Late posting today...had to bring my dad home from the hospital and take my daughter to the airport.
Last month I shared with you some wonderful reviews on Circles of Fate. In today's post you'll see a whole other side of reviews....
Recently, I received notification of a “review site” and as most authors, contacted the owner with great enthusiasm and hope of yet another opinion of my books.
After chatting a little I decided to send her my books, 7 full length novels, which ended up getting separated from the address label while en-route to her. Result: Lost in the mail.
Since I trust God with my writing, reviews and sales, this should have been a red flag right?
Instead I just thought “what a mess!” and sent her the E-version of my Tempered series.
In the end, “What a mess!” was an understatement.
Harshly disappointed, the reviewer stated her opinion of certain aspects of each title without giving credence to the overall story or growth of the characters; and even went so far as to critique me as person, questioning my position of faith rather than focusing on the stories themselves.
I was stunned to read each—and not because the reviews were less-than-stellar, but because of the manner in which the reviews each focused on one incident in each book and also pointed fingers at the author (me).
If you go to Amazon and look at all the reviews in this series, you will see a couple of one - and two - star opinions, but none appear to be as directed as this woman’s—and they are mixed among many positive reviews (each book averages four-stars or better).
Further research (which I should have done beforehand!) revealed that most of the books she regards highly (4 & 5 hearts) are erotica….yeah, that, too, should have been a huge red flag. Reading is subjective, and there are many genres—and that’s great—but Christian fiction and Erotica are on opposite ends of the fiction spectrum. A reader who likes one rarely likes the other, so I should have realized my books would not be a good fit for her reading enjoyment.
I imagine by now you’re wondering what I did about this review?
When she first sent it to me (before posting on her blog) I asked her to not put this up anywhere because her comments felt like a personal attack, which I also felt, was lack of a complete, objective review.
Since she refused and insisted on posting to her blog as scheduled, my comment to her was….. “Thank you for hosting me today. I'm sorry you were so harshly offended by the series. I appreciate the time and energy you put into this lovely feature. Good luck & God's blessings.”
Takeaway for Authors:
RESEARCH before asking for a review. If the owner/reviewer really likes something totally opposite of what you write, don’t expect a good review of your book.
UNDERSTAND: Reading is subjective. Not everyone will enjoy or even like your books. Sometimes something will strike a chord in the reader and they will react harshly.
ALWAYS: Be considerate of the reader/reviewer’s feelings and thankful for their time and energy.
PRAY that somehow God uses this to teach you (the writer) or touch them (readers) in a positive way. He does, after all, work subtly and oftentimes, behind the scenes.
Takeaway for Readers/Reviewers:
Writers are human: We have feelings. If you absolutely hate the book, please don’t review it. If you do, then please find something positive to say along with your objective assessment of what you didn’t like. In any case, please remember, it is not the place of a review to hammer down judgement and wrath.
Don’t judge an entire book on one aspect. This is often what happens, but as a reader if I don’t like a book and can’t give it a 3 star or better, I won’t review it at all. In fact if I was so harshly offended by book 1 in a series, I wouldn’t even attempt to read the rest. And, I certainly wouldn’t attack the author’s faith by the actions of his or her characters.
Remember, the characters we create are not real. They may represent real feelings, real actions, real flaws; but the characters are fictional—and they are rarely representative of the author. Think of it in the same vein as acting. An actor is not the character he or she portrays. Likewise, authors are not the characters we bring to life for your enjoyment.
Something to think about!
Until next time...take care, God Bless and Remember....When the going gets tough the tough get on their knees
"Inspirational with an Edge!" ™