Reviews…good, bad and excruciating!

imageAh reviews. We authors live and die by them. A five star review on Amazon? Woo hoo! That link is going to be posted everywhere in my cyber world. A measly THREE stars from Romantic Times? Grrrr. That’s not even going to make my web page. Glowing reviews or horrible ones, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. While I’d love to believe that I am the amazing author I imagine myself to be, in reality I’m just a hard working gal who’s trying to get a bit better with each book. The same is true of the horrifying reviews (“Mentink should never be allowed within spitting distance of a keyboard again!”) If the review is a personal attack, I’m going to discount the vitriol, but generally there’s a kernel of something in there which is the truth. Characters a little flat? Ouch, but I’m going to remember that when I dive into my next novel and try to improve. I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t hurt. I can read ten five star reviews, but the one that’s going to stick with me is the one suggesting that my dog could have penned a better novel. Reviews come with the territory and nine times out of ten there’s something to be learned from them (even the bad ones!) Below I’ve posted links to two of my reviews (one good and one not so good) so you can see what I mean. The second is from a reviewer who felt that I focused too much on plot to the detriment of the romance. It hurt to hear it, but it made me want to improve in that area.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R390OLQXCEUCB7/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00I66BRFC

http://romancing-the-book.com/2014/03/review-force-of-nature-by-dana-mentink.htm

Do you recieve criticism in your work or personal life? How do you handle it? Giving away a Dana Mentink and Alison Stone book this month and a Starbuck’s gift card. Appreciate your comments!

 

 

 

 

 

13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shanda on July 23, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    If the criticism is true, you will eventually come to that conclusion yourself. Some can be eye-openers even when they are face-slappers. A five-star is what we all want, but I doubt they would stick with me like a 1/2 star or make me as fired up to prove myself better. Now, if it’s just vitriol, um, phooey on them. 🙂 And other blessings. May your cat be standoffish and your water tepid.

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  2. Posted by obsessed with books on July 19, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Criticism can be hard for me to take and even to give. For me, if its constructive it is easier to take, but if what I’m being criticized about is something I’ve worked really hard on, my feelings can be hurt by it. If it’s something I didn’t put as much into, then on some levels I accept that I may deserve it. When giving criticism, especially when I’m working with someone new, I try to make a suggestion “Maybe next time you could…” or with my kids “what do you think would have been a better thing to do next time you’re in this situation?” Either way, its not enjoyable.

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  3. well I love all your books !! 5 stars !!

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  4. Posted by Laurie I on July 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I couldn’t see the not-so-good review, the link didn’t take me to it.
    I’m not a writer, but we all need a bit of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism here or there if we want to improve in whatever it is we’re doing in life. It’s not easy to swallow, but maturity should allow us to take it and use it to get better. For example, my hairstylist is excellent at what she does, however, she’s completely unreliable when it comes to keeping appointments, she’s ALWAYS late, and she’s just not professional on many other levels. Well, I tried to tactfully help her to appreciate how important it is to respect her clientele and their schedules, especially since she wants to grow her business, but she immediately went on the defensive and came up with all sorts of excuses for her bad behavior. Clearly, she won’t get too far in her business with that attitude. I think it’s probably the same for any professional. To improve you have to be willing to listen to the good as well as the bad. If you do, the end result will spell greater success. That’s just my humble little opinion.

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  5. Posted by Carlene on July 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    :”Too wordy and difficult to follow…I was frequently bored at the frequent digressions.” That’s part of what a reviewer wrote in a on-star review of Moby-Dick on Amazon. So take heart! Even the classics are panned from time to time.

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  6. That is something I need to work on. I don’t take it very well (get emotional), and I need to learn from it and make changes (applies to work and personal).

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