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How to Write an Authentic Review

Don't be quick to judge.

Don't be quick to judge.

Have you ever looked back and felt stupid about your initial judgment of people or things? – I have. There have been times when I have been quick to judge without giving time or opportunity for explanation and later realized that I was wrong. I should have given the person more time before I categorized and labeled them.

Few days ago I received a nasty review of BookBuzzr. (BookBuzzr is a free Online Book Marketing Tool for Authors and I am currently promoting and marketing it). The review said the tool was no good and well a lot of other things but this post is not about justification, so am keeping the review aside.

When I first read the review I was upset, some of the things said were untrue, some true and some just quick judgments. After the initial upset I re-read the post and realized that my getting upset was silly. Here’s why. The reviewer had based his judgment on a 10 minute test and had not read the instructions at all. Now am not saying he’s not entitled to his opinion but maybe he should have delayed judgment a bit.

Am sure am not the only one who has had to face a bad review, most of us have for books, products, work, etc. So here are a few tips for the next time you are trying out, reviewing or judging something new.

1. Follow instructions – if you don’t then you have no right to say it doesn’t work.
2. Be patient – Sometimes you are asked to wait, be patient and give it time. (Especially if you are told something would take time)
3. Ask questions – if there is something you do not understand, like or feel is lacking, contact the person or company. They may have a very good reason or may be working on the issue already.
4. Give suggestions – Contact the person or company with ideas and suggestions.

The above would work for everything from products to books. And before you pass judgment you’d have given the other person a chance to have their say. This would avoid bad reviews, hurt feelings and hasty judgment.

This does not mean that you do not rate something badly but do it only after knowing the whole picture; else you might just realize later that you had made an error in judgment.

Photo Credit: FadderUri

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  • Hi Freya,

    Wise post. It’s one thing to trust our intuition when something does not feel ‘quite right,’ but then we have the potential to let our minds get into the way and bring all of our past with us and come to a faulty conclusion. Thanks for the mindful post!

  • freya

    Thats so true Dan. :) Thanks for adding the bit about past baggage.

    Our past affects our present and future hugely unless we make an effort to keep them seperate and make a fresh and clean future.


  • We all have had a tendency to judge people, not realizing that it’s not right. We need to take a step back and give people a chance.

  • freya

    So true Barbara, it takes constant effort to not jump the gun :)


  • FWIW, if a tool (be it software or a physical tool) requires an instruction manual, its user interface _might_ be a bad design.

  • freya

    Hey Kannan,

    Thanks for the comment however I do not agree with you completely… If you are installing your DVD player and have no technical knowledge, there is a high probability that you will get it wrong. The best approach would be to follow the instructions in the manual. Something as simple at the voltage difference can spell disaster.

    The instructions are only there to help and guide and not always because it can’t be done otherwise. I agree about the UI however I was referring to the process and not usability. For e.g. if you don’t follow instructions of PDF upload only and try uploading an MS Word document… That is not a interface fault.

    What say?