Monday 9 July 2018
Reviews & You - The After Process
REVIEWS & YOU
Now this is a topic widely talked about in the writing and reading community. One big thing writers and authors are looking for is reviews. They help sell books, they also help authors give themselves a boost on knowing they are doing it right. For the readers, it's a way to showcase which books they liked and which ones they didn't. The two ideas don't always meet in the middle, but it's all about realising one important thing... well maybe more than one. So I'm going to go over what those things are!
#1 - NOT EVERYONE IS A 5 STAR
Breaking it down simply, not everyone is going to love or love your book. That's just how it goes. No one in the history of writing has ever written a book that every single person who's read it felt it was mind blowingly awesome. It's just how it works. Think about it, everyone's experience is going to be different, and because of that, their feelings about your book is going to widely vary. On top of that, not everyone grades on the same scale. I personally use more 5 and 4 stars than anything else. But I know of other readers who feel a five is one they use rarely and that 3/4 star ratings apply to the majority of books. It's something to remember.
#2 - REVIEWS ARE FOR READERS
I know it seems like the reviews are there and reflect on you, and they do in a way, but the reasoning behind reviews is to attract readers. Sometimes even what you see as a "bad" review, can actually draw a different kind of reader to your books. I know it's hard to step back and realise that these aren't for you, but it's a good thing to remember especially when you check out Goodreads or Amazon and see the lower average. It stings, but it's not all bad.
#3 - NO CONTACT
This was something I was told way, way back in my writing career. Don't comment on bad reviews. You can thank them, but don't get bitchy with them and don't get into the why and how they didn't like your book. This is a huge thing. You do not and never should be posting bad reviews and insulting them. That's just bad practice, and yes it happens and yes it's beyond wrong. There's nothing wrong with thanking them for their review, but don't flame the reviewer. That's just beyond shitty!
So those are three big things you should be releasing when it comes to reading reviews. I know that it can be hard to read a bad review and my advice on that point is to make the decision whether or not you're able to do so. I know of some authors who don't read their reviews, and that's more than fine. Remembering that people review differently and remembering that it's based on their experience with the book, it's always going to fluctuate. And readers know this, so when a book has only five stars, it looks a little off.
Reviews are a part of being a published author. You have to take the good with the bad, and there will be bad, that I can almost guarantee. But that doesn't mean you are a "bad" writer, nor does it mean your book sucks and should never have been published. It just means there was a reader who wasn't in your target audience. That's all it means. And you have to move past that and realise that there are loads of other people who are.
So keep writing and remember that reviews are part of the craft. The blows get easier and it's always good to have those really nice, glowing reviews. Your mileage may, of course, vary.
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