So anyways, it’s Wednesday- and that means a writing post…or a post about writing…or about something that I am writing…well, you get the idea.
I’m also conscious, though, that I signed up earlier this month with Agent Mystery Case to write about something that I wouldn’t normally write about- something that confronted me, exposed me, and scared me…to blog like there was no one reading.
So here it is…deep breath…I don’t read my reviews…and yes, I’m aware of just how pretentious and Kardashian that sounds.
I am, of course, talking about the reviews for Baby It’s You. I know that there are some out there- apparently on the Aussie Amazon site, on Goodreads, and one on Amazon.com…but aside from the first one left by Debbish, I haven’t read them. I’m grateful for them- immensely so…I just haven’t read them.
How do I know that they’re there? My friends have told me. They’ve also told me that they’re good. I love that people have taken the time to read my book and write something nice about it. I like that people have told me that.
So why haven’t I looked? Because I’m scared that I might accidentally read one that’s not so good…or downright bad.
My skin, you see, is paper thin- and yes, I’m aware that in the game I’ve chosen to be in, that’s not a good thing. I’m the type of person who could read 125 reviews and dwell only on the one that said something like ‘chick lit is crap’ … or perhaps even ‘why isn’t there anything in here about my Pluto transit…and you call yourself an astrologer?’
I’m the same in the partition. I’ll work my arse off on a presentation to get everything just right- making sure that every box is ticked, every i tittled (that was on my omgfactoftheday calendar as a fancy pants word for dotting i’s) every previous piece of feedback is incorporated. Then, when a new box is created to be ticked, a new i needing tittled, I’ll beat myself up for not anticipating it.
I know that the way I feel is not rational. I know that not everyone will have the same sense of humour, like the same books, the same movies or the same TV shows as I do. I know that what I find likeable (or amusing) in a friend, in a character, in an attitude, in a situation could be the opposite for someone else. I know that people will read into things what they think they should. I know that some people are never pleased, and others are pleased only when they are identifying faults. I get that.
The number of times I call blog posts back for editing- just in case someone reads something the wrong way is incredible. I think I edit 90% of the words that come out of my mouth and my keyboard. I allow the remaining 10% to keep me awake at night. Even though I’m writing this as if no one is reading it, I’ll bet that I re-read it and edit it at least three times before I hit publish.
So I don’t read reviews- in case no one has left one, and in case I don’t like what I see.
I do, however, leave reviews- if I’ve enjoyed a book, a restaurant, a hotel. If I have a problem, I address it first with the restaurant or hotel before going to town on Trip Advisor.
As for books? I’ll leave stars on Goodreads for those I’ve enjoyed, and nothing at all if I didn’t. Much of the time if I don’t like a book, it’s because I don’t like the genre- and to review on that basis isn’t fair. If it wasn’t my cup of tea, why should I leave something soul destroying for the author?
It’s like the supernatural buff who complains that there were no zombies in the literary offering. It’s like the couple who love French fine dining who leave a scathing review for the local Thai: ‘the food was too spicy and the service wasn’t what we’re used to.’ Or maybe the honeymooners who chose a family friendly resort during the school holidays: ‘it was impossible to get any privacy, and there were too many noisy children in the pool and at the buffet.’
Also, I’m not great at reviewing. I either enjoyed it or I didn’t. I generally don’t know why I did or I didn’t (unless I’m reading outside my genre). It’s why I enjoy reading balanced, well thought out, intelligent reviews by people who do know why they did or didn’t enjoy something. Debbish, I’m looking at you.
So there you have it. I’ve bared my soul…as if no one was reading…
Oh thanks for the shout-out.
I’m exceedingly fragile so I’d be very much the same as you if I was an author. As a reviewer (or someone who blogs about books) I feel I need to be honest but also fair. It’s rare that I hate EVERYTHING about a book and I’ll try to explain what I haven’t enjoyed. As you said… we all have different tastes.
