One writes a book spending x number of years writing, rewriting, editing, fretting … the book is published and then there are the … reviews. And now I have been reviewed for my latest book, Catch You Later, Traitor.
I know some highly successful writers who have told me they never look at reviews, not one.
I know some highly successful writers who tell me they obsessively track down every review, each one.
I have met reviewers who, when asked if they would like their reviews to be reviewed became indignant.
I have been told by a few reviewers that they don’t care what the writer thinks of their reviews.
I once asked one of these folks if they ever thought how their review might impact a writer’s income. “That’s not my job,” she said, “It’s the risk a writer takes for publically publishing a book.”
Over my many years of publishing I have usually had good reviews of my books. That said, I have never published a book—no matter how successful or how lauded—but that at least one reviewer thought it a poor book.
I have had books reviewed which said “this is a wonderful book.” The same book has been reviewed as “This is a terrible book.”
I have never learned anything about my writing from any one review. That said, if something similar is said in a number of reviews I can, and have, learned a lot.
Things to remember.
Reviews are written for the reader, (or purchaser) not the writer.
There are professional reviewers, and professional readers (librarians, teachers) who can and do write, informed, thoughtful, even interesting reviews.
In these days of blogging, what often passes for reviews are uninformed and subjective responses, quite often personal in their negative comments about the author, and his/her work, indifferent as to the impact of what is said. I recently met an editor who advised her author not to read blog reviews.
Summary: One review of a book is never conclusive. But you can get a sense of a book’s worth by reading say, seven reviews. Try this by looking at the reviews of Catch You Later, Traitor.