All authors need reviews, preferably positive ones, but independent authors, like me, need them more than traditionally published authors.
I need reviews for reassurance and recognition.
I’m insecure, because no ‘big name’ agent or publisher has accepted my work, and I need ‘other’ readers and writers to believe in me, because I don’t write for myself, I write for others, so what others say means a lot to me.
I’ve already written a post about getting negative reviews here, so I won’t repeat myself, but what I will say is that readers are entitled to dislike my book. Some may not enjoy the plot, others may hate my characters, and some more may cringe at my writing style. I have to live with that. I can live with that.
I have 2 one-star reviews for book 1, All Hallows at Eyre Hall. I’m not happy with either of them, but I understand that once an artist’s work is released to the world, it belongs to the audience, readers, or viewers, etc., and they can say what they like.
I do find consolation in my 34 4 and 5 star reviews, and the knowledge that bad reviews happen to everyone, including classic authors such as Henry Miller, Margaret Atwood, Ernest Hemingway, Vonnegut, Margaret Mitchel, and a few more, read on… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/23/bad-reviews-classics_n_6527638.html
But what happens when you get a one star review because the reader wanted a paperback and discovers she’s bought an ebook? And instead of returning it to amazon, she asks you, the author to return it?
I know authors aren’t supposed to reply, but I did. I told her how to get a refund from Amazon. If she does get the refund, which I’ll never know, what happens to the review? Will anyone (the reader /amazon) bother to remove it? Can you ask Amazon to remove it? Will they remove it?
Probably not. The chances are a bad review will stick with you forever.
The only way to counteract one-star reviews is by getting honest positive reviews.
Sometimes people read your novel, enjoy it, they even tell you they liked it, but there’s no review. Readers are reading hundreds of my pages on KDP (I know because Amazon informs authors every day of the pages readers are reading, and we get paid accordingly), and I’m selling a few copies almost every day. So, why don’t readers write reviews?
I often ask ‘readers’ about this, and they’re usually either unused to writing reviews, or worried about writing an ‘unprofessional’ review. If they knew how much it meant to the author, just to write a few words of praise, I’m sure they’d all write reviews.
I tell everyone I know to write reviews of everything they read, but many of them, who are avid readers, have never written a public review.
I’m sure everyone who reads this post writes reviews, but how can we convince everyone who reads to write a review? Any ideas?
Check out what other insecure writers are saying here.