Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Reviews: Authors & Readers

As an author, it's exciting for someone who has read your book to review it. 
The idea of some stranger actually choosing to read something I created is simply mind-blowing, and really, that's the thing I dreamed of since I started writing as a small child.

Occasionally, I monitor Amazon and Goodreads to see if new reviews have been posted on any of my four books (soon to be five! Look for Becoming His Little One to be released by Evernight Publishing later this year). There's always a moment of anticipation as I skim to check this. Then, when something is new, there's a mixture of both euphoria and dread. Euphoria that someone even bothered to write a review, and dread about what they may say.

I believe it's part of any learning process to take negative criticism and use it constructively. I appreciate every review I get, even the ones where the reviewer says they didn't like the story much for X reason.

However, there's nothing more disappointing in this journey than getting a one or two star review, and all it says is "I hated this!" or "Why did I bother to read this?". There's nothing I can glean from that, nothing to be learned, nothing I can work on improving. Maybe they hated the story for legitimate reasons, or maybe the reviewer is just a jealous person. Maybe they were having a bad day and weren't in the mood for the genre. Maybe they read one sentence and from that thought it was garbage. 

If you let it, it can be hurtful to, say, log into Goodreads and see someone has attacked your writing. 

The point of all this is the following:

For authors: Take bad reviews with a grain of salt. Learn what you can from negative reviews. And bask in the joy that is a good review.

For readers/reviewers: Be honest, but be tactful and constructive. If you didn't like the book- fair enough- but say why. If the author has any chance of working on what you thought was wrong (if it's something they can or should do), then simply saying "This book sucks" doesn't help. Be balanced, if there were things you both liked and disliked, then say it!

Have you read one of my books (or wish to)? Review them:

Isabella Olivia Ellis on Goodreads
Isabella Olivia Ellis on Amazon

And be sure to visit my blog the week of February 10th-14th, as I will be participating in Evernight's Valentine's Snippets Blog Hop. There will be a giveaway!

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