Sunday, February 26, 2006

Words to live by

So, I got a review today. Now, I don't normally talk about my reviews or books much because well, it's sorta like PROMO to me and this blog has been more therapy than a forum to share my work. Angie put my book covers up and bless her heart, I have no clue how to add more. Snort.

Anyhoodles, I got this review today and it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. And that's okay, cuz I'm all about having an opinion. I've said that before because it's really true. Not everyone is going to like you and not everyone is going to shower you with fives ect. In my time as a writer, I've mostly gotten great reviews. I've had a couple that were so-so. Nothing so awful I want to lay down and die. But my time WILL come. It has to. I tremble at the idea of ever hitting Amazon and having folks call my stuff skanky. LOLLOL. When you get into a bigger arena, there will be more people to comment on your work. The more people comment, the less your chances increase that you'll be globally loved.

However, the reason I'm posting about this review is because the reviewer did a bang up job of explaining what she didn't like and I sooo appreciated that.

If you'll recall the big hulabaloo over reviews on Amazon, it involved scathng reviews that were written with an angry keyboard and had no purpose other than to bash and whine because they blew 6.99 on a book.

Yet, this reviewer, according to her, a fan of my work, was very succinct without being nasty and for that, I was grateful to read what she didn't like done with a constructive slant. She said the dialogue was choppy and she didn't like the pacing. So, in essence, it fell flat for her.

See how easy that is? Well said and totally something I, writer of said book, can understand.

So, I want to thank this reviewer. I won't name her, nor will I direct you to the review, but I will say, the review didn't upset me other than I disappointed her since she was used to reading something of mine and enjoying it. I'll send her off a thank you note for reviewing it too. I want to thank her because she was honest and clear.

In this writing game, as you become more widely recognized, have more books released, you're bound to have some so-so reviews or even some horrible ones. It's a lesson to all of us that if you're already humble about your work -- if you're not running around telling everyone you're the best thing since the development of boxer breifs -- if you're not shamelessly promoting yourself with every breath you take -- the criticism, no matter how big or small -- isn't so awful to hear. You can learn from them and move on to the next book. If you do those things I mentioned above, you believe your own hype, then the fall is much harder to take.

See, you can't fall down the ladder of success, crack a rib and break an arm if your steps are tentative and sprinkled with humility :) You might sprain and ankle, but you can wrap that and be back on your feet in no time.

Dakota :)


  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger Sam said…

    This is a great post Dakota!!!
    Once I got a review from a gal who didn't like my book, and idem - she told why. It was actually incredibly helpful and constructive. So, I wrote her back thanking her for her review (Sincerely thanking her - and telling her why I appreciated her review of my book)
    Well, she wrote me back one of the nicest e-mails I've ever gotten, and said that my letter was posted on her computer to remind of of why she loved being a reveiwer so much.
    (End of story - violins stop playing, lolol)
    I totally get where you're coming from. As an author, rave reviews are Great for the ego and they probably sell a lot of books.
    But a good constructive critical review is invaluable if you want to make progress and write better.

    OK - I jst have to add that my scrambled letters to post are:
    FucrKzzrd (just so you know.)

  • At 12:02 PM, Blogger Maura said…

    Good post Kota. When I write reviews I try very hard to give the readers and the author know why I liked and/or didn't like something.

    What use is the review otherwise, really?

    It sorta goes with my theory that reviews whose synopsis section are a cut and paste with maybe a few minor changes from the blurb the publisher released aren't as worth reading. I can't even tell that they read the work themselves!

    But, I'm a tad ... opinionated...ya know :)

  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Dakota Cassidy said…

    Well, thanks, girls. I've had three or four so-so reviews before this and sure, they sting, but more than anything, I'm disappointed that I disappointed a fan. Someone who reads my work and calls me a favorite, ya know? I've written like 25 e-books, three or four reviews - that aren't favorable --is certainly a lot less than my due.

    However, I appreciated the input and the comments because every book just can't be a hit with everyone. There are going to be books that reviewers just don't like. When they come to expect a particular pattern from you, I think it's okay to say they didn't like the path you took this time 'round :)

    Dakota :)

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger Jaynie R said…

    but I want to know damn it. You know I can't handle it when I don't know stuff *pout*

    A good reviewer like that is hard to find, pity she didn't like the book but glad she wrote about it honestly.

  • At 7:48 AM, Blogger Paige Burns said…

    I used to review and it's not an easy job to be honest about the book, but I was and I was surprised that a certain publisher didn't ban me from reviewing their books! LOL.

    My very first review was so-so and I was so nervous I couldn't even read it. So I had Mr. Burns read it and he got pissed, because the reviewer pointed out the story's flaws, albiet in a constructive way. It was nice and made me smile that he got defensive for me, but you know what? The reviewer was right. It was my freshman effort and everything she said could have been improved on, and I hope with each story I get written, they'll get better and better as I learn from my mistakes.


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