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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Wednesday, March 02, 2005 Darn Delete Key and review hysteria

I keep writing out these really long blogs, then using that oversize delete key to bat em into the stratosphere.

What I wanted to tell you about was my recent battle with reviewitis. or was it reviewphobia? Whatever it was, my anxiety was acting like a nervous bride over the release of Hot Rod Heaven.

Lemme toss some thoughts at you. Strictly my opinions...
1) Based on unscientifically collected data on several occasions, I've accepted the thought that readers are buying books based on blurbs and excerpts and author name as opposed to review ranking. In my own life, I've never bought a book because it got 5 stars (or whatever icon that review site is using). I have, however, found books I might not have otherwise given a second glance by information found in the body of a review--not in the reviewer's comments about it, but in the quick synopsis that usually preludes the opinion portion.

2) I've also heard that readers don't look at reviews because alot of reviewers associate with authors on various message boards and groups and they feel that many reviews are skewed by personal feelings. Could be true, could be not, but I think I can speak for many authors and say that an honest review is better than having hot air blown up your.... (okay... I don't want a 2 star review either, I'm not that stupid. but don't shoot me five stars cuz we're friends....)

3) Some authors have recently voiced an displeasure with reviews that give away too much of the story in their synopsis. Honestly, I think a review that has either incorrect data (I had one for Legend of the Leopard that made me wonder what she was drinking when she read the book, hello!) or doesn't seem to care that it's a romantic suspense and giving away the secret really does ruin the story for alot of people is worse than low stars. This is my opinion: If a book got like 1.5 stars and the written review didn't tell me WHY the low stars, I'd die of curiosity and have to buy the book to figure it out for myself. Could be an awesome story, but the hero was named for the reviewer's cheating, lying sack of poop exhusband and wham... low rating.

4) There's no competition. I've never, and will never, think of reviews as one person comparing my book against another. It's not about who got the most 5 star reviews or special honors, tho sure, a consistency there means an author's worth a read, eh? This isn't the Olympic figure skating meet where the best book wins. I certainly hope my opinion on this is point is the norm.

See? I'm logical, I know all this. And still, I sweated the email that listed the reviews of the day.
And I was a dork for all of it, cuz I've gotten several very nice responses. Thanks to those who took the time to read my book, speak honestly and NOT give away the ending :)

The best review so far isn't the 5 star (tho that does look good in print)... it's the one who used the terms unique and different and distinctive to describe the story. Now that's a good review.

Does that mean I'm perfectly calm, cool and collected... wait. I never am that. hmmm. Does that mean I'm leaning forward in my chair waiting for that little blue envelope in the corner of my monitor to tell me I'm receiving mail? Uh...that'd be a no. I still open them slowly, scan the list with my knees knocking under the desk.

After all, that book out there is my baby. When I put it in that perspective, the whole bit of trepidation on my part makes perfect sense. I've just sent my kid off to their first day at school. I want them to make friends, be accepted and liked. I want them to come home with good grades. Even more, I want them to be themselves and be accepted for who and what they are.

~Mel, who's feeling Soooooooo much better now :)

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:13 PM :: 3 comments

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