A Love Letter to Reviewers — 12 Comments

    • Sophia,
      I’m so glad you liked this older blog post (we’ve got more coming!) and thank you for taking time to leave a comment. I always enjoy getting to read your thoughts on our posts 🙂 .

  1. This was a very interesting post. Thank you for sharing it again. The only time I havemade comments about books are on the blogs here. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do in commenting. I never realized comments could mean so much to an author, although, in hindsight, I should have, as a simple thank you from my students parents means a lot. Thank you for the insight.

    • Deborah,
      I’m delighted you liked the post, and I used to be a school teacher, too, so I know just what you mean about those notes from the parents!! There are several of them that I kept because they were so heartfelt and kind… I’m glad you got some precious thank you notes as well :). As for book reviews, don’t feel bad! It wasn’t something I ever thought to do before I became an author. Just like sending emails to a writer I admired. It never even crossed my mind that I could do that, let alone that the writer would actually respond! That’s one of the things I love so much about big blogs like this one — readers and writers all have the opportunity to interact via the comments. I think of it as a big gift for all of us…

  2. When I began reading this blog I noticed that the date was October of 2011. I have only posted a few reviews on Amazon in the past. And I was able to find one author’s e-mail and sent her my accolades when a new book was released. Having worked full time until a little over a year ago, I did not find the time to search on the Internet for web pages or e-mail addresses of other authors. I counted on Amazon’s reviews for my decision on my next book purchase. When I bought myself a kindle just before Christmas and then went on Abigail’s web page to see if she had released anything new I read that over 20 books were on sale at a bargain price so ordered them. I didn’t take the time as I usually do to read all the reviews on Amazon before buying these books. SO I was introduced to some new-to-me authors. Some are delightful and I have already ordered other of their books. Only one was disappointing due to the sexual descriptions, which for me were distasteful. (I have many books with sex scenes but it was how they were handled. I own all of Abigail’s books and you know she has scenes of such in some of her books.) Now I have also made it my goal to not only review all the new books I am reading, but to also go back and post reviews on the books I already own, even if it means I have to re-read such. I am close to having 20 reviews posted on Amazon todate. I also found at the end of reading “Scenes JA Never Wrote” the web page addresses for all those authors. I made note of them, as I would love to contact them directly. Since I own close to 90 books in this genre you can see this is a very ambitious project. As an aside, I also babysit my two 1 and 1.5 year old grandchildren fairly often and they don’t live nearby! I DO READ all the reviews on Amazon usually prior to purchasing a book but now I also read them before I write my own review. I do not have a blog. I am not on FB, although I was in the past but found it had privacy issues. So having found these pages is now my daily connection to “what is happening” in my one world of interest. BTW: I do read other genres, as my adult children are into various books and I want to discuss such with them. Marilyn, you are one of my new discoveries and I have now read 2 of your books and am following the WIP. Good job. Reviews were posted!

    • Sheila,
      My warmest and most heartfelt thanks for all the reading and reviewing you’ve done — not just for me, but on behalf of ALL the authors I know!! The time and attention that you give to your fellow readers and to all the writers whose work you come into contact with, serve to benefit all of us. And the sharing of thoughts on a story — either verbally or in writing — simply raises the level of literacy and narrative analysis across the board. It’s a really wonderful and generous gift! So, again, thank you generally…but, also, my deepest gratitude for reading and reviewing Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match and The Road to you. It was a pleasure to get a glimpse into your thoughts on those stories, and I truly appreciate your having taken the time to share them 🙂 .

  3. You’re right about everyone having different things they like to read. I’m in the medical field and when people ask me what I read the faces I get when I mention romance, chick lit, or NA are just hilarious.

    I love contacting authors when I read and love a book they’ve written. I love it even more when I hear back from them. It makes me feel special too, just the way the author may feel.

    • Chanpreet,
      You’ve always been such a kind, caring and supportive reader and friend! To me, it’s a treat every time I read one of your reviews, esp. for a story I’ve written (!!), and I love getting your comments on blog posts like this one or on FB or Twitter 🙂 . The single BEST part of being involved in a community of both readers and writers is getting the chance to have connections like this. Writing a book is like the opening line of a discussion, and getting responses back from those who’ve read it is hearing the reply…the second line of dialogue and, hopefully, the start of a full conversation!

  4. Thank you for reposting this. It was enlightening. I haven’t reviewed on amazon, but I will read the reviews, unless I am familiar with the author. I do try to comment on these sites, however, but it is mostly just encouragement for a good post. I read some of the reviews and it makes me feel incompetent, so many intelligent people read so much better than I do and can find things written that never would have even occurred to me :)! I have never understood the bad reviewer, but I was brought up with “if you can’t say something nice…” probably not useful for you all, but I can’t find it in my heart to discourage someone who has probably put a lot of their heart, soul, and time into that project.

    • Kari,

      First, I just want to say a huge thank you! It’s actually no small thing, in my opinion, when someone takes the time to leave comments on a blog post 😉 , particularly if it’s one I’d spent a lot of time and thought writing… That is *always* helpful and appreciated!!

      As for reading reviews and thinking that other people are more competent to write them, I’ll just share with you this story about my early days as a reviewer for Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine: I’d applied for the job on a whim — I’d never written a formal book review in my life, outside of reports for school projects — so I’m not sure what got into me and made me decide to try it. The process was online and we were required to write a sample review that followed the magazine’s format, using a book we’d recently read. I figured I’d write two samples because I’d read one great story and one not-so-great story and that would give the editor an idea of what I might say in either case. By the time I sent my application in the next morning, the position had already been filled, so I thought that was the end of it. A couple of months later, though, when they had another opening, the editor contacted me and asked if I was still interested. I said, “Sure!” and then proceeded to panic, LOL. Truly, aside from those 2 sample reviews, I had no experience. But I ended up reviewing for them for 4 years, and what I remember most is my editor saying not to worry about anything other than sharing my honest opinion. That, basically, as readers, we just need to be attuned to what we really *feel* about the story. So, I’ve always kept that in mind. Other readers might say things in their reviews that I find insightful or clever, but I’m the only one that can share *my* honest opinion…

      That said, I’ve never had a problem finding things to praise in a story, even if I found a few issues as well. Being fair and evenhanded is important to me. So I totally agree with your “if you can’t say something nice” philosophy and appreciate that you try to live by that. I do too 🙂 .

  5. I both read and write reviews when I can. I can fully understand when others don’t always agree with my view but I am always disappointed with the self appointed literature police who have the audacity to say that a writer should not be allowed to write another novel. I recently reported one of these whose language in putting down the author I found particularly offensive and was pleased to see that removed it.

    • Hazel,
      On behalf of authors everywhere, I thank you!!
      I’ve been a published novelist for a number of years now and have a pretty thick skin when it comes to narrative criticism, but there is a BIG difference between someone stating a dislike of elements in a novel (a character, a plot point, a description, etc.) and someone who attacks the author him/herself. So, thanks for not only understanding the distinction so well, but also for taking action and telling Amazon that it isn’t appropriate.
      I’ve been fortunate to have had very few occasions where I’ve felt a review was threatening (though one person did say she wanted to “hit me in the head” because she didn’t like a scene I’d written…that was a little scary 😉 ), but I know there are authors who’ve gotten serious threats sent to them, and that’s just never okay.

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