Everyone is a book critic
One lesson I have learned since I began publishing my writing is that there will be those who somewhat like or tolerate what I do, those who love what I do and then well, there will always be those who really hate every single word I’ve ever written. And of course, they very often want to tell the whole world in no uncertain terms what they think.
The best litmus test for reviews for me is Goodreads. A social media site dedicated to books and reading. No matter where a reader has sourced one of my books from – Kindle, Nook, Paperback, free or pirated – they can add their ten cents worth.
As a habit, I always click the ‘Like’ button for any review I receive on this site. Good or bad. What I don’t do though is ‘flare’. By which I mean that I never defend my writing when I receive a real ‘killer’ type bad review. Acknowledge yes, but never argue. Even for the likes of one particular reviewer who I just noticed today who seemed to hate one of my books (a free one I might add) and has proceeded to post his review a number of times!
Pleasing all of the people all of the time is an impossibility, and with my rather eccentric view of the world, only some will understand where I am coming from. Probably even fewer will have an idea of where I am going. But my writing style is my writing style and I am saying what I want to say and how I want to say it. In my mind, this is what writing is all about.
My beliefs and passions are very close to me, and although often expressed from an abstract or obtuse angle, every book I have sent ‘out there’ has had a message. I love the underdogs, the losers, the oppressed and hard done by. Probably a product of my disillusionment with the fairness of our society. Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.
It goes without saying though, that I prefer the great reviews. However, at the same time, the bad reviews are necessary I believe. Why? Because it gives prospective readers a balanced view. When I myself see nothing but glowing reviews for a book or writer, I get suspicious. After all, I just can’t read Amanda Hocking but I don’t think any review by me would lessen her popularity.
If you’re a writer, you have to accept the good with the bad. So long as you are writing what you believe in. That’s all that is important.