Today, I’m giving a shout-out an excellent blog piece by author Cecilia Tan. Cecelia is, of course, an author of some renown in the erotica market, but she’s also a highly respected sports writer and the founder of her own publishing house, Circlet Press.
In her post, Cecelia discusses the importance of not just reading your own reviews, but the reviews of others in your genre, as well. Particularly the bad ones!
Pay attention to what people hated (and loved!). However, you might want to do it with the book in one hand and a handful (not just a grain) of salt in the other. Cecelia notes:
“But this interest in one-star reviews got me reading more of them, not the hilarious ones or the punitive ones, but the ones where people really seemed earnestly angry or upset about a book. And not surprisingly, I found the same phenomenon as in my editing work: The five-star reviews, the critics in trade publications, they would praise something about a book that made the book stand out to them…and those exact same elements would be the things called out in the one-star reviews.”
In other words, you can’t please everybody. And if the reviews are much more positive than negative, you’re doing it right. You’re standing out! You pushed an envelope and it’s bound to make some people uncomfortable while the others rave over your creativity.
Check out the full blog post here, and while you’re there, look through the rest of her blog. There’s a lot of good stuff there and I’ll be following from now on. She’s well worth the read.