Reviews..how do you take them?

Author: Jax Cassidy // Category:
Since the release of SUNSET KEY, my reviews have been phenomenal ..even made a debut on Fictionwise at 185 out of 2,000 listed... it's always a pleasure to read the nice reviews and it feels good that someone enjoyed the story enough to get swept away into that world. After all, that is why I write. To help people escape their daily stress-filled lives if even for an hour.

However, there are always one or two reviews that I get back out of the dozen or so that makes me want to cringe or curl up to a quart of Starbucks Coffee ice cream. My feelings aren't hurt over the low ratings as most would think..but purely for the fact that the reviewers obviously haven't actually read the story that I wrote because they tend to get the facts wrong. Yes, it's a pet peeve. If you're going to bash my stuff (which I really don't mind because I find it amusing), at least get the details right. As a reviewer myself, I take pride in being objective. I write a review based on the overall storytelling, the emotional and believability of the characters, the strength and weaknesses of the plot and I don't dock for length. If you review a novella, it should be obvious that each publisher has a specific length criteria so that's why it's so short. IMHO, I believe it's not fair to put the length of the work into the equation when reviewing. As a reviewer, you should try to give constructive criticism without being hateful and rude. There's no need for that. These writers don't get to where they are without hard work and effort and they should be respected for their perserverance and talent. Sure, there are times when you run across someone who believes they can write just as good or even better than you can, but are they published? Did they finish a manuscript, let alone a paragraph? Did they spend years learning the craft, spent countless sleepless nights on neverending revisions, subject themselves to long stretches plagued by emotional angst and insecurities...? Folks, it ain't easy or we'd all be like Nora Roberts.

Recently, a very well-known snarky reviewer got a hold of my novella. Of course I was thrilled to see what kind of punishment I would get from her as she has a reputation of being brutal. I'm all for it because I am confident of my work and my abilities. She doesn't scare me because it's only one person's opinion and whether she likes it or not, it's her prerogative. In fact, I can honestly say that in the past I've found one or two of her reviews humorous to say the least. But, by no means do I frequent her review site. It's more of a sporatic thing. What is my point? It hit me several months ago after I read one of her reviews that I don't much care for her. For a person who gets so much recognition for her snarky reviews, I start to realize she doesn't deserve my attentions. She gets too much enjoyment out of ripping on author and half the time she doesn't have the details or facts right. Then I analyze the situation. How is her review credible when she can't get the facts right? How can we trust a reviewer who doesn't really do the research and doesn't double check her work? I find that amateurish and unprofessional. That's what. Oh, where was I going with this? Well, as I haven't read her reviews in forever because I sort of personally boycotted her site and many similar to it...I received word that she reviewed my novella. It all came back to me for the very reasons why I stopped going to her site...she screwed up on the facts of my story and it's apparent to me that she didn't really read it otherwise she would have understood the key points in the storyline. It's fine that she didn't like my work, and I'm fine that she hated my cover (I didn't design it, my publisher did), and I'm fine with the low rating. The only thing that I can offer her and many others like this is that they need to GET THE FACTS RIGHT. It's insulting to get a low review and then to see the names of the characters were wrong, the storyline was wrong, and anything else wrong. I can live with the fact that someone hates my work...everyone has a difference in taste. I accept that. Just remember that if you happen to become a reviewer that you shouldn't use your taste to judge a writer's work. It should be based on the writing, not on the fact that you hate sci-fi, historicals, paranormals, chick lit, erotica...it's not fair to the reader and it's not fair to the authors.

And that's my two cents.

2 Responses to "Reviews..how do you take them?"

Lara Santiago Says :
8:50 AM

Amen!! I totally agree with you!
L

Maggie Jaimeson Says :
1:27 AM

Several studies have shown it doesn't matter to sales whether you get a good review or a bad review. It just matters that you get reviews. So, good going, Jax. You've been noticed!

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