There has been so much discussion lately about readers trashing writers that I wanted to take today to jump in and say how much I appreciate my readers. Without you, I would still be writing, but there would be no one who relates to my point of view. No one who enjoyed my characters and my story. I need you.
Let’s face it, a writer can’t help but put a big chunk of herself in a novel. I have received some of the nicest reviews and yes, they affect me emotionally. I’ve had readers make me feel wonderful with tears of joy and occasionally comments that left me frustrated.
As a writer, I want to spend my time focusing on the next story, not on whether or not the book was formatted correctly or even whether or not all the commas are in the right spots. (I hate commas, I truly do.) I’m interested in getting the movie that is playing in my head down on the page. I pay people to format the book correctly, and I pay a free-lance editor to make certain all those pesky commas land in the right spot.
When Amazon sends me a notice saying someone said there is an error on page 1374, I take it seriously. I make the changes and upload the book again. But there is a small part of me that wonders…did you do this when it was a New York Publisher?
Another thing that frustrates me as a writer is when I receive a one rating because the book had sex in it. Really? You read the book to the end, but because the fictional characters had pre-marital sex you’re giving me a one. Do you know how that affects my rankings on Amazon? Did you realize that if my rankings become too low, I will be turned down by advertising companies? The algorhithms (the God in the machine at Amazon) will make my book harder for readers to find? That my sales will suffer?
When I receive a low review, I check to see what kind of reviews that person has given before. You’d be amazed how many negative reviews some people will give. It’s like they enjoy trashing romance and authors. There will be ten negative reviews and then one or two positive ones. It makes me wonder if they’re just not negative people. Personally, that’s when your review goes into the box labeled not worth remembering.
I’m not saying don’t give me an honest review. If you think the book was crap, then say so in a nice way.
Overall, I think 99% of my readers are wonderful and appreciate my characters and my writing. When I receive valid criticism, I try to apply those comments to my current writing so that I will change, grow and become even better. I want you to enjoy and anticipate the next Sylvia McDaniel book. I want to write great stories. But I’m human and there will be mistakes that at least six pairs of eyes missed.
Sometimes I think that because we only see text on a page, that it’s okay for us as readers and even writers, to leave horrible reviews. That’s not really a person there, that’s only text. Cyber bullying has taken the place of schoolyard bullying, and Goodreads and Amazon have become the new hangout where it’s a free for all. Tell that author she can’t string together two sentences and that she repeats herself over and over. Tell that reader she isn’t being fair and doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
As a human being who lives on this great planet, I want to say to people…try a little kindness. If we all were kinder to one another wouldn’t the world be a better place? Some people enjoy making people feel bad. As a reader, I’m sure you’ve had your feelings hurt before or someone has made you feel bad. As a writer, I’ve experienced those emotions as well. Lets all step back and remember that there are humans connected with these books who have feelings, emotions and dreams. Kindness will get you so much further in life.
Just for today go out and make another human being feel good. Even if you don’t like the book, leave an honest, nice review that could simply say, “This book was not my kind of romance.” We all have different tastes. A book I love, you could hate, but that doesn’t mean trash the author.
Again, I appreciate every one of my readers, even the ones that gave me a low score. You took the time to buy my book and leave me a review. Thank you and may you find an author who you love and can’t put their book down. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for, a good story?
Now let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. So tell me how many good reviews do you leave compared to how many bad ones?
Sylvia McDaniel has fourteen books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. She just hit number one in the historical and western categories on Amazon. The Christmas Bride will be out November 5. You can preorder this book at http://amzn.to/16TEYmP