I am not sure what to make of reviews at times. The first thing that goes through my head in seeing a rating number tick up or a review added is “Thank you for reading my book!” It is always amazing to think that someone is actually reading the words I type and fret over with editors.
It is awful, as others have advised against it, but I read all my works reviews. There is the reward I feel for someone reading, and the bliss or pain on what they have written in return.
Part of me finds it easy to dismiss bad reviews. I say to myself that a person reviewing my work on Amazon.com and may have only reviewed three things there, a car battery, windshield wipers, and my book, that person is not a reader, so I can discount that bad review, right? Not for me. In my mind, the avid reader should get enjoyment from the work as much as a casual reader/car enthusiast.
Dismissing the bad review or justifying in my mind why that person gave a bad review is only a mental exercise that allows me to legitimize in my mind that I worked hard enough. That, my reader, is poppycock. Bad reviews are entirely justifiable and at times deserved. I learn a good deal about how you, my dear reader, responds to the words I have provided. I pause to contemplate how I may have done better. Please do not read this post as a plea for positive reviews. It is not.
What I would ask for is better reviews. Tell me why it sucked, the lack of interest, and why you didn’t finish, or what was so unappealing that deserved a return to the seller. I do not want to discount you as a reader, but completely understand that not all people will like my work.
There are others who write wonderful things, blissful things, details that keep my spirits high, and mind engaged in the next work. I love you all. Thank you for reading. Thank you for taking the time to write that down and let others know. You make me want to be a better person.
Reviews are not for everyone. A rating is just as good. For some to jot down a score and not a review makes sense. When I read a book, go to Goodreads, and see the 40,000 other people to review The Goldfinch, I wonder, who am I doing this for? Can I contribute something here that hasn’t been said? And sometimes the answer is no. I just rate the book with stars rather than write something about the work. So I get it. Thank you for reading and rating. It means everything to me that you are doing this.
For the most part, I have to express, that I am just thrilled, for better or worse, to find that people are reading what I write. Today I am at 8,000 words for my next work, a thriller currently called 16. Once that is complete, my plan is to revisit the work I recently completed a first draft on call The Joy of Lying for additional revisions and re-writes. By December I hope to have one or both complete and ready for purchase by Christmas.
Safe travels – happy reading!