lose himself. But he is losing himself, and that is a problem just as dangerous as her secret, that still lurk in the shadows, a threat to the Brandon Family waiting to erupt. No matter where she and Shane have traveled, or will travel in the future, she can’t just sit back and watch him become everything he hates, everything he never wanted to become, everything she tried to save him from when she tried to run. It could be their undoing, the end. His end.

This is war, blood will spill, and someone in the heart of the Brandon family will not survive….

Pre-order Links


OTHER LINKSAmazon UK, B&N, iBooks coming soon!!

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Also Available

Start the bestselling Dirty Money series now with book one, HARD RULES! And don’t miss Damage Control (book two) coming out on February 21st!






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Releases February 21, 2017





Author Bio


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series, which is now in development for a television show to be produced by Suzanne Todd of Team Todd (Alice in Wonderland). Suzanne Todd on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with. I’m thrilled to develop a television show that will tell Sara’s whole story – her life, her work, her friends, and her sexuality.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.

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