Reviews. Reviews Reviews.
Honestly? I think that word is starting to freak me out. Bad ones, good ones, hoping for more, crossing fingers people will write one, crossing toes it won’t be terrible. I think every author at some stage in their career has obsessed over reviews. And I’m one of them. Reviews are worth their weight in gold. And pre-release reviews? Well, even better. Get a few great ones in the week or two before release and you could be hitting all sorts of highs on the charts. Get some stinkers … and, well, you see where this is going.
I could try to play this cool and say I don’t read reviews because I’m so busy writing, blah, blah, blah but that would be a huge lie. I totally read reviews. ALL OF THEM! See, I’m nosy, and reviews are a bit like knowing people are talking about you behind your back but you can hear what they’re saying.
Glowing reviews are great, of course they are. But one and two stars ones are equally as important. I honestly think negative reviews are essential…there, I admitted it *gulp*. It’s a realistic reflection of life. There’s just no way everyone is going to like the same thing. Food, music, books, movies. Varity is the spice of life and all that. How boring would life be if we all had the same taste?
I can say with my hand on my heart that I appreciate five or one star reviews and all in between. Someone has taken the time to read my book and taken even more time to lend their opinion. It blows my mind.
But, unfortunately some negative reviews cut a little too deep. I’ve been called terrible names, had my intelligence and ethics questioned. I’ve even been threatened. And yes, there are times when I ask myself ‘’what the hell am I doing’’. I could just give up, and it would all go away, right? But after some wallowing (and some wine, wine always helps) I pick myself back up and realise that those reviews are a teeny, tiny minority. And, they say a lot more about the people who write them than they do about the book or the author. There’s no point asking people who write reviews like that to remember there is a real person behind every book. You know, the person who gave themselves cramp typing, or a bad back because they spend hours hunched over their computer. The people who write nasty reviews know this. But they don’t care *shrugs* And, you know what? It’s taken me almost two years to realise that I don’t care either. The world is full of assholes and it always will be. Some people just get a kick out of putting other people down.
Now, I’m not saying anyone who leaves a poor review is an ass. Quite the opposite, actually. Some one and two star reviews are constructive, well worded and polite while still making the point that they didn’t enjoy the book. And I LOVE those reviews. I truly admire someone who can put their hand up and say the book wasn’t for them without feeling the need to offend anyone who enjoyed it, or telling other people not to read it.
Writing is a passion. It’s engraved somewhere in my soul. I wouldn’t know who I am without it. When I remember that, nasty reviews can’t hurt me, and, I have wine … did I mention the wine??? 😉