On to day seven!
Today I'm featured on Faerie Tale Books with a review of Marked for Vengeance and Tethered by Fate, and on the Bookworm Brandee Blog with a review of Tethered by Fate. Brandee had reviewed the first book back in January. You can read her four star review here!
Thanks to all for participating in the tour, and don't forget to check out my guest post about coping with bad reviews! Just follow the jump below!
Coping with Bad Reviews by S.J. Pierce, Author of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles
First, thank you for having me today! Second, what a great topic! During promotional tours, it’s much easier for me to focus on all of the great things others say about my books. But what the heck, as a writer it’s also inevitable that I’ll touch on uncomfortable subjects, and what’s more uncomfortable than talking about the *gasp* negative reviews! I like the challenge. ;) I think I’ll even be so bold as to give a snippet of a negative review on Amazon, which was my very first one:
“An interesting concept, that I mostly enjoyed reading, but for a few faults. First; the formatting of the e-Book was extremely distracting, with sudden spacings separating sentences, causing the eye to stumble while reading, and initially wondering if this was intentional or just an oversight. Then, there were the sudden shifts in point of view, from one character to another, from third person omniscient to third person limited. This is great in experimental fiction, but when you want readers to get to know and care about your characters, it's a bit off-putting. Finally, the dialogue tends in many places to be a bit too wooden, as if the character was reading from a note pad rather than actually speaking, and there are too many unnecessary tags, such as `her hands balled angrily into fists,' that don't really add to the flow of the story in any significant way - rather, they detract from it.” – Avid Reader “Geronimo”
Ouch! Not scathing, but it still stung. And I could write on and on in defense of myself – the ebook he had was a review copy and not what my paying customers experienced if they purchased it (which I informed him of), and while there were shifts in POV, one was never omniscient, etc. But what good would that do? And that’s just one of the points I’m about to get into, so here are my tips:
One: Take the good with the bad. For some reason, we tend to focus on the negative in any situation, and the same applies to reviews… if you let it. How does the saying go? For every negative thing said, it takes “x” amount of positive ones to undo it? I know that’s not the exact quote; I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist. Before this first bad review that I quoted above, I remember receiving four or five good ones before it, but somehow, when I read this one that’s all I seemed to focus on. I then read a Facebook post by a fellow Indie author who encouraged us to take what we could from negative reviews to better our writing and move on. Not everyone will like your work, nor will they understand it or connect with it, and that’s okay. We’re all different.
Two: To mirror the advice above, learn what you can and move on. It might be hard to swallow, but it’s best in your interest to accept that your writing isn’t perfect! You might actually learn something from some of the more constructive, negative reviews that you can apply to future writings.
Three: Don’t, under any circumstance, retaliate or get into a heated debate with a reviewer! This is a huge no-no for me, and I’ve even had some reviewers be downright mean about my work. As tempted as I was to write them back and give them a piece of my mind or argue my points, I took a deep breath and let it go. Most of the time you’ll just go round and round and eventually agree to disagree because it comes down to a matter of taste and preferences. Your time and energy would be better spent writing your books. This isn’t to say, though, that I don’t contact them after a negative review. If I had initially contacted them to read/ review my book, I always email them to thank them for their time and interest. To me, your reputation is just as important as your writing, and the internet has a lengthy memory. You don’t want something you said in the heat of the moment three years ago to come back and bite you on the rear!