Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reviews: Take the best, leave the rest

Reviews are something authors and other artists have to live with.

With today's tech-savvy population, this gush of information (good and bad) is going to continue until we lose access to technology.  It could happen - apocalyptic-type scenarios are some of the best sellers.

Hey, I think it's smart to give reviews - good or bad.  I especially like the fact we educate/warn other consumers.  One of the things Amazon offers is for people to click on a button that claims your review has helped them.  I do this a lot when I want to buy something and someone has warned me about the defects whether mechanical or mental....smut or the fact a particular company always seems to have a problem counting to ten and only sends eight of a product.

On the other hand, there is something called 'trolling'  which means a person/persons with nothing better to do with their time finds something for sell that's doing well and gives a one star review - usually ranting about the negative aspects of a book/product they've never read/used. The reward for their behavior is to get a rise out of people and the attention that comes with it.

Don't feed their frenzy.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but trolls need to find a different hobby.

I write the best stories I can, but I don't expect every person on the planet to like them.  That would be unrealistic.  Some people will only read non-fiction.  Others only Sci-Fi or only books by LDS authors, etc.

I'm not perfect and my books are not perfect.  I write the stories I'd want to read and I do the best I can with the resources God has blessed me with.  Here's a fact you may not know.  At current editing rates, to get one of my (currently) 18 books professionally edited will take $1200+ that I don't have.  I've been spending the money I make on the same things regular people do:  bills.  Plus, I get the privilege of spending money on awesome covers - one of the biggest selling points of novels.  I seldom get reviews about my  typo-s or broken grammar rules, but every now and then someone better educated than I am, points things out. 

When someone finds a real problem with my work - I make changes (this does not apply to plot points or those who say please don't kill so-and-so, they are my favorite character).  I've made many changes over time - new covers, edits, corrections, etc.  If you read a lot, you will notice type-o's in traditionally published books, newspapers, and at school by teachers.

My advice:  Choose the higher road.  Use respect.  Always take the best of what you can learn in the reviews about your work and leave the trolls behind.  Seek improvement, yes, but don't beat yourself up over the fact you put the apostrophe in the wrong place.     

No comments: