Reviews. This is a subject I've been meaning to cover for awhile. When we love or hate something, we're quick to give a review. As writers (at least for me), we patently wait for reviews to be written, so we can gauge how our books are received. Sometimes we squeal when it's a good one, other times we frown because we feel the reader just didn't 'get it'.
But at the end of the day, they're just that: reviews. We have to remember that reviews and personal taste is all relative. Not so different from movie or music reviews. For example, I love horror movies and am quick to give any slasher flick a rave review...my husband not so much. Today, the hubby and I made reservations 6 months in advance to attend a country music festival (Merle Haggard is the tentative headliner) and I'm sure there are folks reading this thinking, ugh, country. Then, there are NYT bestselling books that I couldn't even get past the first chapter, while others found it scintillating and satisfying.
That being said, I do pay attention to reviews about my books. For those that leave (thoughtful) less-than-positive feedback, I put aside my own feelings and generally take what they have to say into consideration. Others, I take with a grain of salt. I just have to remember that some folks expect a lot when they pick up a book and not every story will live up to their standards. I don't think there is an author out there than can make every reader happy.
Personally, I rarely read reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. I usually purchase books based on the blurb. If it sounds interesting, I'll buy it. I don't want reviews to sway my purchasing options. Perhaps I'm easily entertained and unless there are some major issues with a book, I generally enjoy them. I mean seriously, I'm not expecting Tolstoy when I'm reading a book about teenagers with superpowers. If it's fun, I like!
Now, I don't want this post to sound like I don't think there's any value to reviews, because I do. And I wish more readers would leave them (hint, hint). But as writers, we can't take reviews too seriously (unless you're receiving bad reviews all around...that might be a sign your book needs some work)...just breathe and if you believe in your work, others will too.
For some great posts on the subject, you should check out Kate Copeseeley's posts: Author Etiquette Rule Two and Doing That Indie Thing You Do...
I'm moving along in my word count this week. I hoped to get quite a bit of writing done, but I only managed to get over 1,500 words. Nonetheless, I'm happy, considering I've had a lot on my plate this week. I hope to get a full day in on Monday (I love holidays)!
Also, please check back on Monday. A super great giveaway is planned!!