06 May 2014

Reviews. Ugh.

You would think that I would be the one obsessed with my book. Many of my author friends skulk on Amazon, checking their ratings, their reviews and their book’s ranking every hour on the hour. They go crazy. Right now my husband is going crazy with all of it.

Now I’m not saying that I’m opposed to this. Not at all. I’m just too preoccupied with a very demanding job, being a newlywed and trying to finish writing a novel by the end of June to really get into it.

Plus, I’m kind of scared to look at the reviews.

Let me tell you why…

At my very demanding day job, the department that I work in has a weekly meeting. That’s pretty standard, right? Well, for about five years, we ALL called this meeting the “You Suck” meeting.


Oh, I’m so glad you asked.

Because, for five years the meeting was held in order to go over all of our mistakes, all of our failures and all of mishaps. Never would you hear a word of praise. Not even a “Nice job” uttered under a breath or a, “Yeah, that’s really strange. We all missed that.” A thousand products went out perfectly, but let’s not dwell on them, let’s talk about the three that had issues. We’ll rub your noses in it for a few minutes so you don’t forget that you’re an idiot.

You think I’m exaggerating. I’m not.

Now, granted, feedback is good. If you don’t know there’s a problem, then you can’t fix it. Right? Right.

So in any job there will always be some semblance of “Nice Job” and “You Suck.

This is how I feel about reviews.

The book is written. I know it’s not the best book ever. It’s my first published novel, for crying out loud. I already have a list of my own “Never do this again” and “What were you thinking?”

In my mind, reading reviews about New Sight is like the “You Suck” meeting. There’s nothing I can do to change it. Yes, I realized that the novel has that problem, but it’s there. I get it. Do you HAVE to harp on it for three paragraphs. So you didn’t like the magic system. Whatever.

You see, it just makes me cranky. And it makes me feel trapped inside a “You Suck” meeting with strangers who may not even fit the type of person who would like New Sight.

So I ask my husband to read them and tell me anything that might be helpful.

He doesn’t hold back. He’ll say things like, “This girl thought you had too many characters,” and “This one thought that your magic system felt contrived because it was like…” He also picks out the good points, mixes them all together and gives me the summary.

I want to learn from past mistakes. I want my second published book to be better than my first one. And the third better than the second. Reviews are one way to do that.

But don’t take them too seriously. I honestly have one that states that there isn’t enough information in the book and another that says they felt weighed down by all of the information being thrown at them.

People are different. Not everyone will like your book. YOU need to like your book, and YOU need to remember that you can’t please all the readers.

I’ve heard, and strongly agree, that an author shouldn’t read their reviews. And if they do, never, ever comment on one. Ever. Just don’t. Go write another book. It’ll be a better use of your time. There are much better ways to connect with your readers. Find one that works for you and go for it.

I realize you can’t ignore the reviews, but don’t let them ruin your day. There are plenty of other things lurking about trying to do that!


Anonymous said...

Oh my. I am laughing out loud. You are awesome.

Sarah E Boucher said...

I think you have it all figured out. And aren't we glad Jon is around? He deserves a cookie for being such a good boy. 😉
I really do think you're right though, & the quality of the reviews definitely depends on who's writing it.