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Book Reviews

In case you hadn’t checked on my home page reviews are in for A Marriage of Notoriety.

Reviews are all part of the world of being an author, even though I would bet there’s no complete agreement among authors about how important they are. According to my Indy-published friends (Ava Miles, Emelle GambleDebra Holland, Tori Scott, Norah Wilson, MJ Fredrick, Theresa Ragan, to name a few…) the number of Amazon reviews is important in increasing discoverability, but does it matter if the reviews are positive or negative? I don’t know how Amazon assesses their rating system, but I do know that some people say they don’t count. Others won’t read any reviews for fear of encountering a negative one.

Walter_Langley_-_Never_Morning_Wore_To_Evening_1894I’m very lucky that I’ve received very few stinker reviews over all the books I’ve written. The stinker reviews, though, tend to stick with an author (me, I mean) and loom bigger than all the glowing reviews. That is an unhappy fact of human nature, even though it makes no sense at all.

When negative reviews are written in a hurtful way, they do hurt. When they are based on something ridiculous, they just make me angry. Sometimes, though, they are helpful. A reader reviewer on Amazon once called the villain of one of my books cliched. She was right. After that, I’ve tried to make my villains more real and complex and less Snidely Whiplash.

Franz_von_Stuck_RingelreihenThere’s nothing like a positive review, though. There is nothing so gratifying as confirmation that you gave a reader pleasure…and that they “got” what you were trying to do in writing the book.

So, I’m smiling today. The three reviews I posted on my website are all very very gratifying. And (so far) I’ve not received any stinker reviews to diminish my pleasure.

How about you? Do you read reviews? Do they matter? Do they determine whether or not you’ll buy the book? (Or if you are an author, do they affect your mood in significant ways?)




  1. I’ll only read reviews if I’m not sure I want to try a new author. I already know there are plenty of reasons to like a book, so I choose the negative reviews to find out why someone doesn’t like the book. Frequently the reasons are ridiculous, which tells me more about the reviewer than the book. The final decision is still mine. I like good reviews, but remind myself to not “get cocky.” 🙂 Negative reviews are disheartening, but again, not everyone will love my books. I knew that going in.

    1. That’s important to remember, Judy. Not everyone will love my books. I do know that.

      I hope I never get cocky…I think I’m more relieved than cocky at a positive review.

  2. It is unfortunate that many reviews say more about the reviewer than the book or author, and I think the likelihood of that being the case is increased when the review is negative. A certain type of person feels that she is more able to show off how clever she is if she writes sarcastic mean comments. And another problem is that people who enjoyed a book are less likely to even write a review anyway.

    I read certain book review sites which I have found to be honest assessments of books which concur with my opinion on books I know, and so which are likely to identify books I don’t know but will like. But I rarely read reviews beyond the summary because I don’t like to know any details of a plot; I won’t even read the author’s blurb!

    I very rarely see let alone read reviews by individuals. And I’ve never given any weight to reviews on Amazon when it comes to books.

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