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Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’

decision

I try not to read reviews anymore. It doesn’t help the sanity of most authors to do that. I fully intended to work on my website during lunch, but since I had to go to my book pages on Amazon, etc. for links, I caught myself reading the reviews.

Here’s what I found. Many people don’t like my novellas. Club Blood (which is probably my least favorite anyway) has less than a 3 star average. See Me and Guardian Vampire have 3 star averages. (Guardian Vampire has 11 five star and 10 one star, and very little in between, so that must be an either love it or hate it book.) These were some of my earliest books. A Rocky Path, which was my very first novel, has a 4 star average, but there aren’t that many reviews. It’s not a good seller, and Anya and I are talking about revamping the cover. Most of my full length (although fairly short) novels have 4 star averages.

Okay, here’s the most important thing. My favorite of all my books is Haunted Lake. It’s always carried a 4 star or more average and it has quite a few reviews. Then, back in April, I got a 1 star review that said, “I only read a couple of chapters. Too much filthy talk which I do not like at all. Not recommended for my Christian readers.” Now most of you that know me, know I don’t do “filthy talk” in my personal life OR my books. There’s a little heat in some of my books, but it’s very mild (except maybe for Starfane, which has more heat). And this person only read a couple of chapters, and even if there had been “filthy talk”, it wouldn’t have happened in the first couple of chapters. A couple of people commented on the review and asked if she even reviewed the right book, because obviously either she didn’t or she was lying. This whole thing still upset me because it brought my average stars down. But…when I looked today, I noticed I had gotten 3 reviews this summer, 2 five stars and 1 four star. That made me very happy. 🙂 And it brought my average back up to a solid 4. Out of 44 reviews, I have 20 five stars and 10 four stars. So maybe reading reviews isn’t all that bad.

One thing I want to say to those of you who review. Be kind. I don’t mean you shouldn’t give low stars if that’s how you really feel. But please don’t be nasty about it. That makes the reviewer look vindictive. Be helpful. Don’t say “This book sucks!”. Say, “I really disliked this book because ____”. I had one review that said “The main character was written in third person.” What? And it was a 1 star review that brought the average down for no reason other than the reviewer was either ignorant or just mean. MOST books are written in third person. They said something about the vocabulary, too, but that didn’t make sense either. Anyway, please understand that authors have feelings and when a review is written in a sarcastic, mean, ugly way, it hurts the author and doesn’t help anyone. Please write a well thought out review that explains your feelings about the book. Most reviewers who write ugly things seem to actually enjoy it. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t even have to ask any of you to be kind. All my blog followers are great people, and I can’t imagine ANY of you writing ugly reviews.

So that’s how I feel about reviews. 🙂

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I had someone message me on Facebook today and tell me they enjoyed Haunted Lake and that they were going to write a review. I was so happy that I had to hop on over to see it. Well, when I got there, it hadn’t come through yet, but I saw a review that was written yesterday. A review that made my heart feel good. Then the other review came through. I’m not going to quote the two reviews in their entirety because they are both long. And that sounds kind of, I don’t know, bragging or something. And I don’t usually list my reviews anywhere like many authors do. But I just wanted to share a little bit of what was said, simply because I’m SO deliriously happy about the reviews. This is what can sometimes jump start us as writers if we’re struggling.

The review by B.J. Robinson (the person who contacted me) says this: “I loved the characters John and Daniel and the heroine, Rachel.” and ” I loved the way the author wove in the theme of friendship and how powerful friendship is.” and ” If you want to be scared and love ghost stories and mystery, check out Haunted Lake. You might learn how to brave a few demons of your own.”

And the review, by Genevieve, that I didn’t know about that surprised me. See, I’ve often wondered whether or not readers could relate to my characters. I’ve had a couple of bad reviews that say they couldn’t relate. But when I read this…well, you can see why I feel good about the characters in Haunted Lake. “It had me in tears from the emotion that poured from the pages. Emotion is this author’s strongest quality in her writing. She conveys emotion so clearly and realistically that it is almost impossible to not act like an Empath and feel the emotions at the same time as the characters. Her writing, like a lot of great writers, makes you feel like you ARE the characters, but at the same time aren’t.”

/end of squee

I know we shouldn’t, as a general rule, read reviews. I used to get depressed over bad ones, but I know that reading tastes are subjective, and not everyone will like all books. I just hate the reviews that are kind of nasty. But when I know for sure I’m getting a good review because someone contacts me, I can’t help but go look. And what a surprise to find I got two good reviews two days in a row. So here’s a question for my fellow authors. Do you read your reviews and do you let them affect you?

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