Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Reviews

Interested to know your thoughts on reviews. I read that many authors don't read them, too sensitive to criticism they feel is only one person's point of view and subjective. EH? Don't they have to take the rough with the smooth? Do they only want to hear - this was fab? On the other hand - this is their baby and it's hard to hear that someone thinks it sucks.
I've noticed a growing trend for authors to request reviews from specialist sites. So, questions:
1. If you knew there was a review of your book out there, would you read it?
2. Would you actively seek reviews or not?
3. Would you respond to a reviewer who didn't like your book?

My answers:
1. I would have to read it. I don't have a particulary thick skin but I couldn't not read it.
2. On the fence here. Something tells me it's asking for trouble but if you have faith in your book, maybe it's fine. Ooh, I don't know. Wobbles indecisively.
3. Yes. I couldn't help myself - unless it was abusive. In which case I'd change my name to Hillary Clinton - see previous post.

4 comments:

Dawn said...

I've been in my share of Art shows. Critques of your work are a necessary evil. Only by these reviews, can we grow. You have to take the good with the bad, and if you never hear anything bad, because you only tune your ear and eyes to want you want to hear and see, you miss out on an chance to grow.
So yes, I think I'd keep an open mind. Read the good and the bad, to see if their is something that I could do better. In the last two years, my writing has grown a great deal. I credit this to taking the time to absorb everything that has been said about my writing from my peers. Yes, some of it was hard to take.
Some made me want to quit. That's when you have to make a choice. Do you want to be a writer because you want to share your stories with others, or do you want to be a writer to get your ego stroked?
I write my stories because I have this insane desire to share them with others. Nothing more, nothing less. I want those who read them, to enjoy them. If there is something I can do better,I'm going to listen. So let them come. I figure if I'm getting reviews, I'm doing pretty good.

Dawn said...

Oh, and would I respond to a bad review. Yes. I'd thank them for taking the time to read my story. Not everyone is going to love it, but at least they read it and took the time to write something and share their thoughts. No reason to be unprofessional.
Except, and this is a big except, the person who did the review went in with the thought of crucifying the author without reason, to pick it apart for the joy of shredding it. If they made a point, that's one thing. If they wrote it just to be nasty, I think I'd ignore them. They are entitled to their opinions and truly, I believe it would be obvious if that were the case. No reason to engage them or waste my time trying to make them like it. It would never happen.

Arlene said...

I know negative reinforcement isnt fun, but reveiws means someones reading, and an emotion is sparked, and I'd hope I would respond like a normal person if it says I pretty much suck. Bash the wall, brood for a minute, and understand what I could have done better. Then commuicate or as you said Dawn, let it go if there's nothing to discuss.

Laurie said...

I've heard that some authors don't pay any attention to reviews, especially those on some of the major bookseller sites that seem to draw the internet version of hecklers. I have also noticed that the authors stating this are established writers, a few with writing awards under their belts, so I suppose they can afford to ignore such harsh words and laugh all the way to the bank.

Me? I'd have to read my reviews. Would I respond to the writer? Yes, very politely, and like Dawn mentioned I'd thank them for reading my book. Tastes vary, or we'd all be buying the same book. Just because they didn't like my story doesn't mean I'm a terrible person. I will try not to take it as a personal attack. I know if (when! when!) P2PC gets published, some may take issue with the darker subject matter presented in the backstory. I expect it. If they care enough about what they read to take the time to write a review, then that in itself is a minor success. It got them to think about the story and how they felt about it. Connecting with readers' feelings is what it's all about.