I bet I’ve got you wondering what drugs I’m on and how you can get some? Well, that’s another story for another day but I’m serious when I say that sometimes 1 star reviews can be just as good as 5 star ones.
See, in my experience, negative reviews (and all authors have received at least one if not a few of these), are some of the most honest, the most direct, and give us authors some of the most blunt commentary on our books that we may ever get. So it would be a mistake to disregard them all together, am I right?
Not everyone will love your book, they may hate it and think its the worst book written on the face of the earth – each to their own. But the way in which they choose to review your book says a lot about them more than it does you (YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT)
My personal opinion is that if someone has taken to read my book, and then followed through to leave a review of that book whether it be on a retailer site, their blog, or on the book’s Goodreads page, I owe it to them to read that review, or get someone to read them for me and provide me with the constructive criticism from the reviews (Note – I’m particularly meaning Goodreads here)
To illustrate this point, here are two reviews I have received;
“I have seen so much around about this book. Some good and some bad things. And I get what people are saying but I truly enjoyed it” – Amazon Review of Lost Series Box Set.
That was a 4 star review on Amazon.
Now for something negative but positive.
“The story is somewhat entertaining but I just felt at times it was disconnected.
First off the characters are somewhere in NY and are from the U.S. but they talk like they’re from the U.K. That irked me a bit.” – GR Review for Lost in Distraction (Lost #1)
That was a 2 star review.
What I took from these two reviews
– Look at rewriting the Lost series now that I have 7 books to my name and my writing style has somewhat matured and developed further than when the Lost books 1 and 2 were written– Get US beta readers who can pick up any ‘non-US’ words and make the language and dialogue more authentic to the setting.
And yes, I know there are some VERY nasty reviews out there where some authors are personally attacked because a particular reader didn’t like their book, or aspects of their books, and YES this has happened to almost all of us.
This post is simply saying that reviews can’t be ignored. The good and the bad ones (the ugly ones can, they’re just plain ugly and the people that write them need to get a life or some perspective, or a little bit of both) can equally enhance your writing moving forward.
Because let’s face it – there is always room to improve. Even the best author will cringe at some of their early works, they will still be able to re-read their latest and greatest work and find things to change, its the way of the world.