Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Thing About Reviews

The thing about reviews is that every writer craves them. Some won't admit it, some absolutely refuse to read them, but it's the one thing we all want as writers -- validity. At least there was one person who read MY book, and has something to say about it.

Good or bad, we take what we get.

I remember when I got my first reviews. I couldn't breathe. My heart beat unnaturally. I thought I might puke. I actually held my breath until I read the number. 5,4,3,2,1.

Now, after so many good, bad, and just plain weird, when I see I have a new review, I cringe until I see the number. I'm afraid to read what someone might say. I keep telling myself I shouldn't even bother reading them. But I do.

A good review is like having your 26th birthday over again. It can set you up for weeks of nonsensical smiling.

A bad review will have you shaking in your shoes. And in bed for most of a perfectly good weekend.

Writers, or any kind of artist really, are solitary by nature. We don't like to spend a lot of time in the "real world". However, we know that ulitmately our goal is to have our work read. To have a good review, you need an unbiased opinion. Joe America is our preferred reviewer. Someone we don't know, who lives and works in another part of the world, read our book. And left his opinion of it. And those kinds of reviews are the ones that count the most.

Good or bad.

I don't solicit reviews because when I do, the reviews never get written. So my reviews are from people whom I didn't ask to write them. I tried contacting a couple of review sites, but I had no luck. Some of their reading lists were 8 months out. So my reviews come from Joe America.

It's nice to know that I can write something and have it read by someone who lets me know, good or bad, how they liked it. I know I can't please everyone, but to have someone say, "Hey, I liked what you wrote." just makes the grass a little greener.

And if you know a writer, and have read their book, go write a review. It'll make their day.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Yes, getting a good review makes your day -- especially when it is unsolicited. Sadly many unsolicited reviews are written by folks with axes to grind that have little or nothing to do with what you've written.

Without a number of good reviews, a book often languishes unbought. Sad but true. Great post as always. Roland

Liza said...

I'm torn about reviews. Like Roland, I've seen so many that seem to thrive on being negative. But yea, if I ever get one, I can see how a good review could shoot you over the moon.