Friday, December 30, 2016

Reading Your Own Book Reviews

I see Linked-In posts in the writer's and editor's groups, and sometimes the discussions inspire this blog. Today, one group asked whether or not you should read your own reviews. Let me start this by saying that I've never met a single author who doesn't read his/her reviews. Call it vanity, self-interest, or pure curiosity, but let's not act like we don't want to know what people are saying about our books. I'm certainly not going to act "above it all" here and say, "Nooooo, of course not!" LOL

Okay, BUT here's the rub. When you read your reviews be prepared for whatever it says. Here's the even bigger piece of advice: whether good or bad, don't take it personally!!! Now, one problem with Amazon reviews are those reviewers who do take a run for the jugular and personally say nasty things about the author. In my "book" we don't call those folks reviewers! We call them HATERS! 

When I released my first fiction book California Girl Chronicles, I ran right into the haters (not many, but a few).  A couple of Amazon reviewers said some pretty nasty things about me ... personally. I'm fine with taking the critiques from professionals; what I'm not fine with is being called names by amateurs. Most authors don't write to have their readers take pot-shots at them as human beings. If you don't like the work, you don't like it, but keep your opinions on the work, not the person. Ultimately, remember this one thing: the source of who said it -- HATERS.

On the upside of book reviews and the question of reading them, the answer is "yes" read them. You may learn something valuable from the reviewers. Even if the review isn't generally positive, some productive feedback maybe in action. Read it with an open heart. Don't be defensive. 

When the reviewers are positive and love your work, take the blessings as gratitude. No need to now think you're the next big author on the block with a head bigger than your page count. Review the positives as a way to reinforce your talents and what you're doing right. Repeat those skills in the next book. 

So, my ultimate answer: Read your reviews and use them as tools for your next project

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