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Thread: What do my reviews tell me about my writing?


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Permlink Replies: 3 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Dec 11, 2012 12:26 PM Last Post By: gldrummond
jfed115

Posts: 37
Registered: 07/11/12
What do my reviews tell me about my writing?
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 12:08 PM
 
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I get reviews that tell me "waste of time, amateur hour, totally lacking," as well as reviews that say, "the author really involved you, wow it was so vivid, best in the genre I've read," and to three star reviews that don't say much. It is even across the board. I have no clue where I actually stand.
gldrummond

Posts: 4,734
Registered: 05/08/09
Re: What do my reviews tell me about my writing?
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 12:17 PM   in response to: jfed115 in response to: jfed115
 
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Well, that's a pretty pickle for you, isn't it? :(

If you can both write and tell a story, you had your book(s) well edited, and you feel that you truly did your best on them...I'd say you probably did just fine.

Now, if you can't write or tell a story, didn't bother having your book(s) edited in any fashion, whether you feel you did your best or not, then the negative reviews are probably making good points.

It's difficult to say which it is without having a look at your book(s).
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,547
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: What do my reviews tell me about my writing?
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 12:20 PM   in response to: jfed115 in response to: jfed115
 
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Well, if you have multiple reviews with a broad range, that by itself means you've gotten a lot of readers interested in leaving reviews (something that eludes most indies). It's really hard to draw conclusions from reviews if they are all over the place. Look at a national best seller like George R. R. Martin--his reviews range from "I wish I could give it 6 stars" to "I wish I could give it zero stars."

In your particular case (and without looking at your book), it sounds like you know how to tell a good story. The "amateur hour" comment might however give a person pause, because we indies don't want to come across as rank amateurs--if you're selling your work for money, you're a professional. So ask yourself, did you polish your prose as thoroughly as you could, then get it professionally edited? "Amateur" can mean that the reader was distracted from the story by typos, grammatical errors, sentences that didn't make sense. These sorts of things don't bother some readers at all, but they certainly bother others, so if you think the "amateur" label might apply to the quality of your prose, get an editor and then re-upload the edited manuscript.

Or alternately the "amateur" comment could just be somebody who'd hoped your book was going to be a thriller (or a romance or fantasy or at any rate something it wasn't) and was grumpy, or just didn't "get" it. Every single person who sells well gets negative reviews. Brush them off if they have nothing to do with your book, take them to heart as an encouragement to improve if they do.
gldrummond

Posts: 4,734
Registered: 05/08/09
Re: What do my reviews tell me about my writing?
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 12:26 PM   in response to: jfed115 in response to: jfed115
 
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Another thing to consider: Are your good reviews from people you know? Friends, family, or fellow writers?

If any are, they don't count (and some are likely against Amazon's Review guidelines).

Friends, family, and some fellow writers aren't unbiased. The first two are going to want to support and encourage you. The last group aren't generally going to want to be seen as "mean" (plus may ask you to review their book(s) in the future, so want a good one from you).

If they're all from strangers, well, GO YOU! for having created something that moves people to review it either way. :)
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