Why I Heart All Reviews
One of the coolest things about being a writer is getting reviews. I didn’t realize just how much I’d love them, but once they started coming in, I read each and every one. Yes, even the negative reviews. Good and bad reviews means that people are reading my book, and that’s the best feeling in the world. This might sound weird, but the more people who read my stories, the more real the characters become to me, and I absolutely love that other people enjoy reading about McKenzie’s life just as much as I do.
I know some authors don’t feel the same way I do about reviews, though. They’re terrified of them. They stay far away from Goodreads and Amazon. Some even have a spouse or friend read reviews first and ask them to only forward the positive ones to them. Maybe I’ll be like that in the future if most of my reviews are really bad, but right now, I don’t need a filter. The bad reviews don’t bother me.
Now, if you know me in real life, you’re probably as surprised as I am by that fact. I have a terribly low self esteem. Always have. I think it’s a little better now that I can admit to that – I realize some of my self criticism is unfounded – but I always thought negative reviews would crush me. I’d curl up into a fetal position and bawl because everyone hated my book. Very soon after The Shadow Reader was published, though, I read one of my all time favorite reviews on Goodreads.
What did the review say? “Eh, not that great.”
I laughed when I read that. Sounds fair enough to me! I think it was a two or three star rating, and one of the first “bad” reviews I’d read. Since that one didn’t hurt, I continued reading them. I think writers can learn from reviews. You can learn what you do well and what needs improvement. For example, some positive reviews point out how they love the vivid and well-developed world I’ve created. Since I think description and world building are my weaknesses, I’m always surprised by this (remember: low self esteem here), so it helps to read this from a complete stranger. It’s kind of like free therapy.
When someone writes a reasonable, critical review, I either agree with the criticism or I understand where the reader is coming from. For example, some people criticize my main character for waiting ten years to be with a certain guy. I’m right there with those reviewers. I want to knock some sense into McKenzie, but then again, I know exactly why she waited. It wasn’t intentional. She never considered it “waiting” and she did attempt to live a normal life separate from him. It’s one of those things that just happened, and ten years later, she finally wakes up and realizes it.
The reviews that criticize McKenzie for this are right, in my opinion. It’s a character flaw. But the reviews also tell me that I haven’t done a good job of showing how this ten year “wait” happened. I know I won’t be able to satisfy every reader, but I do hope to satisfy myself by explaining the “wait” better in future books.
Reviews are one of my favorite things about being a writer, and I’m grateful for every one of them, good, bad, and all shades in between. I will admit that I do still hold my breath every time I read a review, though. Just in case I’ve suddenly become sensitive to them. 🙂
|Sandy graduated from Texas A&M University with a double major in political science and history. She thought about attending law school. Fortunately, before handing over her life’s savings, she realized case studies weren’t nearly as interesting as novels and decided to get an MA in Library Science instead. She worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. She’s now back home in Texas, writing full-time, raising newborn twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games like Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Runebound.|
Sandy is giving away a copy of The Shattered Dark to one lucky winner! To enter simply leave a comment with your e-mail address. Open to US mailing addresses only. Please read my Giveaway Policy before entering. Giveaway ends of November 7th, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck!
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada
ah sadly it’s only for US readers.
thank you for this interview i enjoyed it ^^ and soon it will be published in french to!
@miki Shipping’s expensive but I’m glad to hear that this series is going to be available in other languages so that more people can enjoy it.
The Shadow Reader was so much fun, I’m so excited for the follow-up! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! 🙂
bonnieregan (at) gmail (dot) com
Sounds like you have a really good idea and attitude about reviews and their authors Ms. Williams and I would love to “meet” Mackenzie and find out for myself whether she needs to be “smacked” upside the head. The book premise is one that I would enjoy as all things “fae” interest me and finding a new series (even if this is the second book) about them is always welcome so Thank You to you and Carmel for the chance to win a copy of “The Shattered Dark” to read.
Jackie B Central Texas
Thanks for a great post and giveaway! I loved The Shadow Reader and I can’t wait for this next book 🙂
Ooooo! This sounds freakin awesome!!!
Thanks for the great giveaway 🙂
artist_wanna_be (at) yahoo (dot)com
I’ve got a giveaway going too if you’re interested…
i like the cover. a hot woman warrior with a sword, how can you go wrong? lol thanks for the giveaway.
I love that you read your positive and negative reviews. Sometimes negative reviews makes me want to read a book more than a positive review. I want to see if I feel the same way.
All reviews are good as long as it’s written with that personal opinion of the book is kept in mind. I don’t support author bashing. Books are books, we are not going to like them all and that’s ok.
I’ve the 1st book in this series on my wishlist since it came out. I have my fingers crossed that I win the 2nd so that it will make me pick up the 1st book.
Thanks for the great post and giveaway.
thebooknympho AT gmail DOT com
Great post! I think reviews can always be used as a learning tool too (negative feedback), and they do make the characters more real. Thanks for sharing and great to meet you. I just love meeting new authors.
bkwalkerbooks at comcast dot net
Awesome! I’m glad some people like reviews, even bad ones, because yeah, authors can learn from them!
arelyzperez132 AT hotmail DOT com
@Bonnie R I hope you enjoy The Shattered Dark!
@Jackie Burris My pleasure. 🙂
@erin Good luck in the giveaway!
@Danielle Smiley That’s because it is freaking awesome. LOL
@Jennifer TheBookNympho You better find the time to catch up on this series or I’ll have to beat you with a stick at RT (j/k)!
@BK I love Sandy’s approach to reviews; I was surprised by her post when she first sent it to me. Just another reason why she rocks!
@Arely ZPerez I agree, as long as they’re constructive.
I think it’s great you read good and bad reviews. I have read bad reviews that actually make me want to read the book.
Love the new blog design, Carmel
Its nice to see good reviews, but sometimes bad reviews make you see things that you didn’t realize were there. Both can be helpful. Thanks for the giveaway.
sable677 at yahoo dot com
I would love to read this book. It sounds really good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com
@Jennifer Bielman Thanks!
@Susan It’s amazing how often bad reviews have the opposite effect.
@Tore Good luck! 🙂
I really liked The Shadow Reader, so can’t wait to read the sequel!
leannessf at gmail dot com
I’m looking forward to reading The Shattered Dark, just as soon as I get The Shadow Reader off my TBR shelf and read. 😀
Barbed1951 at aol dot com
I read the first book and can’t wait to read the next one! Regarding reviews, I hate reading a bad book and writing a review about it because I don’t necessarily want to make the author feel bad. But if the book only has 1or 2 stars, then I don’t feel as bad since I’m not the only one who feels that way about the book, obviously. Ok I’m rambling. Thanks for the giveaway.
Oh, forgot this: shellirichard(at)yahoo(dot)com
Sounds great. Thanks for sharing!! Lookikng forward to picking it up.
bacchus76 at myself dot com
I always have a hard time writing bad reviews, so I don’t usually do it unless I was actually offended by the book, but its good to hear an author’s viewpoint on them.
This sounds like such a great read. Different from other series out there!
Thanks for the chance!
mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com
Yay I read the Shadow reader and now I can’t wait for this book to come out. XD Thanks for the interview.
I think it is great that you can read the good and the bad and be able to take things away from it. Reviews are for readers, but when an author can look at them with out emotion clouding their vision there can be a lot of helpful pointers or (like you said) free therapy!
Can’t wait for more McKenzie!
eyesofblueice (at) gmail