Sunday, May 16, 2010

Smorgasboard Reviews

Reviews is a popular subject. I've read more than one post about them recently.

During the past few weeks I've received multiple reviews for one of my sweet romances. Some have been good. Some not so good. A couple have made me really heart sick.

For instance, one person said the book was "horrible, horrible". Not just one "horrible", but two.

Another person wrote, "Ick ick ick".

When I read that I seriously considered not only to stop looking at reviews, but to stop requesting them.

But four star reviews for the same book were arriving in my email box. Better yet, I discovered that same book was (is) number one seller on Fictionwise for my publisher and number three for all books at Fictionwise.

What's going on?

I have received a lot of reviews. For that, I'm happy. An author friend mentioned recently she hasn't received a review for a year. And I've also heard other authors say they don't receive many reviews any more.

I see three issues with this.

Number one - Why is the book selling well with such a smorgasbord of reviews?

Number two -  Why is this book getting a lot of reviews?

Number three - What can be learned from this?

Perhaps the book is selling well because reviews are subjective. Often I enjoy (really enjoy) movies that received poor reviews. Some of my favorite albums only received average reviews.

It's also possible that poor reviews generate more interest. People want to find out why the reviewer was so down on a book, to see if it's as bad as the reviewer believed.

Another possibility is that there are a lot of reviews, thus a lot of publicity. Perhaps the readers who bought the book did so because they read the positive reviews. Or perhaps, like me, they buy books because they like the blurb, and don't base buying decisions on reviews.

The last possibility is that I've also had several contests to give away this book. At first, I was nervous giving away a new book, that buyers would hold off buying the book in the hopes of winning it. But that hasn't hurt sales.

Second, I've sent a LOT of review requests out for this book. I sent it to small, medium, and large book review sites. I didn't only send it to large sites. I've held a lot of contests including Blogmania, Blog Jog, and smaller contests. I've also requested several guest blogger spots and author interviews, and received many acceptances. And I've paid it forward so that I interview and host other authors on my blog.

Three - What have I learned?

Be proactive. Ask for reviews, interviews, and guest blogger spots. Hold contests. Be generous.

When you find a poor review, take constructive criticism from it to make the next book better. If there are rude remarks, ignore them. Eat chocolate, soak in a tub, do something to make you feel better and forget the bad stuff.

Recent posts you might like to read:

Author Interview: Wendi Zwaduk 

Author Interview: Frances Pauli

Author Interview: Marcia James

Author Interview: Elaine Hopper

Weathering A Bad Review

What Do You Want in a Romance Hero & What Do You Want in a Real Life Husband?

Rejection: Where Do You Go Next?


Cliche or Coincidence?

Incognito: free short story

Dedicating Books

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Wendi Zwaduk are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Margaret West said...

I LOVE this review blog and the fact chocolate helps lol

Cris Anson said...

LOL - I'm sucking on a Dove right now, Margaret. Thanks for visiting.

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