Friday, March 20, 2009

On Reviews

O.K. I know I have been a bit lazy lately when it comes to posting. No excuses other than I have been a bit lazy. There I said it.

Anyway, I was thinking about this a couple days ago. One of my authors was whining (yes she was whining) about the review she got from one website on a book. The review as not bad but she wanted would any author.

As we talked, I had to convince her of a couple of things that published authors need to remember when it comes to reviews:

1) The average reader is not reviewing the author before picking up a book.
Come on and think about this. I want you to go to your local book store and see how many readers are walking around with a copy of all the reviews on their genre and pick books based on the review? I dare you to find them. Sorry to say they are not out there and especially with the romance genre. These readers have favorite authors or favorite genres and just read. Sure they find books they like and dislike but that doesn't deter them from buying the next book (rarely).

2) The only person who is concerned is the writer.
Get a bad review and the writer, who is already self-conscious goes into a tail spin with their writing. Look, again remember that the readers out there, half the time, don't even know when a book got a bad review. This happens also with a lot of movies. Hey, that's how Keanu Reeves stays in the business.

3) If you get a great review, the editors love it. If you get a bad one, they ignore it.
Sure editors love it when you get a great review. They run around their office proclaiming how the work they did on the book assisted with this great review. But hey, if they get a bad one, are they going to say anything? No way. In fact, they'll blame it on point #4.

4) Reviews are subjective (BIG TIME)
I can't say this any louder. If someone has a personal preference on a book, guess what? If your book doesn't do it, you will get a lousy score. I read a review once that tanked the author. But here was the kicker. The reviewer openly admited that she didn't like that genre of book anyway and this just proved why. So my question was: Why did she read that genre? To add to this, I openly heard a lot of "reviewers" at a major national conference openly admit that they review books to "get free books." O.K. I give them credit for creative thinking but this just didn't fly with me. I also heard another reviewer say she only read and reviewed the books from the authors she liked. Hmmmm, makes you think.

Now, before you go jumping on my case, I do know that there are great sites out there that do great reviews. I am NOT talking about you.

The thing is, don't obsess over it. The key thing in the end is the sales. Your book may be awful according to a reviewerm but if people buy it, that's all that matters in the end. Again, think Keanu.


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