Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reviews

Reviews 
Or more correctly dumb/bad/annoying reviews. 
By Daryl Devore

In an online writer's group I belong to, we often post our "bad" reviews to commiserate – not on our work that's criticized, but on the review. We're all mature enough to accept a hard review, if it's justified. But others leave us shaking our heads.

Latest examples shared - D.L. - Very interesting. It kept my attention through each story! 1 star!

Or - J.J. - It’s an incredible page turner with lively characters and interesting story. It’s like we’re there, close enough to the hero and heroine to witness the events with them… but the writing itself could be improved. Overall, it was a great surprise.

After each of these reviews is posted at the group, the replies start flying – humorous, supportive and frustrated. But it was one comment that sparked the idea for this post.

S.C. - I've come to the conclusion unfulfilled writers make the worst critics of books. Whereas the ones that love writing, even if they aren't successful yet, are far more appreciative of other people's hard work and if they don't enjoy something just move on and not bother writing a bad review.

I, rarely, write reviews. But that's not because I read "bad" books. If I leave one, it's usually a shorty – Love the book. Great read. 5 stars. That sort of thing. Three reasons –
1. I'm an author and Amazon goes on purges and deletes author reviews. So why bother?
2. I avoid Goodreads. If I've spent 10 minutes there in the past year, I'd be surprised.
3. I suck at it. I've spent more time trying to pen a review than I have writing a chapter. I keep rewriting until it gets to the point where I don't like the book anymore. Then I revert to my shorty standby response.

I understand how much love, creativity, brain power, time, sacrifice etc it takes to write a book. So if the book doesn't tickle me, my giving it a bad review seems unfair – unjust - not right. Just because it didn't appeal to me doesn't mean it's not worth reading. I'm not the world's leading authority on literature, so who am I to judge?

I see it as – maybe, it was the genre or the writer's voice rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe, I was in a real pissy mood that day.

Have I had bad reviews? Yea. When I was a newbie author, the 1 and 2 star reviews hurt. I wanted to scream at the reviewer. I wanted to email everyone one I know and complain how unjustified the review was. I wanted sympathy. I wanted validation. I WANTED chocolate.

Now, I don't read reviews. Why not? Partly, I found a new writing mantra. The end of it reads -- If she's happy with it, then no matter what the critical reception of the book is, she can be confident she wrote the book she wanted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-white/the-pros-and-the-prose-book-bloggers-turned-authors_b_8966666.html
That's how I've always written. I have a quirky little story that evolved from a series of flash fiction posts. The story doesn’t fit any specific genre. It doesn't obey the rules of fiction. And I don't care. Some will like it. Some will toss their e-reader across the room. I accept that.

So, I'm putting this out there -
Before writing a 1 or 2 star review

1. Does this book truly deserve such a rating?
No. (Good. Go have chocolate.)
Yes. (Go to question #2)

2. Why?

3. Can you justify your reason? (Something more than – 'cause I didn't like it.)

4. How does trashing the author's work make you feel?
A - Powerful? Intelligent? (Smack forehead on wall and repeat until a better answer comes to mind.)
B – Sad? Apologetic? (Then delete the review and go have chocolate.)

5. Did you consider the person on the other end of the review is a caring, compassionate human with feelings that could be hurt?
No. (Go up to question 4 – read option "A", but smack forehead harder.)
Yes. (Then why did you write the review?) (If your answer is logical and without pettiness then post the review.)

Do you have any great "bad" reviews to share?

About Daryl
Daryl lives in an in old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks up her quiet country road, or snow shoe across the back acres and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flew high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure and Daryl's having fun living it.
http://myeroticnotions.blogspot.com

When secrets conflict with dreams, love explodes. 
 After a lusty night with a hot pole dancer, billionaire Peyton Lang and local dance teacher, Fuchsia Quinn's worlds are about to collide.

http://www.amazon.com/FLESH-Flames-Electrifying-Billionaire-Story-ebook/dp/B00UY6M7VK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1455904603&sr=8-3&keywords=daryl+devore

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for letting me stop by and take over.
    Tweeted.

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  2. oh, yes, and a hearty thank you to Darlene for being so wonderful and rescheduling me. :-)

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  3. Great post. And I'd rather do anything else but write a review, they are so hard to get right.

