I’ve talked many times about how important reviews of your writing work have become to the present day author. The old sayings a review can make or break you and you are only as good as your next book seem to still be true. I heard a few days ago that Amazon uploads approximately 100,000 new books/novels/novellas/short stories per day, and even if that is remotely true, your ability to get your work “seen” by people who will buy it is crucial. And several excellent reviews can help you attain that goal.
But what about that bad review? A whole sea of 4’s and 5’s, with excellent comments and praise is sitting alongside that 3 –or even worse – 2 star evaluation. What happens then? Do people even consider it, since all the other reviews are glowing? Does a potential reader’s eyes glaze over it, not recognizing it? These are valid questions, but the one that always leaps to my mind is Why, if they didn’t like the book and had nothing – nothing – good to say about it, did they even bother to write a review?
I grew up in a time (in a galaxy far, far away it appears!) where I was taught “If you can’t say something nice or positive, keep your mouth closed.” It’s a practice I struggle with daily, but somehow manage to achieve. Most other people? Not so much.
You see rude comments everywhere these days: television commentators, political analysts, tweets, Facebook comments, music. Even reality tv shows that get the highest ratings are all about how the “housewives” or other cast members bash one another verbally. What the heck has happened to considering the other person’s feelings? When did treat others as you would wish to be treated fly out the window to fall to its civil death?
The internet has made anonymity and the ability to say any old mean thing that pops into your head a normal occurrence. There are no repercussions for rude comments; no responsibility for hurtful and just plain mean words; and no thoughts that you may damaging another person’s reputation – personally AND professionally.
Is it because the person writing and posting the poor reviews or comments feels powerful? Or are they so narcissistic they need to see their name plastered across the internet whether their comment is vile or not? And again, if you truly did not like the book, why waste your time reviewing it? Move on to another book you can like and say good things about. I have started and/or read hundreds – HUNDREDS – of books that I simply did not care for. Some I tossed down after the first few pages, forgotten, while I picked up another. Some I’ve slushed through only to find I shouldn’t have wasted my time. Those books never got a review or rating from me because (a) it would have been a waste of time for me to do, (b) even though I didn’t like it, someone must have because it made it to print, and ( c) as an author I know negative words can hurt, maim, depress, and cause physical pain and I would never want to be the cause of someone else’s feeling of grief or agony.
Am I the only one who feels this way? I’d love to hear from other writers – and even reviewers – about this. Do you post a negative review? If so, why? From authors, have negative reviews hurt you professionally?
And most importantly – how do you recover from, or steel yourself against – those horrible reviews.
Coming 2/8/16 but avialable for PREORDER NOW:: 3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance)
Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.
Buy Links for 3 WISHES : On Amazon From The Wild Rose Press
2 responses to “Reviews – a Necessary Evil?”
Excellent post, Peggy! I was also taught that if I had nothing nice to say, to say nothing at all. Unfortunately, not everyone got that memo. When I reviewed books for a local bookstore, I would return those books that I didn’t like and ask the merchant to pass them onto another reviewer. No one can like every book out there. My advice…Stop reading and don’t review it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Joanne – sage advice! I wish more people would practice kindness – in everything: like and reviews.