If you’ve received a great review on your book, congratulations! Great reviews feel like you’ve been awarded a badge of honor. Great reviews validate the message and the heart of your story, and tells you that your characters drew the reader-reviewer into their world successfully, for that moment in time.
A great review makes your heart dance and your spirits soar–until a so-so or bad review drags your soaring butt back down to earth.
I’ve got a few so-so reviews, and even a 1 out of 5 rating, the lowest rating a writer can get on a rating totem pole. But I always look on the bright side–I made it somewhere on the pole.
When I first went down, or up, this publishing road, I went in with the skin of a rhino, determined to weather any review. Good, bad or ugly. How? By avoiding them of course. I’m not crazy! Skin of a rhino, my eye! I’ve got the heart of a marshmallow. Why put myself through the torture?
But I realized soon enough that someone took the effort and time out of their busy day to read my work. If they enjoyed it, great. If not, that’s okay too. I’m thankful for honesty, as well as the time someone took out of their day to express their thoughts.
Let’s define a bad review. When a review states, “I did not like this story because…” and proceeds to state why, that’s being honest. When a review states, “I’ve built a log cabin with my bare hands, and this is not how it’s done,” that could be an opinion. “Buy this other book (insert name of book here) instead, because it’s so much better” I might find that feedback biased and unkind (to put it mildly) but still it’s an opinion, and some bookselling sites seem to allow comparisons.
When a review states, “I wouldn’t line my cat’s litter box with this mess,” that would be a bad review. When a review rips into scenes that didn’t exist, that review would need to go, too.
Once a book hits market, readers are going to form an opinion. I read articles and books that don’t always resonate with me, but I know that others might have a different perception.
As a reader, a negative or so-so review won’t put me off from buying a story, either. Thank goodness there are readers out there who can, and will, make their own determinations.