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    1. So necessary but almost impossible to get. Thanks fro stopping by Andrea.

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  4. Great post. I do write reviews,and I agree some of them are very hard to do. Lately, I find I don't have the time to read as much as I'd like to, and so, I'm being very selective about what I do read and review. As far as bad reviews go, I'm still at the stage where I let them slice my heart. I stay away from Goodreads, becuase too many trolls live there, people who leave reviews on books they can't possibly have read. I got a review there last year, a dismal one, two weeks before the book was even released and not from someone who'd gotten and ARC. Reviews on Amazon are interesting, especially when they make aboslutely no sense. For example: "This story wonderfully illustrates the emotions anyone gets from bad experiences, and how to work thru them and find happiness ANYWAY. Great lessons for any child",left on a bundle of R rated romances! Go figure.

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    1. yikes on an r rated romance. I was reading a post the other day about reviewers and why they review fewer and fewer books - and they said people (trolls) just cut and paste reviews. So they do the wrok to write a review and the trolls changes name and book title and uses it wherever they like.
      The reviewers also said street teams terrify them. If they happen to write a less than stellar review and the author has a street team - they get torn to shreds.
      It was an interesting post looking at reviews from the other side of the fence.

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  5. As a writer, I don't dwell on bad reviews, however I guess I never really got a 'bad' review for any of my books. As far as good reviews...there's nothing better than knowing someone really enjoyed reading your book.
    As a reviewer, even if I don't think the story was great, I try to say something positive.
    Great post, Daryl!

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    1. Here's hoping a troll never finds you. Their "reviews" are just stupid, dumb and annoying.

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  6. HI Daryl: Thank you for the supportive post, the humor, and the excuse to go get more CHOCOLATE. Bad reviews sure do hurt, and I don't like Goodreads either...a good idea gone terribly wrong. It sounds like you live in a wonderful area with so much nature to enjoy. It must be very inspirational.

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    1. Yes, it is inspirational except for today when we're expecting another kick in the butt from Mother Nature.

      Look out Darlene - another clipper is on it's way.

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  7. Great post! I don't read reviews any longer, either. As a new writer I couldn't stop reading them. Went through all of the emotions when a bad review came in. Finally, I learned you're better off not reading them. Focus on writing more books and hope they get in front of the right readers :)

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    1. Jennifer, anybody who wrote a bad review about one of your books is just plain crazy!

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  8. Great post! I'm a glutten for punishment, I guess. I read my reviews every day, to see if I have a new one. Going there now, matter of fact. I don't write them b/c Amazon has figured out I'm an author and takes them down, but I would not give a 1* ever.

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    1. Never read your 1 8's D'Ann, they so aren't true. You should be a 6 * at least.

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  9. I always read the 1 star reviews for a book I'm about to buy, partly because they are hilarious, but also because they often reconfirm my choice in buying the book. What someone else hates is often my cup of tea!

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    1. Love your attitude :-)
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Reviews can upset me but I am getting better at letting it fall off my back. After all, I won't appeal to everyone. I love your list though and feel it is really important to leave a review. I know it helps authors get more promotion from Amazon and anything I can do to help authors....

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    1. You should never be getting bad reviews.

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  11. I find it interesting that if you are in the Kindle Scout program they give books to all your friends that voted for your book and thus all your friends can write you great reviews (while not actually buying the book) and Amazon won't remove a one of them. However, if you ask authors who have a similiar taste in writing, so you are pretty sure they'll love your book, to read and write a review, Amazon will remove the reviews. They only difference between those two examples is Amazon makes more money on one, and thus has motivation to let you have reviews, even if they are from your mom.

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    1. You nailed it. If it makes money for Amazon it's good - no matter how bad it is.

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  12. Normally, I won't read my reviews. If they're bad I'll believe them. If they're good, I won't.
    Excellent post and two thumbs up on Liza's post above!!

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    1. lol - I hear you loud and clear on that Sheri.

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  13. Very good points Daryl. Hopefully my debut novel will be out within 4 to 6 months, and I'm far too thin skinned to not get upset by any bad reviews. What I'll need is read any that seem like they will be positive and shoot past the bad ones.

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    1. Yup - shoot very fast past the bad ones.

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