Ok, so you’ve poured out your heart into your work. You love it, your editor loves it and even the dedicated friends that read it before it was published loved it. Then the dreaded reviews come in. Someone thinks it needs help. This post is dedicated to the feelings a review gives you.
1: A great review – Well the first great review you get makes your heart soar. You feel like nothing can hurt you at that moment. Your work has been approved by one person. Well, one person is not enough to make your book a best seller, but one good review could make it more popular than no reviews.
2: A good review – This is that review that says it was a fairly good book. But usually on a good review, there is a “But” in it. I always listen to that “But” because it is the suggestions of a complete stranger that usually makes more of a point than that of a friend who doesn’t necessarily tell you the truth about your writing.
3: A fair review – We’ve all had that review that really sat us back on our heels. I received one the other day. It was kind of half and half. What I mean by that is this. The reviewer started with “It was a great story line and I really liked it” which made me smile, but then they went into this “But, it was too rushed and didn’t get into enough of character building for me to really like it.” I sat back for a moment going, ok. That is the kind of review that can still sell books, but can also put off others.
4: A bad review – I’ve received some reviews that were pretty bad. It’s funny that you receive several raving reviews and then one of those nasty reviews come in and you go “WOW” where did that come from? I received one that said, “Sorry, but I couldn’t get past the first 4 pages”. Well, I’ve read some best sellers that I had a hard time reading them until I got past the first chapter, so I totally wrote off that review as someone who just didn’t like the story line, but then the very next review said they were pleasantly surprised how good it was as you got into the story. I think they were speaking to that other reviewer.
5: A questionable review – This is the kind of review where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they never read the book to begin with. I was reading a review the other day where someone wrote a paragraph about the good and bad points of one of my books. The problem with this is that the information provided from the book did not match my book. I even showed my editor and she said that is not from your book at all. They evidently read the description of the book and did their own version.
6: The follower review – This is the review that goes with the other persons review. Have you ever received a review whether good or bad and within a few hours you receive another review that says almost the same exact thing? It’s as if the other person just marked your book as read and then just copied the other review.
7: The “not my genre” review – I had someone write a rather nasty review of one of my books, but what was funny about the review was that at the end of the scathing review they stated that they hated romance novels. Why on earth would you purchase a romance novel and then decide to write a review on it if you didn’t like romance novels?
8: The nasty review – These are the reviews that are just down right nasty and they usually come from fellow authors. I received one that was a full paragraph totally tearing my book apart, then they went on to say that they would like to read more of my work. That was really weird to me. Especially the way they tore the book apart and told that the author (me) was not their kind of writer. Oh well, can’t please everyone. Made me feel good, because that is my best seller so not real concerned.
This post was just to state my feelings of the different types of reviews I’ve received. I have even posted some of the bad reviews on my selling sites. You may be saying “Are you nuts?” Well, yes I am, but that’s the life of a writer. Do you know that I started having more sales after posting the fair review. It’s funny how the review process works.
I think some people read the reviews and that makes their decisions on purchasing or not. Some people never even look at the reviews, but others just shrug and say, well it may not have been their kind of book.
So don’t take reviews too seriously. Not all reviews that look bad will hurt you. Don’t let a bad review cause you to put your writing on a shelf to never pick it up again. I’ve read a lot of best sellers that to me were horrible, but I knew it was not my style of book that I like, but I didn’t tear it apart in a review.
Also, when you do write a review, try to be as kind as you can. Offer some gentle suggestions and support the writer when you can.
As always, good writing/reviewing and May God bless you!