Reviews: Getting Perspective

Is this not an awesome cover?!
My longtime friend and fellow author, Michelle Libby just released her hot new book Crash and Burn from Lyrical Press. Anytime that you release a new work it's the equivalent to sending your child off to kindergarten and hoping you won't get a call from the Principal because they bit someone (long story). Still, there is that heart stopping rush that goes along with the fear of rejection. No one likes it. But one bad rejection is not the end of the world.

Offset the Balance...
Sounds like an odd thing, but the more reviews you have the less impact one bad review can have on your book page. We all have friends and relative who buy our books... ask them to write a review for you. Amazon likes to have that sale behind the review, but the more you have posted the better those little stars are going to look at the top of your page when a possible reader checks out your available book list.

Another option is to offer the book for review. Someone is going to balk at this, but it's incredibly hard for an author to get reviews. Not comfortable with offering that book for review? Offer an additional title. But keep in mind that when you offer that book out to John Q. Public for review you need to take what you get. It is what it is.

I would also add... as a reader, whenever I come across a book with all perfect reviews it tends to make me a bit suspicious. No book is completely perfect, nor is it going to satisfy every reader.

Author Pages...
Amazon has a great tool for authors called Author Pages. Don't have one? Set one up. They are easy and give your possible future readers a place to gather more information on you. Within the space for your bio I would also include any previous blurbs about your work. This page is going to consolidate all your available titles onto one page. If you are Indie pubbing, I'd suggest including some of that Author info in with your book information during set up. Use the available space to your advantage.

Book  Description from Stealing Darkness:

About the Author:
Few things in life can prepare a writer as well as growing up on an island in Maine. As a Romantic Mystery and Paranormal Suspense writer, Teagan relies heavily on her experiences in Maine and in her background as a paranormal investigation and spirit intuitive.

Teagan lives on the Maine coast with her husband and two kids, where she spends her time gathering stories. She's a frequent speaker, contributing her knowledge of writing to organizations such as Romance Writers of America, Maine RWA, New Jersey RWA, New England RWA and Rhode Island Romance Writers.

Other Available Titles:
Three Truths, a sweet paranormal set in Salem. Available in paperback and Kindle format.
Obsidian, a romantic mystery set on the coast of Maine. Available in Kindle format.

Negating the Negative...
If you receive a review that you feel is unfair and damaging you have the option of hitting the button next to the "is this review helpful". I would suggest have fellow readers and authors go in and tag unfair reviews as well. We are entitled to our opinion, but not at the sake of damaging a person's career. No one book will fit everyone's taste. Conversely, if you like a book then take a moment to post a positive review. And remember, don't post anything that will tip the reader off to cliffhangers or summarize a plot to the point where they no longer want to read the book.

Ultimately, we have no real power over public opinion. It is what it is. We can only write the best book we know how to do and to make each work better than the last. I was watching a biography of Jennifer Anniston this morning in which she said that she never pays attention to reviews. I guess if it's working so well for her then I'll just have to follow her lead.


Michelle Libby/JIllian Hallowell said...

Thanks for the reassurance that one bad review won't break me. It did hurt, but I'm glad that there have been a few reviews to offset that one. Like you said, it's never easy to send your book out into the world and wait for the principal to call to tell you that your sweet, angel just stabbed another student with a pencil. (another long story).

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My books aren't for everyone, but there really a need for blatant rudeness?

Bethany Oliver said...

Michelle, there is never a need for rudenss, blatant or otherwise (but then I work retail and see it all the time). The people who post these reviews are the same who have nothing good to say about anything, ever. If it isn't your cup of tea then just move on to the next book. I've bought tons of books that I really didn't like once I got them. But that doesn't mean that someone else won't love them. This is a hard enough profession without purposely beating each other up. I've got your back... always! :)

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