Reviews, helpful or harmful?

30 Aug

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I know we hear a lot of debate on whether an author should read the reviews posted about their books or not.  Personally, I have mixed feeling about reviews.  I am vain enough that I read every one I find and so far the process has been by and large fairly painless which is great.  But, even the few negative reviews that we have gotten haven’t caused me to open a vein or anything.  It is my opinion that as authors we need to read them as and take what was written seriously as long as they are done in a constructive way.  If the review is nothing but gibberish and name calling then it is of little value and should be taken with a grain of salt.  If the review is written to provide the readers point of view and contains constructive comments and criticisms then I think they should be read.

To me the fact that the person took the time to read what I wrote and then their additional time to write what they thought about it shows an investment in my worth as a writer.  It would be rude of me to not show the same consideration and at least read what they wrote.  I believe that our readers can show us a great deal about our writing skills by the comments they make.  If they are confused about a number of plot points then we need to look again at our story.  If the characters are constantly criticised as being lacking in interest or depth then we know to work on character development.

I am not saying we should live and die by the reviews but they do provide an opportunity for a checks and balances approach to our writing.  If we keep in touch with what the people are interested in we will be more successful as writers, at least financially.  This is only my two cents worth and does not necessarily reflect the views of any of the other members of this site.

On a happy note however, we did just get a 5 out of 5 paddles on BDSM Book Reviews for Saving Sunni, book two in the Keyhole Series.  You can check out the review here


post by Reggie Alexander

6 Responses to “Reviews, helpful or harmful?”

  1. Feather Stone (@FeatherWrites) August 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I agree. Reviews which are a constructive criticsim, I believe, are a useful tool for the author when writing the next novel. I’ve discovered that readers are less likely to put a great deal of importance on a book’s reviews. The synopsis and recommendation from friends seem to have greater value to readers. They often do the same thing I do – read the synopsis and a few randomly picked pages. Feather

    • naughtyeverafter August 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      I absolutely agree. We were fortuante enough to get to go to TRC2012 in Dallas recently and they had a panel composed of readers that the authors in the audience could ask questions. They unaniously said the same thing you did Feather. The blurb and friend recommendations had the biggest impact on their decision to purchase a book and not the reviews.

  2. Nicki Elson August 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    I like what you say about reading the review as a courtesy to the lovely person who’s taken the time to read & review our work. That’s totally true; we shouldn’t take the reviews for granted. And when we can learn something from the review – even better!

    Welcome to the bounce. 🙂 Your place here is adorable, love the title.

    • naughtyeverafter August 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Thank you, it is our first attempt at a group blog and thought the title would be fun. We look forward to doing more of the bounces now that we have a blog that will play nice with the linky tool.

  3. Jennifer Lane August 31, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    I totally clamber to read every review! They can be instructive; I agree. Wow–5 out of 5 paddles! Seems like somebody should be spanked to celebrate. 😉

    • naughtyeverafter August 31, 2012 at 5:04 am #

      LOL, are you volunteering? Just kidding, we were really happy to see the rating.

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