I would like to start this post by saying thank you to the honest reviewer. Without you, navigating an industry as large as this would be impossible.
So as I was getting ready for work this morning, reading the WSJ mobile app, I got a notification on my email. Brinwood had received a new review; a new three star review. I, being more sensitive than I care to let on, of course allowed my imagination to take control. All I could think about was a shadow face behind a keyboard with a wide fanged grin cackling as they told the world what a shitty writer I was.
This of course wasn't the case, but my imagination (especially in the morning as the coffee is still taking its effect) has a mind of its own. When Safari finally loaded and I read the review, I was actually sort of flattered. Sure the star count was meh, but the review was absolutely fair:
"It was pretty good, but a little too much violence for me."
It actually made me grin a bit. I read it a second time and thought to myself, "this could be good." I don't know about you but when I'm looking up books to read I often start with the critical reviews. I don't know why, but I feel like I get more of an understanding for the book when I read what people disliked about it.
I then applied this method to my own book. If someone like me were to look up Brinwood and read a review saying it's a good story with excessive violence, I mean that could be what's best for my book. Those who know they don't like violence will take a pass and those who are further intrigued may take a risk.
So, as I said at the top of this post, thank you. Thank you to all the honest reviewers out there for the honest job you are doing. Buying a book is an expensive investment, not of money but time. No one wants to feel cheated out of days of their life on a misguided review. Your efforts ensure those who buy our books are the right audience, the audience who will get the most out of our work.
So thank you.