This weekend I found another 'review' of Deadlier... - it was purely by chance and I was a little surprised by the whole thing to be honest.
I was surprised in a number of ways...
I was surprised that someone who hadn't even read the book could think that he was in a position to review it. I was surprised that he chose my book and I was surprised that I wasn't bothered in the slightest by his written vindictive bile - in fact, it had me giggling - a lot! I was so amused by it that I wrote a status on my Facebook about it.
When I first published Deadlier... than the Male in 2010, if asked at that time, I would have said that I was very precious about my book and that I wouldn't be prepared to take negative criticism. I think I would have been upset by hurtful remarks and though I'm usually a very strong person, it's my book, my creation - my baby - that is held up in full view of the world. I think that my 2010 self would perhaps have been a little upset by this and perhaps my 2010 self would have thought that I wouldn't change in that viewpoint - how wrong would I have been?
I'm not saying that my first effort is perfect, no, not at all but I wouldn't go back and change it now. It is what it is and except for the few typos and one piece of clarification that was added recently when I changed the cover, I won't alter it now. It's done, finished and complete.
Book reviewers and the reviews that they write are very useful things. They can give a potential reader the added prod needed to complete a sale, they can tell the reader if they would be wasting their time buying the book and they can tell a reader that the book is as good as, better/worse than or totally different from what they are expecting. I appreciate each and every review that appears on websites, blogs, Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Shelfari and the like - not mine and not just just because they are all good reviews but because they are all honest (I believe).
A review can tell you whether you would probably like the book but it can't tell you whether you'd like the way the book was written - that is something you'd have to find out for yourself. Amazon and Smashwords go a little way to helping that sticky issue by giving a little preview, snippet or taster of the book you're looking at.
Between the reviews and the taster, the reader has a pretty good idea of what they can expect from the book so it's all good... isn't it?
Well, it is until you get a 'reviewer' who isn't actually reviewing the book. The site I found was quite nasty toward some of the books he was 'reviewing' - nasty, insulting and vicious and for no good reason except that apparently he didn't like the cover. The 'reviewer' ONLY reviews covers of books and lucky me, mine caught his eye. The review of Deadlier... wasn't all that bad compared with some others and the double standards between the 'reviews' does make me wonder whether he actually takes in what he's writing or not. Some of what is criticised on my book (cover) is replicated in reviews he wrote earlier... so what gives?
Anyway back to my point... (yes, this time, I have one).
Reviews, good or bad, middle or indifferent are ALL good - if someone is talking about your book, it's far better than no-one talking about your book and there will always be some who will buy a book with a bad review just to see what the hell the fuss is about - just look at Fifty Shades, it was slated for being a badly written, badly edited, terrible story and people started buying it in droves, just to see why someone was talking about it!
You don't like my book? OK, no worries but if I have inspired you to write about it, then that's good enough for me. Keep on talking about it - please!