Mind you, more worrying is that even if I’ve loved a book to death I’ll find a few things which (I think) could be improved and feel compelled to share those thoughts as well, when really (at that point) I should leave well enough alone!
I love your work. It’s thoughtful, intelligent and usually spot on. I’ve said it before- you’d make a great structural editor. On the basis of some of your reviews, I’ve read books I wouldn’t have tried- and haven’t been disappointed.
I think we may share the same fragile skin. Good on you for hitting that publish button. I love this post. Off to check out your book 🙂
Thanks for dropping by, Sandra 🙂
Thanks so much for joining our Blog Exchange challenge. I think I would be much the same if I was an author.
I review things (mainly products and services) offline, have done for years. No personal opinion comes into play for these reviews, it’s all based on facts. It’s only since launching the blog that I’ve struggled with this side of things. As a result nothing overtly negative goes online.
I’m still toying with book and film reviews because so much of this is based on personal opinion and I’m acutely aware that my personal tastes are rather different to most.
Yeah, it’s when personal opinion comes into things that the waters get muddied. Some people are great at it, though…
It’s a fine line in regards to blog reviews because it’s the personal aspect that make the posts more engaging and relatable.
I totally understand, but know that the Great Gatsby got terrible reviews when it was published. I went and saw the Mafia kills only in Summer, which is a really intelligent and clever film, and then I read the reviews and was left wondering if they’d even understood it at all…so no matter what the reviews say, it doesn’t mean people don’t love your book!!
It’s all personal taste- isn’t it? Thanks for dropping by 🙂
I wouldn’t be able to resist reading the reviews. Good on you for knowing yourself and avoiding a potentially tough situation.
Thanks for writing like no one was reading. Looks like a few were reading though. Bron x
Thanks for dropping by…& yes, it does appear that some are reading 😉
haha! I love chick lit! But I totally understand you about the reviews. Why bothering, make them read by your friends so that you are not hurt! That’s a perfect strategy! xx cathy
ps: You book seems great! I might have it for holidays reading!
Thanks for dropping by, Cathy 🙂
I love chick lit! Can’t believe I haven’t read your book. I’ve read some reviews that are constructive criticism and others that read like a personal attack. Personally I don’t really like dissecting books, I just love reading for entertainment and escapism.
I’m all for entertainment & escapism… Thanks for dropping by.
I’m not an author but if I were I think I would be terrified of reviews! The good ones would be lovely but anything slightly negative would get through my thin skin and make me start doubting everything. I think I need to go to thick skin school or something! 😉
It sure is scary! Thanks for dropping by…
I think you are clever, and also have way more self control than me! I actually think it is good that you don’t read reviews therefor not allowing others opinions to colour something that you have every right to be incredibly proud of. I on the other would literally lie awake at night imagining all the terrible things people had written, and would hit refresh every 3 minutes! PS Am so off to buy your book now! Especially as it has glowing reviews 😉
You know what, Jane? It doesn’t stop me from lying awake…or waking in a panic. The things we allow ourselves to do to ourselves. Thanks for dropping by.
As a fellow author I completely understand. Completely! I’m lucky though that my books are children’s books so kids tend to be very positive. It’s their parents I’m afraid of! LOL.
Thanks for writing this post. It’s good to hear from other authors and to know they have the same fears as I do …
I think I’d be more afraid of the parents! Thanks for dropping by…
I think this is the first time I’ve stumbled across your blog – always nice to find a new one to read! AND you’ve written a book – must check that out right now 🙂
Awww thanks. I’m ducking over to repay the favour! It’s the best think about these like uppy things.
I can completely relate to this Jo. I also edit pretty much everything before it is said or written and then spend copious hours worrying about what people will really think of it all. It’s not productive but with me I think it’s just fused into my personality. I did not know you had a book – I will check it out but I won;t leave a review 😉
So good to see you back for #imustconfess!
Hey there Kirsty…I didn’t realise just how much I’d missed the confessional…
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