Oh, God. I wish I wouldn’t read my reviews. I really wish I wouldn’t. Eventually, once one of my books starts getting some of the more critical ones, I do stop. But I can’t help myself starting out.
I used to read them all, because my thought was that if a reader went to the trouble of writing a review, it might have advice for me. After all, “the customer is always right.”
But I’m calling bullsh*t.
Some reviews (not just for my books, mind you—I’ve seen it happen with other authors as well) can be downright hateful. My thought has always been that folks are entitled to their opinions, including if they feel the need to be nasty, but that doesn’t mean I have to read it.
That said, I usually read early reviews. I just can’t help myself.
And I’ve been FLYING HIGH with the reviews Feverish has received. Yes, I’ve gotten a couple of lukewarm ones and one that said the reader flat-out hated the book (she said she felt that she had been “lied to” because everyone but herself liked the book), but it was doing great on Amazon.
And then…the first one-star review.
It’s always bound to happen. That old saying “You can’t make everyone happy” exists for a reason. No matter how fantastic I or a lot of readers think one of my books is, someone is going to hate it. That’s a given. The first one-star review Feverish received on Amazon, though, left me scratching my head. The reader was complaining that, because Bullet was written in first person, Rock Bottom and Feverish should also have been written in first person. First off, this person is obviously not familiar with my entire catalog of books. Only two have been fully first person—Bullet and Then Kiss Me—and I’ll even give you that a large chunk of Quickies was written in first person. However, that leaves eighteen of my books that were—you guessed it—written in third person. I won’t say never, but I will probably never write a book told from the male’s perspective in first person. I am not a man. While I feel confident enough to write third person from a man’s perspective, I do not feel up to the task of writing first person point of view in a man’s voice.
Again, this reader is entitled to her opinion and I will not address her directly. I would never do that, because I don’t feel it’s right. I needed to vent, though. I wanted to ask her why she didn’t read the sample first and then decide it wasn’t for her. Actually, she probably did, because it’s not a verified purchase. I just feel like reviews should be legitimate, if that makes any sense. Bullet got a one-star review early on from one reader who said she was giving it one star because others had—she admitted outright that she hadn’t read it herself.
But I digress. The other point I wanted to make is that I write what the story calls for. I feel most comfortable writing in third person, which is why a majority of my books are written that way. Sometimes, though, a book calls for first person, and Bullet happened to be one of them. I am not going to be bullied by a reader into writing something that doesn’t work for the story. I like my heroines to be an important part of my stories, and that’s why both Rock Bottom and Bullet have dual points of view. I am writing my first book told completely from a male perspective right now—Fully Automatic. It’s told from Brad’s point of view (make no mistake, though—it’s not just a retelling of Bullet). But guess what? I’m telling it in third person, so…bring the one-star review. I’m not changing it just because one would-be reader feels the need to be nasty. I know other authors who might cave to that kind of pressure, but I know this—there are lots of quiet readers out there (meaning non-reviewing readers) who loved the book just the way it is…and those folks are the ones I’m writing for. You don’t like my stuff? Don’t buy it. Don’t read it. Go away and read something else. I don’t want your business.
Okay, I’m shutting up now. Sorry to vent. I hope you forgive me.
I also need to stop ranting because it’s NaNoWriMo, and Jade’s got two books to write. Oops! Third person!
Love to you all—yes, YOU. If you’re reading this, you’re one of the folks I’m writing for.
Oh…one more thing. My blog posts will probably always be written in the first person…mostly. 😀