Friday, November 23, 2007

Reviews: A Diverse Opinion

“My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.” - Ashleigh Brilliant

I have a tendency to haunt my Fictionwise page after a release to see what people rate it over there. Because it is anonymous, I suspect people feel very free to be brutally honest.

What amazes me (besides the fact so few folks actually bother to rate stuff -- I know what I sell there, and the percentage of reviews to sales is exceptionally low) is that there is such a diverse opinion range on my stories. For my "Recommended Read" from Fallen Angels Reviews, "Miles From You", I have rec'd a "good" and an "ok". My most recent release, "The Christmas Curse" has rec'd two "Great" ratings and one "ok". I suppose I should be thankful that I haven't rec'd any "poor" ratings yet. Plenty of fellow authors have.

It shouldn't surprise me, I suppose, when I consider how I don't like so many very popular authors (Diana Gabaldon and Janet Evanovich to name two), so it's clear how different people can be.

Still, it's heartbreaking when someone thinks your baby is plain. But, that's the price you pay for getting your work out in front of people. I suppose it's a decent tradeoff.

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Anyone going shopping today? I considered it, but there just weren't big enough deals on anything I wanted to entice me into that mess. PLUS, many places are offering free shipping today for online orders AND have their same specials online. Can't beat that!

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9 comments:

Charity said...

I wouldn't say an OK = plain. The ratings system is so inflated, like job performance reports. Back when I was in the Army, your rater pretty much had to say you walked on water, otherwise, you were screwed.

In my own private ratings system (which I don't share, since it would only cause hurt feelings), an OK, or a 3-star rating means the story or novel was good, worth my time and money. I enjoyed it. I'll most likely read more from the author.

It doesn't equal plain, or bad. It means it was a good, solid read. And that's nothing to be ashamed of.

I have very few true five-star ratings in my collection. For me, five stars = life altering experience. The story touched me on several levels, as a reader, as a writer, and the content was probably very specific to me.

I'm never surprised when my five stars = one star for someone else.

Okay, this is turning into a blog entry of my own. I should probably go post it on my blog instead of filling up your comments box.

Love ya, sweetie--don't sweat the reviews.

Diane Craver said...

I forgot to go to WRP and leave a review. I'll get over there this morning and post. I loved your story "The Christmas Curse" but that's true I don't always like books by the big name authors. I do like one of Evanovich's earlier romances. It's The Rocky Road to Romance. Very cute and lots of quirky characters!

Allie Boniface said...

Just got back from holiday shopping...ugh. Got some good deals but also stood outside in a line at 5:30 in the freezing cold to get them. Still not sure it was worth it...

And yeah, I got a pretty poor review for ONIB a while back: "Did not like the book...not worth the money." That took me a little while recover from.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I don't do the Black Friday thing. Ever. I agree with Charity - I think so much of the publishing, ratings, etc. world is such a crap shoot.

Tori Lennox said...

I think ratings can be so subjective, though. What works for one person won't work for another. But *hugs* anyway.

Dru said...

I loved your Christmas Curse story.

I didn't intentionally go shopping but it just happened, but much much later in the day after all the deals were over.

anno said...

Shopping? Bah humbug! Not me! I'd much rather slave in the kitchen.

My husband does the job -- contributing to the continuation of the American consumer economy -- over the Internet.

anno said...

Also, I'm with everyone else on the reviews and ratings systems: they suck.

FWIW, your stories make me happy. (Also, they always make me cry. Every time. But it's a nice kind of crying.)

Melissa said...

Marianne - the whole review thing is just part of publishing. Like revisions and rejections. Hmm. They all start with R. Just realized that. Anyway, the best thing it to not even look at them. As long as your editor likes the book you've written and you're pleased with it, too, you've done your job.