Older movies and some older TV series, centered on New York City, often portray artists (playwrights, writers) as living and dying by the reviews of the local newspapers. Sometimes those stories are set in Los Angeles, too.
But, this is today. Yes, I want to see reviews. Lots of them. But, I don’t live or die by them.
When Sudden Mission launched in mid-August, we started a blog tour and got some bloggers to review the book. So far, the reviews have been positive. Generally short. But positive. That’s good to a point.
Then you get to Amazon and there are reviews there. One is especially good and from someone very close to the demographic Sudden Mission is written to. That same person posted her review on Goodreads and couple other sites. She is a voracious reader and does a lot of reviews.
The rest of the Amazon and Goodreads reviews, so far, are by adults and friends who like to read YA and young people fiction. Just because they are friends, though, doesn’t mean the praise is fluff. They are professionals and don’t mince words about story, writing, and quality. So, I’m thankful for their feedback.
This brings us to a review we tried to get earlier, but I just found on Tumblr. The reviewer, for some reason, didn’t get the review at the time promised. But, here it is and it is generally positive.
So, the reason for the late appearance isn’t because she didn’t like it. She did take me to task on one area. Character description. Fair enough. Some people like more, some like less description. I’m on the side that wants to leave the reader more latitude, or give them room to put themselves into the main character role. Still, she had some valid points and those are things we worked on in the editing process.
But, I’m not dying and will take the constructive input.
I’m sure there will be more comments and reviews that dislike one part or another of the story, my writing style, or some other aspect of the book. There may even be reviewers who trash the book due to a difference in philosophical views. That will be expected. It is the world of today and the anonymous reviewer has a lot of leeway in what they can say.
I don’t live and die by the reviews, though. Any attention, comment, rating, or review is good. This is especially true on Amazon. I think people use the reviews to determine if a book is something they want to read. The blurb helps, but the reviews can be the better tool.
I know I use them when trying to make a purchase decision on Amazon or other online retailers. I read the good ones and the bad ones. Then I make a judgement. I know I’m not alone.
If you are a reader, put up a rating on a book you read. Even if you don’t comment or review, the rating is a metric for what people think of the work. It helps other readers.
Keep writing and reading.