Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dealing with Authors, Reviews, and the Like!

I'd posted this in Friday's "And Now For Something Completely Different," but as the conversation continues to grow, I wanted to touch upon it once more.

If you missed J. Kaye's post about author reactions to poor reviews, go read it here: J. Kaye’s Book Blog

It's incredibly insightful and delves into many areas. Most of the book bloggers have enjoyed only positive experiences with authors, which is good! They also discuss review policies and dealing with publishers & publicists vs. dealing with authors. (Since I rarely do reviews, I prefer dealing directly with an author.)

I'd left a comment and then emailed J. Kaye an additional thought. At her prodding, I posted it as a comment as well:

I'd like to add food for thought for authors - don't give up after a less than stellar review.
A reviewer posted a 3 out of 5 review for Book II of my series. And while I was a little bummed, I listened to her objection - the characters had no money struggles, which made the story less dramatic for her. (Both main characters came from wealthy families, so money just wasn't an issue.) Before Book III was released, I contacted her again, as the characters in that book DID struggle with money big time! And guess what? A 4 out of 5 for Book III!
This past Tuesday, Debbie’s World of Books posted a 4 out of 5 for Book IV, claiming it's the best one yet.
I am SO thankful I did not give up on Debbie - and even more so she didn't give up on my series! Perhaps if all authors just stopped and considered the fact that ONE book might not be THE one that rocks a reviewer's world - but the next just might.

So, authors and book bloggers, what are your thoughts?

And thanks J. Kaye for posing such a great question!


Crystal Clear Proofing said...

I'm happy to hear the enthusiasm and optimism back in your words with regard to your books, reviews...

I can't commend you enough on how truly inspirational and uplifting they the COF books are, BTW!

I know you asked for input from authors and book bloggers, but had to offer my two cents. Ever wonder about that? Poeple will say "a penny for your thoughts." What happens to that other penny when you ofer your two cents?

Have a great Sunday, Diane!! :>)

A Good Blog Is Hard to Find said...

Every reader picks up a book with their own likes and dislikes and interests. You're right, Diane--we should keep our perspective on bad reviews...we're all different. And they might really like our next book.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Helen Ginger said...

Readers are different. Even reviewers are different. What one person loves, someone else is lukewarm about or even hates. If you get a bad or lukewarm review, you have to shrug it off. Now, that's a whole lot easier to say than do, but if you don't, it's difficult to move forward.

Straight From Hel

Adele said...

As a reviewer I am happy to leave "I loved it, buy it now" at that but if i didn't love it, I feel I owe it to everyone to explain why, after all not everyone looks for the same things I do.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's right! As writers, WE don't like everything - why should we expect reviewers to be any different.

Bad reviews should only concern us if that is ALL our book receives - otherwise, water off a duck's back.

Anonymous said...

L. Diane Wolfe, you are an asset to the book blogosphere. You lead by example.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Wouldn't go that far, but I do believe we are all here to enrich one another's lives. That means we need to use our brains and some people skills!

Marvin D Wilson said...

Not all reviews are going to be glowing lauditory praises of your work. Different strokes for different folks, and some reviewers just won't like a book as much as others. I used to get down if I got a less than 5 star review, but that's just rookieness. Look at Stephen King's reviews or Nora Roberts. Even THEY get occasional 3 & 2 start reviews. Getting a 3 & above star (or whatever rating equivalent) from a real pro reviewer is GOOD!

So take everything with a grain of salt, now who and what you are, believe in yourself and keep on keepin' on.

The Old Silly

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Marvin, can I take it with a grain of garlic salt? I really like that spice!

Creative Chronicler said...

You always have such wonderful insight. Thanks for another great post and an author's point of view.

Creative Chronicler said...

You always have such wonderful insight. Thanks for another great post and an author's point of view.

Creative Chronicler said...

You always have such wonderful insight. Thanks for another great post and an author's point of view.

~Sia McKye~ said...


As you know, I read a lot. Even some of my favorite authors write books that aren't as good as book# whatever. Some premises will grab you and some won't. I don't stop reading these authors.

As an author, you have to realize not everyone is going to like everything about your work. So what? Don't let it get you down. If you love what you do, you keep writing stories that connect emotionally with your readers. Realize there are some emotions that readers don't like to be connected with and will react negatively when you make that connection with them. You still did your job. You connected.

As for reviews, I review books that I wouldn't normally go out and buy. But I read them and listen to the authors voice, character development, premise, readability, and whether it connects me to the characters. Do I feel something when I read it. I write my review accordingly and not what's popular.

Granted there have been a few books I've had to have discipline to read because they're NOT something I would normally pick up for entertainment and diversion. That's WHY I read. And I'm fair. Something I don't like, I'll mention it--tactfully, but I won't trash it. WHY?

If it's really bad and trust me, there have been a few of those, I simply let the publicist know I can't write a good review on it. Or let the author know, I'm not the person to review this particular book.

Good article, Diane.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I do very few reviews any more but when I did, I followed Sia's approach. I see no reason to put out a terrible, slash-and-burn review. Just won't do it. On the other hand, I think it's important to remember that reviews that aren't all raves tend to be viewed as more trustworthy so at least one suggestions for the author can actually be doing him or her a favor. That favor doubles in useability if the author is open to suggestions. (Open being different from automatic acceptance! (-: ).
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

PS: Please see my review site at If you decide to submit a review, please follow the guidelines on the left.

Creative Chronicler said...

Excuse the multiple duplication. My computer was acting out last night. It enjoys your work so much it just wanted to tell you multiple times.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I appreciate your computer's enthusiasm, CC!

Debbie's World of Books said...

I have to say, you have been one of my favorite author's to work with! You always leave such great comments on my blog and you write some great books. I started off so-so after book 2 and am a huge fan now :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you, Debbie!
I'd sent that response to J. Kaye in an email and she insisted I post it for the world to see.
And I am very glad you did not give up on my work!