Monday, January 09, 2023

Handling Reviews as a Writer


by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

If you're published, dealing with reviews just comes with the territory. There are many distinct lines of thought about how writers should approach reviews.

I know a couple of authors who say they never look at their reviews. That it really just messes them up as they're trying to work on another book.

I know writers who sneak peaks at Amazon, but not at Goodreads. Goodreads is a notoriously tough environment for writers, and reviews are often lower on that platform than on Amazon.

It could also be true that an author who's going through a particularly low or vulnerable time might not be in the right place to read their reviews . . . where, during brighter days, they might have looked at them.

Here are some of my practices when dealing with reviews: 

Good reviews. These are day-brighteners. I like to copy-paste mine into a document to look at when I need a little extra validation. It's also helpful to use snippets in your editorial reviews section on Amazon (access it through your Amazon Author Central account).

Bad reviews. In my experience, there are different types of critical reviews. There are some that really don't provide any helpful feedback. Then there are some that may provide some helpful ideas, moving forward with your series. If I see a lot of reviewers saying the same thing, I definitely pay attention and start making notes.

Writing reviews. I actually think I'm a pretty lousy reviewer, so I don't review.  It's a tricky thing, writing reviews as a published author. Avoiding penning critical reviews is a good idea.

 Endorsements work better for me. With the punchier, ad copy style, they’re also more fun to write.

As a general practice, I don't respond to reviews unless a blogger tags me on social media with one. Then I'll thank them for reading my book, regardless of what the review says.  Otherwise, it almost seems like author intrusion for me to comment on the review post.

That's how I handle reviews, but I'm curious to know what you think. Do you read your reviews? How do you handle good and bad ones?

Elizabeth is the bestselling cozy mystery author of the Southern Quilting mysteries, the Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries, the Village Library Mysteries, and Memphis Barbeque mysteries for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently.  Follow her on Twitter where she shares writing links @elizabethscraig or at her blog where she offers tips for writers: .  She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and is the mother of two. Her latest release is A Novel Idea.


Wednesday, January 04, 2023

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, #IWSGPit, and In Darkness: The Werewolf

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s question: Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finish my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year is Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023? Why?

My word will be focus.
Focus on my own work.
Adjust the focus of Dancing Lemur Press.
Focus on health.
Focus on my family.

#IWSGPit is coming!

The next #IWSGPit will be January 25
9:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 25, 2023, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.
Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.

Get the full details here.

The IWSG Goodreads Book Club is reading Fractions of Existence (Existence #1) by J Lenni Dorner and The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass this month.

* * *

Tales From the Valley is up for pre-order now.

In Darkness: The Vampire
comes out February 7.

And I have a working cover for the third book in this series, The Werewolf!

(Due out Sept. 5.)

What is your word for this year?