Michael Krose shares his experience berating an Amazon reviewer who left an unhelpful 3-line, 1-star review of a book she hadn't read:
No! You cannot leave a 1-star review on a book you have not read. I said "no!" Stop it... stop! I had to firmly make this point to a reviewer recently who admitted, in her three-sentence review, that she did not get through the first chapter of a book (not mine) because she encountered the word "anyways." Her unpithy review:
I couldnt even gt through one chapter. Someone please tell this author that "anyways" is not a word. Enough said.
Review ratings are, unfortunately, pretty important for midlist authors, or anyone trying to break through. Having a throwaway 1-star review like this is an example of a reader putting in very little effort (in both reading and reviewing) and causing disproportionate harm to the overall rating of the book.
Michael responded to the reviewer as follows:
I searched my copy for use of the word "anyways" and found only one, in a bit of dialogue. It may not be an official word, but it is slang that is used by teenagers--who are the main characters in this book--so this complaint is a bit ridiculous. If one doesn't approve of the way teenagers speak, perhaps one shouldn't read YA paranormal fantasy.
Have a read of what happened next: you will be faced with this in your career, and of course it is advisable never to get involved in arguing about reviews of your own books. Thankfully people like Michael are around to offer at least a token push back to reviewer laziness.