Friday, December 2, 2011

Reviews Discussion: Beating a Dead Horse

I'm the third Mayhemer to bring up reviews (are we tired of this discussion yet?). Rather than focusing on the ways reviews affect our reading and/or purchasing habits, or their subjective nature (these are great discussions, by the way; stop by if you haven't already),
I'd like to talk to the authors out there:

How do you deal with reviews? Do you read them? Avoid them? Enjoy them? Dread them? Do reviews affect the way you write? Do they affect the opinion you have of your own abilities as a writer? I've heard of bad reviews paralyzing authors, but I've been fascinated to learn that for some authors good reviews do the same.

Any advice for those of us new to the publishing world?


  1. As a reader, I don't pay much attention to them. As as writer - well, I'm not published yet, except for a couple small pieces that have not been reviewed, at least as far as I know, but I do worry that I could end up obsessing over it. I hope not.

  2. I don't read all of them, because it is better for me not to. I do read the ones my editor forwards, and they can be useful when there is a less than glowing remark.

    For example, one reviewer overall gave WOLF STORM a great review, but she missed what I was trying to do with the characters and the theme. It made me realize I hadn't written that part as well as I could have and in the future I'm going to quiz my beta readers to make sure I'm accomplishing what I think I am accomplishing.

  3. I realized there is nothing I can do about reviews. You can write the most talked about, award winning novel, and there will still be those who detest it and think you're a hack! :) All you can do is celebrate those winning reviews and ignore the bad, especially if you know they'll hurt how you think about your own writing. I think as authors, you just need to remember that everybody--every author--gets bad reviews. You can not please everyone so don't try. Just put your best foot forward and write the best book you can write.

  4. I am traditionally published several times over and I stopped reading reviews long ago. The good reviews are certainly uplifting and motivating, but in terms of bad reviews I think some readers don't understand that their words can be damaging. Everyone has a right to their opinion and there is a way to say you don't like a book or voice your issues with the book without insulting the writer. I think some reviewers need to think about that sometimes.

  5. I love that hair-tearing picture. Fortunately I am folliclely challenged and would not be able to replicate this if I got published and had a bad review.

  6. I like to read reviews - good and bad - because it means PEOPLE ARE READING MY BOOK. That, in itself, is thrilling. And I've found that all the rejection it takes to get down the publication road has given me a enough of a sense of humor to help me over the bad ones. I love 'em all.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!