Some notes to my future self on reviews

The last week has been exciting. Highland Solution was released on Tuesday September 3, and thanks to the help of a few truly supportive authors and bloggers, I am delighted to tell you it seems to be doing well. As I write this, it is ranked number 28 in medieval historical romance and 31 in Scottish historical romance sub-genres on Amazon (US). It is also thrilling to see three 5-star reviews on Amazon (and 1 on Amazon.co.uk). In fairness the first two were written by people who know me. However, I do not know the person who wrote the third review. She writes:

“This book is exactly what I look for in romances. Great plot, amazing characters and good drama. I’m really hoping this author writes many more books like this one. I’m waiting!”

To the reader, if you happen to see this, thank you. I am so happy you enjoyed it and left this feedback.

I find myself waiting and hoping to see more reviews, preferable only 5-star reviews, but I am not so naïve as to think that is what will happen. Every reader is not going to love this book and I expect that I will hear from them. I like to be prepared so I looked through the reviews of some of my all-time favorite romances to see what other people didn’t like about them. My how enlightening. This is a letter to myself for when those inevitable negative reviews come in.

Dear Ceci,
I suspect you are feeling a little down. I would like for you to remember a few things about negative reviews.

1. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Do you recall seeing comments such as “not enough about history and surroundings,” on a book you loved? What was one reason that you loved it? It focused on the relationship between the hero and heroine and didn’t have too much about history and surroundings. The reviewer of another book complained that it was “90% dialogue.” Highland Solution is heavy on dialogue and doesn’t have tons of history or descriptions because that is the way you like it. Not everyone will.

2. There are some people you can never please. It seems many negative reviewers only seem to leave negative reviews. When you get a negative review, click on “see all my reviews” for that reviewer and take a look. It is hard to know what they might have liked because frequently they don’t seem to like anything.

3. Some people review books in genre’s that they clearly don’t like. If they don’t like historical romances set in the medieval highlands, it stands to reason that they won’t like your book. Do you remember one person who panned a romance that you loved as a “cheap romance” but gave 5 stars to a book in a completely different genre that you thought was overly padded with garbage?

4. There are people who choose to take things personally, try to ignore. You read a review by someone who didn’t even read the book in question but among other things criticized the Celtic designs on the cover because the clan in question was “Norse,” and made the statement that the fictionalized clan in the book “didn’t do intrigue.” Honestly, do I need to go on?

Now, go back and read the positive reviews.
Love,
Ceci

About cecigiltenan

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2 Responses to Some notes to my future self on reviews

  1. I imagine this would be the hardest part of being a published author. Just stay strong and true to your writing voice and everything else will fall into place. 🙂

    • cecigiltenan says:

      Well it hasn’t happened yet, I fear it is inevitable. I think it is always hard to hear criticism even if occasionally there are great lessons to learn there. However, you are right. Each author has their own voice and it is what it is. When an author of light romance is criticized because her novel is light romance she needs to shake that off.

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