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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Reviews - Can't Live Without Them - #WriterlyWednesdays 5

Wittegen Press
$3.29 | £2.19
Amazon | Other
I do have another lovely author who has completed an interview, but I am saving her for next week, so today for Writerly Wednesdays 5 you are saddled with me prattling on again :). However, before we get into today's post I would just like you to point at yesterdays Tips Tuesdays 4 because it's writerly too and might be of use (Checklist for Creating the eBook from your Beautifully Edited Novel).

Now onto my chosen subject today: reviews.

Reviews - Can't Live Without Them

I read a good article today from The Masquerade Crew (My favorite kind of book reviewer - Don't be a narrow-minded reviewer) about reviews that got me thinking about them too.

For an Author reviews can be amazingly uplifting or totally soul destroying and occasionally somewhere in between. 
I have seen it said that you should never read reviews about your own work, but I know very few who can resist. Sometimes there are good reviews, sometimes there are bad reviews, sometimes there are middling reviews and sometimes there are reviews that just make you go 'huh?!' (and yes, sometimes the exclamation mark is necessary).

There is only one hard and fast rule I believe all authors should stick to when dealing with reviews:
Never respond to them.
A review may make your blood boil, you may disagree completely with what the reviewer has said, but do not give into the temptation to respond. No matter the outcome, you will come off looking worse than if you said nothing.

If it is an abusive review, contact the site where it is hosted and take it up with them in private if you have to, but it probably isn't worth the effort. Even bad reviews can get you readers because if it is an unfounded, nasty review, readers can usually tell.

I have a revenge review on one of my books and I could probably get it taken down, since it is obvious that someone just posted it out of spite and has never read the book, but I haven't done so and I did not respond to it. There was no point. Arguing with a reviewer tends to make both look silly. All you have to do is take Anne Rice as an example. When she went off on one on Amazon because reviewers dared dislike one of her books she made herself look ridiculous.

Bad reviews happen even to great books because not everyone likes the same thing. Take a breath, move on and be done with it.

I know, a few bad words hurt more than any praise can lift you up. Just remember:
A review is only an OPINION.

Wittegen Press
$2.99 | £1.99
Amazon | Other
As I have mentioned before, I come from a fanfic background and that was an absolutely wonderful place because reviewers would comment and tell me what they liked as well as telling me how I could improve. Every time I was given advice I had to bite my tongue and calm down before I realised they were right :) and it was so very useful. Constructive criticism can be painful, but it is also very, very good for you. Learning to tell the difference between what is good advice and what is just a point of view is the key.

In the modern era of book sales it is impossible to live without reviews. Reviews literally sell books. Hence I will leave you with one request. If you read a book and you like it, please consider taking a few minutes to review it; it means so much to the author.

Thank you for reading.

Do you review books? How do you go about it? If you're an author, do you read your reviews or avoid them like the plague?


  1. I try not to read my reviews. Sometimes I glance at the book's page and see the number has gone up and I look to see what the rating was, but I really try not to. It just causes me to get emotional (good and bad) and I don't have time for that. I'll leave the review reading to people interested in buying the book.

    1. I can't resist looking at the ones with a decent star rating to see what they thought :)

  2. I haven't been writing/publishing long enough to not read my reviews. I feel like the longer I do this, the easier it will get to stay away (that's what I tell myself anyway) but that hasn't happened yet. ;) I agree to never respond to them regardless, and I don't -- good or bad.

    I do review books sometimes too, though probably not as often as I should.

    1. I suspect the more reviews you get the easier it is not to take each one to heart, so the more popular you are the less you read them. At least that's what I'm hoping ;)

      I need to get round to reading more, then I can review. ;)


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