My View on (Re)Views
Sock puppets, well-meaning family members, shills, and paid reviews have completely devalued the whole "Star" ranking system. Seriously, best-selling author Robert Jordan can't get all five-star reviews, so why do I? My books and stories have received such reviews, and that is terrific, but it is also a little disingenuous, because I know I am not the next Tennyson or Bronte. So, as a side note, here is an author looking for 2- and 3-star reviews to actually provide balance.
But, I digress, and the cat keeps meowing because I somehow wedged a cleaver into its spleen.
I put my stars at the end of the review, and they go on Amazon/BN/Smashwords/Goodreads, if that is where I post 'em. Like Big Al, I won't go below three based on taste alone--it has to suck for other reasons.
If for some reason I just can't get into your story/book, I'll let you know and nothing is lost. That said, here are my general guidelines.
5-star: An excellent book. Cream of the crop. Market the piss out of this sucker.
4-star: A good book. Recommended. Hey kids, 4-stars are awesome reviews, perfect, wonderful. Don't go screaming because you get one of these.
3-star: A decent book. It may have some major flaws (e.g., editing, or lack thereof, spelling errors, major plot holes, etc.)
2-star: Goodreads' ranking for this is, "It was OK." For me, it means, "meh", could not get over the errors, plot holes, or it was poorly written
1-star: A very poor book.
I like how Big Al has his reviews laid out, so I'm borrowing the template. It's not stealing, it's honoring a proven blogger, OK? Now, where the hell did that damn cat go?
Each review has several sections.
Author: A snippet about the author, with link to web page/blog.
Description: Description. Of the book. A description of the book. With a description.
Review: What we're all here for.
Additional Info: Optional. Will include any tidbits that may influence purchase: If it's in a series, a short story, graphic violence/sex, etc.
Format/Typo/Editing Issues: Any notes on formatting, editing, proofreading issues.