When I published 180 Days I was really nervous that people would hate it and wouldn’t take me seriously in what I was trying to convey. The message, you ask?
Everyone deserves to be accepted for who they are, and everyone deserves love.
I knew a lot of my readers would shy away from the book because it wasn’t their ‘cup of tea’, and I was completely okay with that. It was a story that needed to come out. The voices were so loud, so demanding. So I sucked in a deep breath, crossed my fingers and toes, and uploaded it for publication.
What I did not expect, however, were so many 5-star reviews! Seriously. Every time a new review came in, it was 5-stars.
And that began to worry me because no book can be taken seriously if it has all 5-star reviews. Readers don’t trust a book that doesn’t have a variety when it comes to reviews because every book, even the most beloved books, have critics.
But then one day, it finally happened.
And then it happened again. YAY ME!
Then a particular 3-star review came in and I jumped for joy.
A 3-star review made you happy? Are you insane?
I am no stranger to mean reviews – I am no stranger to reviews that personally attack the author.
BUT THIS REVIEW? It’s probably the best review I’ve ever received in the history of ever.
I sent a message to the blogger to see if she’d let me post the review to my author page and this is how our conversation went:
“I was wondering if you would be okay with me sharing your review for 180 Days on my author page sometime?”
“I don’t mind. This is weird. Most author ask me not to share my review if I rate them a three.”
“Well to be honest I think it’s one of the best reviews I’ve ever received.”
“Wow. I’m speechless.”
“I’m sorry if anyone made you feel you can’t share your reviews. There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion, and to be honest I think your review was filled with a rare class. It was perfect in my eyes.”
“To know that I can be honest in my reviews and authors will appreciate it regardless of the ratings is the best thing a reviewer can ever hope for.”
The blogger I had this conversation with is Shy Fabon from Vs. The Writer.
I gotta tell ya, folks. Knowing she was afraid to share her review because of how I would react? That’s not right. It infuriates me, honestly.
Why should such a polite reviewer have to worry about sharing the review she wrote? WHY?
Why would she be afraid of little ole me?
I am aware of the ugliness that takes place in our little indie world. I know that sometimes less-than-favorable reviews are posted and sometimes authors release their hellhounds (aka street teams,etc) to take it down, and sometimes, even worse, bully the reviewer. (Don’t say it doesn’t happen. I know it does.)
I know that reviewers get attacked for leaving their honest opinion on a book, and sadly, they were doing it in the most polite, professional way they could.
I know that this needs to stop.
As it’s been stated again and again, the reviews are for the READERS, not the AUTHORS. (Even though I read mine just because.)
If you don’t like a review, that’s too bad. You have to let it go.
Somebody disliked your book? Oh, well. Maybe the next review to come in from a reader will talk about how much they FLOVED it. (FLOVED. That is apparently a thing now?)
Somebody attacked you personally and didn’t say diddlysquat about the actual book? Yes, I’d have a problem with that, too. Phooey on that.
What I’m trying to say here is if somebody took the time to read your book, feel special. How they feel about it and what they think about it is their business. It’s their right to feel and say what they want – as long as they do it in a respectful and polite way.
DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE BUSINESS OF AUTHORS ASKING PEOPLE TO TAKE DOWN 3-STAR REVIEWS. DON’T EVEN.
Reviewers – Please always post your reviews wherever you want. As long as you’re not mean or attacking the author (especially this!), you’ve done no wrong. You’re simply sharing your opinion and there’s no law saying you can’t.
As an author, I will respect your opinion and I will value what you have to say. If it helps me improve on the next book, that’s even better!
3-stars really do help, I swear. 3-star reviews aren’t the end of the world and they actually make people want to buy your book because it’s more trustworthy.
Reviews, in my opinion, are just like the real world.
It takes lots of different kinds to make it go round, and the same can be said for a book. They thrive on the diversity of opinions.
Please don’t silence yours, reviewers.
We need you.
Authors & Reviewers – Do you have an awesome 3-star (or lower) review you want to share with us? Post it in the comments!
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