Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reviews and Reviewers

I love to get reviews posted on Goodreads and Amazon on my books, because then I know people actually read them. I'm always eager to know what people actually thought about them.

The first bad review I got really hurt. In fact, I got several early on with Uncut Diamonds. Ouch, ouch and ouch. They don't bother me now. In fact, sometimes I like to just go and look at them again: "hated it." "losey book." They make me smile. I think it's funny that someone found my book so horrible and even funnier that they felt such strong enough emotions to go to the trouble to post their two-word negative response.

I could spend hours scanning reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Not on my books. I don't have enough of them to take hours, minutes maybe. I just like to read reviews. Some are gushing wonders, others horrible slams-- all for the same book!

One thing it shows is that there a whole lot of readers out there and they don't all like the same thing. It also shows that the more people are reading a certain book, the more reviews it will get of both good and bad variety.

Writers love getting reviews, especially glowing, five-star reviews. One of the very best ways to love an author is to post a review!


  1. I just got my first "rating" on Goodreads. It was four stars (out of five), which I thought was good, considering it was from a person who couldn't possibly have read the book yet. Who knows? If she ever actually reads it, maybe I'll get that last star. ;)

  2. What a great attitude you have on the matter. I am so nervous for bad reviews. I have a grand total of one official review, but even the feedback on my ABNA stuff is nerve wracking. I will try to take on your view of it, as I think that is healthier.

  3. Usually the bad, one-star reviews are just a couple words, like 'This sucked.' Those are easily ignored!

  4. Isn't it just! I love reading my reviews. I've had a couple badish ones, too, but they just make me smile now. Not everybody can like everything! How boring would the world be if we did.

  5. The reviews I worry about are the ones that come out before the book is release. I've seen people that give The Hungry Games one star, so I recognize that people have different taste. It's the professional reviews that have me wringing my hands these days. Reviews for my debut novels will be out late fall. They'll determine the number of print runs for the publisher. Also good reviews will catch the eye of my target audience, schools and libraries, while bad reviews will just about do me in. So I'll love them if they're good. but there'll be no love lost between me and reviewers if it goes the other way.

  6. Ignore adversity, lovely KarenG!! I say you can't please everyone really - I just wish the "haters" would just keep their nastiness to themselves! What is the point of spewing bile - more constructive to concentrate on books and things that make you happy! Take care

  7. I am afraid to look at people's thoughts, sometimes they take it too far. I find that any review is a good one, from the writer's view you can find out what to look for. Now when someone bashes something just to be mean, it is hard enough for people to open up and share their words, art, whatever.

    Right On... to the challenge "R" is for Refreshing Post!
    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
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  8. i look forward to reviews, but that is quite a ways off! must finish editing & query!

  9. As reviews are coming in for my ARC, I'm getting a taste of what you wrote about here. Scary and exhilarating.

  10. I don't think I'll be able to ignore bad reviews. I'm not sure. I couldn't in 1996 when my one and only book came out. Maybe I'm older and wiser now but I doubt it. Criticism shuts me down sends me scurrying to a dark closet. Not really but ... almost.

  11. My son and I are avid readers, but something I've never thought about is writing a review. I will definitely keep this in mind for all future reads. I hope you have an awesome weekend!

  12. One sure way to get rave reviews is to write a book about your home town. Oh my! My head swelled to majestic proportions. Then I realized that most of the book was biography. The precious, usually older, folks I interviewed had stories that really wrote themselves. I had only two reviews by professionals. They were quite complimentary, but both had links to the town or the parish (county), so they were not objective. Oh, well, I'll take compliments anywhere I can get them. And like Jess, that's the only book I've had published. BTW, enjoyed your post.

  13. Getting reviewed is scary and thrilling. And, yes, you have to accept not everyone will love you. But we couldn't live without them.

  14. Oh, bless. Well, I guess it's all part of the journey. Great that you are getting reviews because it means you're writing and publishing! And that is fantastic. Have a fab weekend, my friend. x

  15. I have a few reviews, but only 2 each on Amazon and Amazon UK - basically, I'm just waiting for volume, I'll panic about what they actually say later on!

    Although bad reviews can hurt, at least they've had a reaction even to want to comment - you are still in their heads after they've stopped reading. Is that a comfort? I'm not sure now :-)