Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Writers and Reviews

I know there have been lots of crazy ass behavior from writers regarding reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, at blogs and elsewhere. Some of that behavior has been complete wtf-ery with giggles galore and some has been excrutiating to see.

It's led to a lot of discussions of how authors are supposed to ignore reviews and reviews are for the readers. There have also been those authors popping up in those same discussions saying that they never check for reviews and would never read them anyway.

Blah, blah, blah.

I love me some reviews. And I'm going to speak for Carolyn and say she loves her some reviews too. It might be because we have that fanfic background and in ff you get feedback throughout the posting of your stories. But there's a lot of other reasons.

This Monday, Carolyn's new novel Mariposa releases. It's been a process for her with the writing, submitting, editing and now.... hooray! It's going to be out. And Lyrical sent out copies to review sites and the first review came in.

Mariposa Review

It's a terrific review. And super exciting because honestly, Carolyn knows that all that work was worthwhile. Someone who isn't her short, mouthy BFF loved her story. It makes a writer feel like they weren't wasting all that time.

But guess what? Books can be forever and sometimes a few years after a release someone finds your book and...

666 Angel Lane

I can't express the joy in finding that someone found this book and loved it. The book is still out there and knowing that someone found it and liked it enough to write about it fills me with happiness.

But Lori, you short mouthy bitch, I can hear you saying, what about bad reviews?

Well, yup, I've gotten them too. And I hate to admit that I love them too. A bad review that's well written can help a writer recognize what they need to work on. Plus, if someone doesn't dislike you then you're just not trying hard enough.

Reviews are confirmation that you're writing what someone wants to read. It's a way to feel like you aren't shouting down an empty well. Any reaction, good or bad, benefits a writer. Smart writers know this and use the reviews as confirmation, learning tools and a pat on the back.


  1. Bad reviews have other uses, as well. We all know about the trainwrecks, but one of the proudest moments of my reviewing life was when one of my GoodReads friends hesitantly asked if she could have my copy of a book I had only rated two stars. My description of it had worked for her.

  2. I'm not a confident writer. I love to write, I love to paint a scene with words, but I don't have the confidence that anyone will want to read them.

    That's why my few reviews have meant so much to me. Lori is completely right - someone besides my short, mouthy BFF read my book and it worked for them.

    Lori has trained me to be ready for a bad review ;-) and I completely agree they are most helpful to a writer, as long as they're written honestly and without snark. I can take critique; I don't want to fool with snark because there's no constructive criticism, nothing to help me learn.

    As willaful says, a well written, negative review can turn things completely around.

  3. A negative well written (or at least thoughtful) review can help readers on the fence decide whether to give a book a chance. It can intrigue other readers, who were unaware of the book, enough to try it.

    It can help a writer--whether it's her book or not!--discover what drives a segment of her readership (i.e., romance readers) up a wall.

    For readers, well written reviews can be gold.

    For writers, they can be great promo--word of mouth *is* priceless, particularly for small press/self-published authors.

    But until now, until right this moment, I didn't understand (viscerally, as it were--I knew it, intellectually, but didn't actually internalized it) the impact a thoughtful review has on a writer.

    Thank you, Lori.