Tag Archives: Goodreads reviews

Opinions are like a body part—you know which one!

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on author friend websites that start like this: “Just got a 2 star rating on my latest book. The reader really hated it. I’m out on a ledge! Send help!”

Well, maybe not that dramatic, but you get my meaning. The writer is upset because someone read and didn’t like their book and told “the world” through Amazon, or Goodreads, or whatever other venue they spew on. As a writer, I know how much this hurts. I wonder, do the readers know what this does to us?

Do they realize that reviews are the equivalent of  performance job reviews for us? And that just because a book didn’t resonate with them for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean it won’t with some other ( or thousands of!!!) reader(s)?

Do readers understand that places that sell our books like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, publish any and all reviews, not just the good ones? And that marketing plans, promotional updates, even placement decisions can and are made based on those reviews.

I had a person ( I use the term loosely) give me a 1 rating on a book that had nothing but 5 stars, stating I wrote the wrong story. I should have written the story of the subplot people as my main story. I wanted to respond to her review by stating, “No, bitch. I wrote the story I wanted to. If you thought it should be written differently, then you write that story, but don’t be bad mouthing me because you didn’t agree with what I wrote. How would you feel if I went to where you work and told everyone what a lousy worker you are? ” Now, of course, I didn’t do that. But I wanted to. I really did.

The whole review and rating system is cockeyed to me anyway. Most people who review it don’t even really understand the system. Think of it like you’re back in school. An A was 90-100, B 80-90, C 70-80, d 65-70 and anything below that an F. I’ve had reviewers write they loved the book but then gave it a 3. So, you loved it but it was only worth 70 points? And what does that 70 equate to, anyway? You can’t purchase 70 % of a book. Or 70 pages. Or pay 70% of the listed price.

See? The system is screwy.

I review new books for Netgalley. If I can’t rate a book as a 4 or 5, I don’t review it. It’s not because I’m basically a nice person ( because I’m not! Not even close.) It’s more that I know there was something about the book that didn’t resonate with me as a reader, but will, I’m sure, with someone else. I don’t think it’s my job, or place, to write a scathing review ( or a nasty one, or a snarky one). My books aren’t perfect and they don’t sit well with every reader, either. I put myself in the writer’s place when I’m reviewing and I know what a bad review does to my soul. I won’t intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings that way. The flip side is I’ve simply adored many books that other people rated 1,2, or 3’s and then wrote bad reviews of.

I recently replied to an author who was lamenting the poor rating she got on a book from a reviewer and was second-guessing her own writing ability. I wrote, “Opinions are like a**Holes: everybody has one, and reviews are basically opinions.” I meant it. One bad review does not end a career. It hurts the soul, deflates the ego, and causes tears, but ultimately, it’s just another opinion.

The kicker? as writers, we need reviews for marketing, promoting, and to get the word out about our books. Even some of the biggest bestsellers in history had some horrible reviews, though. And they still sold.

So. Reviews. A necessary evil for writers. My advice for bad ones? Develop a thick skin and laugh it off, because, ultimately, you published a book and the chances the reviewer did are practically nil, so you’re already ahead of the pack!

When I’m not reading my reviews, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance

Back to normal ( I hope!)

I’ve been radio – or in this case, computer – silent for a few days as I try to get my life back to normal after my week away. Seven whole days to be gone from home is a long, long-ass time. In addition to all the day-to-day stuff I had to catch up on (grocery shopping so we wouldn’t starve, doing piles of laundry so we’ll be clothed and not naked in society, paying bills so our electricity and internet won’t go out) I also had to get my writing back on track.

Deadlines to honor. Editors to appease.  Words to put on the page.

I wrote a little in my WIP while in Atlanta, but I mostly just penned my daily blog and did some LIVE videos on facebook in between workshops and networking and traveling. Check out the videos portion of my Facebook page to see what you missed.

