writing

Thumbs Up to Bad Reviews & Why You Should Let Them Go

thumbs up

Sorry for the delayed released of today’s post but I wanted to help support some fellow authors with reblogs and such this morning.

Back in the good old days of writing, authors had several things going for them. The writing platform was established by the existing publication, distribution and review channels. Sure an author had to show up to book-signings and do interviews but the platform they needed existed largely because of the paradigm of the publishing business.

For a self-publishing author, none of this platform exists. If you are handling publishing on your own, you must build the platform as the publisher and use available distribution to your best advantage according to your budget.

But when it comes to reviews that’s a different story. Back in the day, reviews were done by writers at various publications whose sole job was to read and review books. Those people still exist but they are hard to access mostly because they stick to top authors or established publishers. Otherwise, there are those who run their own reviews based on their tastes or readers express their opinion about the books they’ve read.

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So the review system for a self-published author is one largely based on promotion and the willingness of readers to share their opinions. The main issues with this are reader-discovery and the accuracy of reviews. While reader discovery is a tricky business, it does depend in part on reviews. However, reviews are not so easy to gain and the quality of opinion varies widely. The ability of a reviewing reader also falls into a wide range from someone who may not be a good literary judge to any great degree to those who are quite experienced in literary criticism and how it should be delivered.

To that end, a number of questions could be raised. Should you trust reviews at all? Why should you bother with reviews unless they are from known reviewers? What should you do with bad reviews? Here are a few of my thoughts on these questions for what they are worth (my thoughts, not the reviews).

You should trust and welcome all reviews as a whole – good, bad or otherwise. No, there won’t be accurate ones at either end of the spectrum, however those should balance out. Also, those reviews provide other readers with a balanced view as they decide whether to read your book. Additionally, reviews are what can fuel your sales since most books are sold by word of mouth.

However, what should you do with a bad review? First examine the review itself rather than being offended. Some bad reviews are based on legitimate concerns from the reader about quality – editing, structure, characterization and otherwise. Some people may not get what you’ve written and dismiss it out of hand with a negative opinion. This is fine too since it helps weed out readers based on interest – after all, you don’t want people who don’t like your genre continually giving bad reviews based on their lack of experience or taste with said genre.

In the end, bad reviews are delivered for any number of reasons but you should trust them – even those from people who are just being difficult for no reason. Why? Because the review system is organic and this day of self-publishing there are all kinds of people on the internet offering up their opinion. Since this is the case, you should expect most authors to have their share of unfounded, negative reviews and this is why you should trust the process AND negative reviews no matter if they are helpful or not.

Book Club Badge Suggestion copy (1)How do you get reviews? Well, there are a number of ways. First approach people who have given a favorable review of similar works to yours. You can offer the a free copy for an honest review. You can approach known reviewers, especially those within your genre, however you may wait a while for that to come back. You can also join a book club such as Rave Reviews Book Club where members review books. I’ve found my membership in this club to be very helpful in this regard since the members make every effort to provide each other with honest reviews. By the way, we are featuring authors all month on the Back to School Book & Blog Block Party!

So welcome all the reviews you can get. Work to gain more but also consider what’s being shared for ways to improve your writing. But don’t dwell on them too much or you’ll just be distracted from your writing. And don’t criticize the reviewer – you can’t win that battle so don’t even try.

How do you handle criticism? How do you find your reviewers? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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Brain to Books Blog Tour Featuring The Bow of Destiny

The Bow of DestinyThe Bow of Destiny makes its first blog tour appearance today on the Brain to Books Blog Tour that has been ongoing during August.

Blurb:

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.

The Bow of Destiny is now available for pre-orders at the following locations:

Barnes & Nobel, Kobo & iBooks/iTunes app. Available NOW on Amazon.

 

 

Fantasy Authors Unplugged: Meeting Authors from Brain to Books Blog Tour Pt. 5

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Today continues sharing fantasy authors from the Brain to Books Blog Tour.

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AuthorAshley Capes

Fast Facts

Author: Ashley Capes

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Book: City of Masks from The Bone Mask Trilogy

Official Site

Bio

Ashley is a poet, novelist and teacher living in Australia. He’s the author of five poetry collections and two novels and was poetry editor for Page Seventeen from issues 8-10. He also moderates online renku group Issa’s Snail. Ashley teaches English, Media and Music Production, has played in a metal band, worked in an art gallery and slaved away at music retail. Aside from reading and writing, Ashley loves volleyball and Studio Ghibli – and Magnum PI, easily one of the greatest television shows ever made.

See poetry at http://www.ashleycapes.com and fiction at http://www.cityofmasks.com

CoverBlurb

Waking in Anaskar Prison, covered in blood and accused of murder, nobody will listen to Notch’s claims of innocence until he meets the future Protector of the Monarchy, Sofia Falco.

But Sofia has her own burdens. The first female Protector in a hundred years, her House is under threat from enemies within, the prince has made it clear he does not want her services and worst of all, she cannot communicate with her father’s sentient mask of bone, the centuries-old Argeon. Without the bone mask she cannot help anyone — not herself, and certainly not a mercenary with no powerful House to protect him.

Meanwhile, far across the western desert, Ain, a young Pathfinder, is thrust into the role of Seeker. Before winter storms close the way, he must leave his home on a quest to locate the Sea Shrine and take revenge on the people who drove his ancestors from Anaskar. But Ain’s path is paved with dangers, and threatens the very city that Notch and Sofia are sworn protect.

Read more about City of Masks here…

AuthorC.L. Schneider

Fast Facts

Author: C.L. Schneider

Genre: Fantasy

Books:

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars

Official Site

Bio

Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, I grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. When I was sixteen I wrote my first, full-length novel on a typewriter in my parent’s living room. My main focus is adult epic fantasy, but I also write urban fantasy, and the occasional science fiction or post-apocalyptic story.

I am proud to be a self-published author and a member of the #indiebooksbeseen community. My goal as a writer is to stir emotion and make the reader feel, whether it be good or bad. I believe in writing fearless, and that telling a story as it is meant to be told, is far more important than word count.

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price is my first published novel. The second book in the trilogy, Magic-Scars, was released earlier this year.

CoverMagic Price

Blurb

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races.

Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price.

A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end.

With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.

Magic-Price is the first installment in The Crown of Stones trilogy.

Read the excerpt here…

If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.