Robyn Rants on... Reviews

Posted by Robyn Pierce on March 7, 2014 at 12:25 PM


I have a hard time staying on topic with a lot of things, so when I have a topic, it will be filed under “Robyn Rants on…” This way, it’s a clear warning that I’m probably going to go off on a tangent regarding the topic. I’ll try to have a rant every Tuesday.


I read reviews.


There, I admitted it. I feel better with that off my chest.


I know I shouldn’t read them, because they could upset me or whatever, but I do. I love to read every review written for my books. I prefer reading the negative ones, because they tell me where my stories fell flat for the reader.


I can’t help it; they’re addicting. I get a little bit of a rush when the number of reviews on my books has grown. The time it takes for the page to load, while short, is a moment where time stands still for me as I wait to find out whether or not someone enjoyed my work.


Now, just because I read them doesn’t mean I comment. I think I might have commented on a few in the past to thank the reviewer, but I could be mistaken. I know I’ve messaged at least one reviewer to thank them for taking the time to read and review my work, but that’s as far as I’ve ever taken it. (And it was a 2-star review, so it isn’t as though I was playing favorites with the favorable reviews.)


This is probably a very important topic, because of the “bully war” going on over at Amazon and Goodreads. I personally don’t see most* of what authors complain about as bullying behavior. It’s a huge mistake to comment and sic your readers the reader who left the review, though, and I think it’s a huge problem.


As writers, we have to develop thick skin to be able to handle everything that comes our way. I’ve taken a few workshop courses where we’re required to listen to the opinions of our readers without being allowed to say anything in retaliation. It’s an excellent way to learn how well one takes criticism and, if one doesn’t take it well, they can work on reacting in a more appropriate way. 

I don't think it's really ever acceptable to jump into a reader's space just because you got your feelings hurt. At this point in the whole "war" it might just be better off to not comment at all, period. Even if it's a simple, "Thank you for taking the time to read and review my work." Not even if you put it on every single review, good and bad. 

Bottom line: If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Or, in this case, don't read reviews. 


I’ve been dying to address this topic for a long time, and I think this semi-coherent post just covers my thoughts on reviews.


See you next week!







*I’ve seen some deplorable behavior on Goodreads and Amazon (hell, on the internet as a whole), but that isn’t really any of my business, so Itry to stay out of it.


Categories: Robyn Rants on...

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