Saturday, May 05, 2007

Coming Soon...

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~ Robert Brault

Woo Hoo! I'm excited...

My next Wild Rose Press short story , "Miles From You", will be released on Wednesday, May 9th! Write it on your calendar -- I did, in red ink.

Here's the blurb:

It's 1948, and thirty-four year-old diner owner Millie Townsend is well on the shelf. Millie's fallen hard for regular customer, Paul Whittier, a veteran of World War II and a civil engineer. When she discovers he's accepted a new job out of state and it's their last evening together, how can this ultra-shy spinster find the nerve to show she's interested in more than just friendship?
I don't think I'll ever get rid of that sick feeling in my gut when something is released. Simple fact is this: Not everyone will like my writing. I've downloaded some stories at TWRP that I loved, and some that I hated. All the authors wrote from their heart (I assume!) and wrote something they liked, in the hope that everyone else would like it, too.

Melissa mentioned that she took a look at one of her books on Amazon that recently received three reviews. One really liked it, one thought it was okay but not a keeper, and one really disliked it (yes, Melissa, I peeked). That's tough.

The worst thing is that, typically unless you have a huge response to something, you don't mention it. Unless you really LOVED something or truly HATED it, you'll remain quiet. There are probably a bunch of folks who read her book and really liked it but didn't LOVE it (as in: the best book I've read in years), so didn't bother to review it. I'm guilty of that.

What about you? Do you take the time to write reviews of what you read? Do you think they matter in the long run? Do you think negative reviews matter more than positive ones? What is your opinion on reviews in general?

7 comments:

Mia King said...

I think reviews are one of the hardest things for a writer to accept, though it's obviously a tad easier when the review's a good one! As an author who's gotten all sort of reviews, mostly good ones but a few totally lousy ones, I'm sure I'm not saying anything new when I say you just can't take it personally. It either works for someone or it doesn't.

I think a negative review does more harm than a positive review does good, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't leave one if something doesn't work for you. I think there are ways to be kind about something that doesn't suit your taste.

But if you're an official reviewer, I suppose there's a feeling of obligation to report "the truth." And a lot of us are too busy to make up our own minds or give something a try, so a review, especially from someone we like or trust, helps us make decisions. I think reviews are just part of the whole package and, in some cases, there may even be a nugget of truth that you can take and learn from.

In the two worst reviews I received, I actually thought to myself, "They have a point." They actually did. I had more loyal readers defend me, but actually, I could see how areas could have been better developed, etc. So at the end of the day I take it with a grain of salt, and if there happens to be something good I can learn from, that's great!

Allie Boniface said...

I don't put a lot of stock into reviews, mostly because they're *so* subjective, obviously. I've read reviews and later completely disagreed with them, once I finished the book. I think most readers I know trust word of mouth from their friends more than written reviews.

MaryF said...

I would think the worst thing about being published is the reviews.

Tag! Come to my blog to see!

Diane said...

Marianne,
Congratulations on your story being released soon!

I take the time to write reviews, especially for some Samhain authors. There are a few with such great books but they aren't doing very well in sales. I post reviews at the online bookstore, chat loops, and etc.

I've received good reviews from online reviewers but my ebook sales are pitiful. I don't know if the RT reviewer helped that much on sales for my print book.

I buy a book if I like the excerpts. Also if friends recommend certain books, then I'll go see if they look interesting to me.

Craig said...

Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.

There are two reasons to write. One is to write for yourself, the other to write for your reader.

I started writing for myself and truth be told, it was awful, not just awful, gawd-awful. So then I started writing for other people and it got a little better and then turned into a bland stream of words. So then I started writing for myself again and I sprinkle a little of for-the-reader in it and it seems to be better, though I'm never happy with my results.

Someone somewhere will always hate what you do. That's why it's easier to write for yourself.

Do your best to put together a piece that you are happy with. There will always be someone who disagrees with your point of view, your word choice or your pros, but if you are more or less happy with it, who cares? You'll do better then next time round.

Craig

Gay said...

I write reviews of what I'm reading and post them on my own blog "just because"--I do not post them out in the big wide world for the everyone else to see except for one of two reasons: either I really loved the book and I think the author deserves the praise, or else the book had so many flaws that I think I do other readers a favor by pointing out the issues honestly so they can make a decision before purchasing.

I try never to say "this is the worst book I've ever read," but rather things like "I found this book difficult" or I didn't enjoy this book as much as I'd hoped" for X, Y and Z reasons when I give a negative review. Somebody somewhere obviously appreciated the book or it wouldn't have been published. And some (perhaps most even) might not agree with me.

I gave a mixed review recently to a book that could have been my all-time favorite, Cage's Bend because the author kept throwing in gratuitous sex scenes that disrupted the flow of the plot and frankly were so disturbing to me that I nearly put the book down. I'm not a prude, but the book verged on becoming a graphic novel. Had the quality of the writing not been otherwise so compelling, and the plot (minus the sex scenes) so well-written, I'd have given up. But to me, a book that could have been the next Catcher in the Rye fell from an A++ grade to barely passing--and to one I could not share with my daughter.

Why, I asked myself, did the editor let the author destroy a masterpiece like that? It didn't need sex to sell. A discretely closed bedroom door would have worked wonders. The book, you see, explored the havoc mental illness can wreak on a family, even resulting in the suicide of the healthy brother who could no longer stand the pressure of having to be the mentally ill brother's keeper.

The author really got his characters right. He picked the right POV, he has his conflict down, he understands mental illness, and he dissects it and its affect on the family from all aspects--and he makes the reader care. You're in it for the journey--so much so that you grit your teeth and hang on, even when he adds those scenes that have no business being there.

So yes, I write reviews--but not always. The books that are "just OK" only get reviewed on my blog, if at all.

Tori Lennox said...

When I was writing reviews, even if I didn't like a particular book I tried to say something nice. I don't see why reviewers have to be so nasty.