Please welcome guest blogger Stacey Kennedy
Today I’ve decided to finally step away from my hiding spot and talk about reviews. I will totally admit that the subject unnerves me. I know we’ve all seen those battles online that happen when a reviewer and an author get into an argument, and then it explodes all over the web.
It’s pretty obvious when you receive a negative review the best thing to do is simply ignore it. But I can sympathize with the author. Sometimes reviews feel so personal, so it’s hard not to be offended.
On the other side, I can understand the reviewers’ position, too. I don’t like every book either, so it’s all personal preference. Anyone is allowed to voice their opinion. And sometimes when I read a review I can tell it’s just a giant venting session where someone was so bothered by a book they just have to get out how they felt.
And that’s exactly why I do NOT read negative reviews. It was a hard lesson, but I eventually learned it. Do I still look at reviews? Of course! It’s wonderful to read about someone who loved your story. But I always look at the stars first. I never read a three star review or lower. Ever!
Now I know three star reviews aren’t necessarily bad, but for it not to be a four star it means there is something going to be in that written review that is negative. Not always, of course. Sometimes three star reviews are fantastic, but I’d rather not chance it.
When I was first published I read every single review. I found it very hard to distance myself and not let it affect me. So, yeah, I just avoid reading anything under three stars to keep myself confident and moving along in my writing.
Now up until a few weeks ago, I felt like I understood what was best for me when dealing with reviews. But recently I read something that totally threw me for a loop. It came to my attention that some reviewers don’t like to be thanked for a review. And to say I was shocked is really putting it lightly.
Maybe I had it drilled into my head as a child, but I was always told to have good manners. And it shocks me silly that somehow saying thank you is a bad thing. For me, I can’t imagine not telling someone I appreciate that they took the time to read my book, good or bad review. It just goes against everything I believe in. But what’s an author to do? By thanking them, am I actually doing something wrong?
Leaving names out, some weeks ago, I read a post of a reviewer who touched on this and said that she thought it was rude that authors didn’t thank her. And it just confirmed how confused everyone is over the issue. It honestly seems like no-one can do anything right. Where authors are afraid to say thank you for backlash, some reviewers can’t understand why they’re not being appreciated, while others are perfectly happy to be left alone.
When did reviews get so complicated?
I can honestly admit that the whole reviewing process confuses me. I’m worried to visit a blog in fear I’m going to step on someone’s toes. I’m now apprehensive to thank someone because I have no clue if they’ll frown upon it. But by not thanking them, are they going to think I’m rude for not acknowledging they took the time to read my book? Confusing, right?!
I recently saw another author say that she emails the reviewer directly or responds on Twitter, and since then I have used this method to thank reviewers. But I’d love to hear your opinions on reviews and how you deal with them.
Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and they even give you a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance eBooks bestseller lists.
Frostbite Book Two
Tess Jennings, now a member of the Memphis Police Department, is on her first cold case. The suspected suicide of Lizbeth Knapp ten years ago isn’t a theory her family accepts—they believe she was murdered.
But the case is only one of Tess’s worries. Ghosts are talking, and word of her abilities rapidly spreads. A dark ghost is terrifying the spirits of Memphis, and she must force the entity to cross over.
Tess doesn’t have to do this alone. Not only does she have her ghost-lover, Kipp McGowen, but the department has brought in a medium. Dane Wolfe might answer all her questions, but he also brings a world of trouble. Will Tess finally have all she’s ever wanted, or will everything she’s vowed to protect be ripped away?