But now it’s back to work. Literally. I need to get two books finished by the end of July when I head off to Orlando for RWA 2017 and hopefully have both ready to be presented to my editor. Plus I’m writing a new wedding series and trying to eek a little room in for that on most days. And it wouldn’t kill me to get back on track with getting Planet Fitness every day again. My butt is starting to get chair-spread again. Oh, and I knowknowknow I’ll be getting two books back any day from two editors for final and galley edits.

And please, I don’t want to think about all the books I’ve got to review for Netgalley and Goodreads.

Does this sound like I’m complaining? I hope not. I really love my life. Lovelovelove it!!

I just wish, sometimes,  there were 30 hours in every day instead of 24.

Looking for me? Here I am:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Foodie, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

Musing on #Netgalley and #BookReviews

netgalley

Many of you may know that I’ve been doing book reviews the past few months as a Netgalley member. Some of the books I’ve chosen have looked amazeballs when I’ve read the blurbs that are posted and I’ve requested them hoping to find new authors to read.

What’s that old saying about not judging a book by its cover? Well, I’d like to add you can’t always judge it by its book jacket blurb either.

Let me ‘esplain.

I recently read 4 books I’d requested that sounded fabulous, but once I started reading them, I realized they were not for me. There was nothing critically wrong with them – they just didn’t resonate with me from a reader viewpoint. Since I’d requested– and been granted– them, I had an obligation to review them. But I didn’t. I did rate them, but I couldn’t do justice to a written review. I didn’t want to state that the plot didn’t hold up, or that I’d found timeline mistakes or unfulfilled character arcs. In one case, I did find the plot so implausible, I was surprised the book was listed as a contemporary when it really should have put in the fantasy category.

I don’t like giving criticism – constructive or otherwise – so I never wrote an actual review to post on Goodreads, etc. I know that those authors put their best feet forward, that they worked tirelessly, sweating and toiling to put out the story of their hearts. Unfortunately, that story just wasn’t for me – no fault of the writers.

The reason I’m telling you this is because not everyone is like me. Netgalley, Goodreads, amazon, really anyplace that does book reviews, has millions of bad, nasty, and heartbreaking ones. I can’t imagine what that must do to the authors who read them. I’ve had two reviewers ( not professional ones, but romance readers) for two different books of mine say this:

-for one book, the reader gave it a 1 ( out of 5) and said I wrote the wrong book.

-for the other, the reader gave it a 2 and said she couldn’t get into the story.

I could have written both these people nasty letters, but didn’t because I understood what they were saying. I didn’t agree with them, but for whatever reason, they didn’t like the story I’d told. That’s the basis of an opinion – it can be different from what you think. This is, after all, a  society that bases itself on freedom of speech and thought.

But…..

I was raised with the mantra if you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut. I do that. I practice that with my reviews, and in every area of life. Do I ever slip up and say something I regret? Sure. I’m human. But I have never written- and will never write – a review that calls into question the writer’s integrity, thought process, talent ( or lack of), or question the reasons for writing what they did. Just because something didn’t resonate with me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t with others. The book I read recently with the implausible plot is currently one of the hottest sellers on the market.

So, I guess what I really want to say is this: I write, first, last and always, for me. If I like it, I am happy. Unfortunately, I am in a business where money is spent on what I write, so I have to make sure it fits a wide range of reading tastes or the book won’t sell, the publisher will drop me, and I will be back at square one with no books on the market. If you like something I’ve written, yay! Do me a favor and tell people you liked it by writing a review or rating it on Amazon, goodreads, etc. If you don’t like something I’ve written, I’m sorry. It just didn’t fit with you. But please don’t go and write a scathing review just because you didn’t. There are other ways you can let me know you don’t like what I wrote – first and foremost by not purchasing another book! One bad review has a domino effect on sites like goodreads and amazon, where those companies look at data to determine if they are going to promote an author and their book or not. Again, old sayings are cliche because they are true: you can get 100 fabulous reviews, but the one lousy one will stick with you for a lifetime!

If this blog sounds like a big whine-fest, I’m sorry.  But I needed to say what I said.

‘Nuff said for now.

If you do like the way I write and you want to connect, you can usually find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Pet Peeves