If you’re an author and get a good review, it makes your day. Suddenly all your effort transforming your creativity into a story is worth it. However, they do little to improve your work. I have learned more from poor reviews than good ones. Some have improved my writing and others have simply helped me understand who likes my work and who doesn’t, which helps with marketing strategies. No matter how good your story may be, trust me when I say that not everyone will like it.
Reviews are subjective. In most cases they’re only one person’s opinion. Okay, if the average of all your reviews is three stars or less, then there may be more of a problem. However, bear in mind that publishers supposedly don’t take your collection of reviews seriously unless there are a few really bad ones in there. Why? Because they figure they’re all from friends and relatives, even if this isn’t the case.
All this considered, if you leave a bad review, do the author and explain why. Few stories please everyone once they get past Winnie the Pooh. If it’s simply not your kind of story, say so as well as why. I recently didn’t finish a book yet left it a four-star review. Why? Because it was well-written, just simply wasn’t my kind of story or what I expected. To me it was too much action and too little plot, but for someone who thrives on taskforce action it would probably be one of their favorites.
So if you leave a bad review, explain why. If it’s technical, e.g. too many typos, say so, giving the author a chance to fix it. You may not like it when you get a bad review, but pay attention. Unless it’s a troll, there is something to be learned. And even if it’s a troll, consider your work is good enough to be considered a threat to someone.