Saturday, February 18, 2017

Reviews: Give 'em to me!

My background is in academic writing rather than creative writing, so I have a different perspective on constructive criticism than the run-of-the-mill author.

Basically, I get really excited when people review my books. And I don't despise three-star reviews.

Let me say that again: I don't despise three star reviews.

Why not?

Having a variety of reviews legitimizes books and authors. Even those one- and two-star reviews that make writers wonder if readers actually finished the book. In fact, books with all five star reviews make my eye twitch. I think, Really? There was nothing wrong with it? There wasn't a time when you wished the author had gone in a different direction? Or a character you fell in love with who didn't get enough screen time?

Success in the literary world is a numbers game. Reaching new readers is the name of the game. And when you share your book with the world, you have to be prepared for honesty, even from your friends and family. For instance, at my launch party for Becoming Beauty, my dad sat down with me and outlined some of the issues with my first novel. The novel I was at that moment launching. I think I blinked at him. A lot. But I listened and made notes for my subsequent novels.

That's what we do.

The second we decide we know everything about our craft, we may as well retire. Because apparently we have nothing new to offer the literary world. Keep learning from your mistakes, my friends, and move forward. Swallow that ego and open your ears.

So, how do you get reviews?

Well, it helps when you have a publishing house behind you. Cedar Fort sent my books to libraries and librarians and reviewers. Using their database, I made personal contact with Becoming Beauty's blog tour participants. They're the ones who started the ball rolling. I've done the same with Midnight Sisters. A blog tour is a lot of work, especially if you'd like something more than cookie cutter posts, but it's well worth it to reach new readers and reviewers.

And feel free to beg. Writers can't be afraid to ask for reviews. They just need to be ready for a few iffy reviews. Learn from each book you publish and grow with each project.

So here it comes! Are you ready? If you've read my books, hop on Amazon or Goodreads and leave me a review. Good. Bad. Meh. I'll take them all! Just give your honest impressions and click the submit button! It's like sharing your favorite brand of Girl Scout Cookies, people will take your opinion into consideration.

Peanut butter & chocolate. Mmmmm...
By the way, the correct answer is Tagalongs, my friends. Yes, Tagalongs.

If you're a writer (or in any other review-driven field) wondering how to deal with negative reviews, I'm there for you too! We all have a few stinkers in the bunch. We grin and bear it and remember that exposure is always good.


  1. I wish all authors thought like you, it would lead to so much better writing.

    1. Thank you! We certainly wouldn't end up behaving like wounded toddlers whose favorite toy has been taken. And that's something. We could just act like adults who submit something to the public and understand that the public will draw their own conclusions. It's all part of stepping into the literary world. It sucks sometimes, but I want to be free to express my opinion, I need to afford others the same right.