Friday, April 4, 2008

Reviews Schmeviews

Tip of the Day: Check our blog next week where we'll be doing another awesome contest and giving away a book every day. Since vacation time can't get here fast enough for many of us, we've picked books that will take you somewhere wonderful, and we're calling this The Take a Break Book Giveaway!

For a long time, I was worried that none of the major publications (School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, etc) had reviewed I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME. But then it went into a second printing pretty quickly, and a couple of very positive reviews did come out in VOYA and KLIATT, which aren’t the BIG ones, but still – great exposure for my book.

So I moved on.

I decided it didn’t matter.

My little book was doing just fine, thank you very much.

And then, last week, I noticed a review over at www.barnesandnoble.com from School Library Journal.

I thought – “Wow, a review from one of the big ones! How come no one told me about this?”

And once I read it, I knew why.

It isn’t an especially positive review. Although there is one line I can use on my web site. "Told in Ava's voice, this novel-in-verse captures the all-consuming nature of intense teen love."

Getting a review that is less than glowing is not very fun. On the bright side, people say a bad review is better than no review, and I've heard most school librarians do use School Library Journal to help them make purchase decisions. Still, it's hard to digest the fact that what one person thought of my book is probably going to be read by people in the biz. Will that review hurt me down the the road? Or do they take reviews with a grain of salt? I have no idea.

What do you think? Would you rather have a bad review than no review at all? Do you think you can almost always find SOMETHING good in the review to share with others?

~Lisa, Miss Pinch Me I'm Pubbed

12 comments:

d-michiko-f said...

*hugs*! I dread the review process! I've heard from so many author friends about the pain of a negative review. All I can say is eat some chocolate and move on. You have fans! You're books are selling! Focus on the ups! :)
xo
Pollyanna (aka debbi)

d-michiko-f said...

"You're"?? UGH! Your! I haven't had coffee yet! sorry!

meryl's musings said...

I have become a true fan of this website. I check it everyday to see what's new and interesting. Lisa - my granddaughter's name is Ava, so now I need to go check out your book! As Emily knows, I'm a struggling writer of a romance novel. Its hard work, but I'm loving it. Sometimes I begin to think the process might be more fun than trying to get it published. And then I think about having it reviewed . . . well, I've always said the worst you can get is a "no" answer. Seems you got a "yes" from someone! Keep up the great work.

meryl's musings said...

Oh, one more thing. This website has inspired me to start blogging. If you are interested, check out what I've written. Any comments would be appreciated.

Rhonda Stapleton said...

Wow, this is a good question...I'm both excited and in fear of others reading my stuff. LOL. So the whole review thing is going to be a rough road, I bet!!

Kristina Springer said...

First, PSSSHHH!! Your book rocks! :-)

Second, yeah, add me to the list of people terrified of bad reviews. If I get teary over revision requests I can't imagine what I'd do with a bad review! :-)

And third, do you sometimes wonder if reviewers feel like they have to also state a negative(s) in order to come across as professional? Just wondering because I've been looking up a lot of books this week-- ones that friends have recommended and I've seen a lot of not so nice reviews. But I know the books must be good or people wouldn't have rec-ed them you know?

DeenaML said...

Hmmmm. Not that we get much say, but I'd take any review over no review. HA -- I say that now but wait til I get a bad review. :) But it gets the name out there, and maybe someone who reads it is like, "Oh! A love story in verse with a twist! Just what I've been looking for!" :) So yeah, read the reviews, then burn those you don't like. :)

Lisa Schroeder said...

Debbi - Yeah, I think you are right, you have to focus on the ups.

Meryl - so glad you like the blog. I will check yours out this weekend! :)

Tina - you may be right, that some reviewers feel like they have to say something both negative and positive.

Rhonda - I wish you lots and lots of WONDERFUL reviews!

Deena - Once the initial sting wears off, it's easier to say, hey, at least it got reviewed! At first, it's hard though. Thanks for weighing in! :)

paperxxflowers said...

Bad reviews suck, but most of the time (whenever I review books) I try to put something positive in there. So, you don't have just a bad review, but some good outlook from the same person as well. I'm sending you hugs to make up for the bad review. (I'm a hug person)

Kate Fall said...

You've had so many wonderful reviews, Lisa! I guess what you're feeling is all part of getting attention for your writing. You're getting attention for your writing! Yay!!

Emily Marshall said...

Okay, now, as a person that reads alot of reviews, I just checked yours out and didn't think it was bad at all. Isn't it funny how different the perspective is. I actually like when they say books are "quick/fast" reads because that means they will be more popular and check out more. And even more than that, I think any review is DEFINITELY better than no review. I used to be on the selection committee at my old library with ladies that had been buying books for over 20 years and they knew exactly what to look for in reviews and knew which reviewers put their "spin" on things and how to interpret that. There's so much more to picking books based on reviews than one or two bad sayings in the review. Trust me.

Okay, now that I've rambled. I'll say again, I loved your book and I think that so many library's will instantly see "love story" and "free-verse" and snatch it up in an instant.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Em, thanks for reading it and making me feel better. Maybe it's not as bad as I thought. The one sentence about characters is what made me wince, but overall, I suppose it isn't horrible. :)