I was debating about what to post this April 10, 2023, and decided to look through prior posts for an idea and ran across the one concerning reviews.
REVIEWS: Sometimes they make us want to rejoice and other times to curse. Why? Well, let’s take another look at this topic, and I will be adding to it by asking my readers “Do you review the books you read or not? If you do either, WHY? I am curious because I’ve seen reviews that range from ‘eh’ to ‘all but crying with joy.’ And I’ve also wondered if the sales are good, earning a #Best Seller Flag for a particular category, why is there only a small number of reviews compared to many other books in that same genre?
I know that from time to time we’ve touched on this topic with differing thoughts. Personally, I do read reviews, and I write reviews as well. Yes, some are wonderful and some almost make one want to stop writing altogether.
What are the pluses of reading your reviews?
1. If they are positive and someone likes or even loves your book, it lets you know that you are doing something right.
2. When the reader likes your book, it can put you on top of the world.
3. If most are positive, they let you know that you have an audience out there.
4.They just make you feel good.
5. And if you’re having a bad day, a good review can brighten your day.
What are the minuses?
1. A bad review makes us feel bad.
2. It can make us feel like a failure.
3. And if we caught a troll, we can feel like we would like to pound them…a little. 🙂
4. If the review is really scathing, it can really upset us…if we let it.
As a reader, what are the pluses for you if you are willing to do a review?
1. If you are considering doing a review when you finish a book, you will pay more attention to the plot, the execution of it, and whether or not it is well written.
2. If you are paying more attention to what you are actually reading rather than skimming through the book, you should get more pleasure in reading it, you could also grow in appreciation for the author’s skill (or not), and you can determine yea or nay for reading/purchasing a particular author’s works in the future.
3. If you give an author a great review, you will also have the satisfaction of knowing you made that person’s day with that good review.
I’ll admit that sometimes I wish I didn’t feel I have to read reviews. But I do, and part of the reason is that I learn something. There have been times that a reviewer brought out an area that I needed to improve. I was new to fiction writing after writing non-fiction for 45 years. Fiction was a whole new ballgame. And an author can’t learn all of it at once. So, I listen and try to learn.
Reviewers catch my weaknesses in my writing. Some just mention them; others do more than just mention the flaw. Either way, I can learn something.
My writing’s not perfect nor is it enjoyed by every reader. And that’s okay. And I’m tough enough that even though I’m bumped and bruised, I’m not broken. I’m still here and working harder at learning to be a good writer of fiction.
But, I’ll admit, it has been a tough road to hoe. My first published novella was the prequel ‘Attending a Ball.’ Boy, have I taken the flack on that one. I’ve gotten good reviews on that particular writing, and I’ve gotten more ‘eh!’ reviews and some really not so nice reviews. Hey, I’m not ashamed of it. I did something most people will never do. I wrote something, had it published, AND it sold. Was it a Pulitzer Prize Winning story? Absolutely not! But I’m proud of it anyway.
And if you are new at writing fiction, be proud of the fact that you’ve done something most people will never do. WRITE! And if your book has sold, Congratulations! Keep writing and keep improving your writing.
Now, back again to reviews. If you are a rather tough cookie and want to read your reviews, read them. Just know, that if you get a bad one or a REALLY bad one, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t let it stop you writing. You can never please them all no matter how well you write. Find out what the majority of your audience likes and stick with it.
But…if you are a nervous Nelly or your heart is so soft that any criticisms pierce your soul, you might think of refraining from perusing the reviews of your book(s). What readers think is important but only in regard to improving your writing, plots, character development, etc. If you feel better not knowing what they think, that’s okay. Just remember, you are still obligated to work on improving your writing skills anyway. That doesn’t go away.
REMEMBER: the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. And that applies to all of us.
Now, if you are a brave reader, please comment below and let me know if you do reviews and why you are willing to write them or if you do not do reviews, why you refrain. I promise no rocks will be thrown. I’m just curious because personally I would like more reviews of my books and wonder how I can improve in that area.
BTW If you haven’t read Alice McVeigh’s post of April 5, 2023, in regards to a reviewer of her book and how Alice handled that, be sure to read it. That reviewer apparently had an agenda that is more than a little suspect, and we do run into those nasty people occasionally. Alice’s post is illuminating and a bit humorous as to what she thought and her reaction to the review. ENJOY!