Reviews matter to most authors. Some sit back and hope readers enjoy their book/stories. Some dread the inevitable negative review.
Whenever I find a review of one of my stories, I read it. I want to know that specific reader’s opinion, what they liked and didn’t like. I’m grateful for each review. Yes, even the ones that don’t care for my style of writing.
Let me explain why. If the reader gets their point across in an eloquent way, it’s always relevant. It’s their unabashed reaction. No two readers will have the same reaction. It’s interesting to hear how different plot points, character development, or some other aspect of the story affected their reading experience.
Different readers have different tastes. Some may like a more literary approach. Some may want an adrenaline rush in book form. More than likely, both won’t enjoy the same types of stories, or find the same value in the same story structure. Some may want a hybrid story that incorporates both literary and commercial fiction. I’d like to eventually work my way to that middle ground – an author who can walk the line between commercial and literary fiction.
As I grow as an author, I find every review helpful. I want to know what readers thought about my story. I want to hear each of their opinions. I want to understand how a variety of different readers approached my story and what they took away from it. Those opinions may help me think a little differently when I’m creating the next story. The bottom line is I want each reader to walk away from my stories feeling entertained. If I can accomplish that, then I’ve done my job.
So the next time a reader leaves you a review, be it good or bad, thank them. Not only did they spend their hard earned money on your book, but they took the time to tell you how they felt. Even if we don’t agree with their review, perhaps we can learn something. The glass is either half full or half empty. It all depends on how we look at it.
To all the readers who take the time to leave reviews of the books they love/hate, I’d like to thank you. Keep doing what you do. Us authors appreciate it.