Thursday, January 29, 2015

Don't Forget to Review!

One of the things that most authors crave but feel uncomfortable bringing up is the importance of a review. After readers finish one of our books or novellas, we really appreciate people giving us stars and commenting on what they like (or don't like) about our story.

I used to cringe (okay, and sometimes cry) after someone slaughtered one of my "babies" in a negative review, but that's not the case anymore. Now I read what the person had to say with a different mindset. If there is something specific about the story that has an issue, I decide whether or not it's something I can fix … or if I even want to fix it.

My reviews have been all over the place, with some people loving the story and saying it's the best book they ever read, while others slam that same story for various reasons. This tells me that I've managed to evoke emotion through fiction, and that's what most of us want to do.

What I don't appreciate are slams against me as a person and lies to turn prospective readers away. Yeah, you may not believe this, but I've been called names, had readers say I don't know what I'm talking about, and accused me of manipulating my characters. One reader even stated that I've obviously never been to the South because she has never heard anyone call children "young'uns." Really? She has obviously never met any of my Mississippi relatives. And then one reviewer claimed that I had foul language in my books, which is absolutely not true. I am extremely cautious about the language I use in my stories because people of all ages, including children, read them. That reviewer was obviously trying to turn my fan base of Christian readers away. It didn't work.

The negative reviews can also be productive and may even drive people to purchase my stories. One example is when a woman whose father passed away recently cried as she read one of my novellas that opened with the heroine discovering that her father had died. She gave me a one-star review because I took her to a very uncomfortable place. While I don't like to upset people, I do want to evoke emotion. Another reviewer claimed that some of the characters in one of my Summer Walsh mystery series stories (written under my maiden name, Deborah Tisdale) were odd, and she wasn't sure if she liked them, so she'd have to read some more to figure it out. Yeah, that's what I was going for.
To purchase Murder Under the Mistletoe, click HERE.
To purchase Gun in the Garden, click HERE.
Offed at the Office coming soon!

 Readers, I'm asking you to leave reviews on our books so we know how you feel and to give other readers some idea of what to expect. It also provides Amazon and other retailers a compass to determine placement of our books.

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