I have received two very nice reviews for The Ruby Queen thus far. One review came from a lady I sent the manuscript to specifically for an honest review. The other from a fellow author here in Phoenix. We are acquaintances and in no way best buds or anything. I knew he would give me an honest review, but was a bit worried he would think my content too salacious. He writes YA Christian fiction and The Ruby Queen deals with very adult subject matter with graphic adult content.
When I published my first book, The Legend of the Swamp Witch I begged for reviews, good or bad. We can only learn from our mistakes. Unfortunately, I did not get many. One of my friends told me in a personal e-mail that there were many editing mistakes in the book. I expected that. I could not afford an editor and had not yet begun attending my critique group. I keep looking at the file and think I should go in and rewrite the whole thing, give it to my editor and resubmit it. As my first publication she holds a special place in my heart. She deserves better.
The Ruby Queen was critiqued extensively by my group, The Central Phoenix Writers’ Workshop, and was edited by a professional. My writing coach, Adam Sterling tells me my writing has improved 3000 percent since Swamp Witch. I have to credit that to The Writers’ Workshop and going through the editing process. I have learned so much about writing from all of them. I think that is evidenced by the fact that my Romance novel, Sweet Rewards was offered a contract in my first round of submissions.
There are many varying opinions about reviews. Five Star reviews are wonderful, but I think some people think most of those come from friends and relatives and not reliable. Three Star Reviews are frowned upon by many, but I think those let a writer know they did something right, but have things they still need to work on. Hopefully the reviewer will expand on both. None of us want to get one or two star reviews even if the reviewer tells us why. Those reviews bring the work down in the internal engines of Amazon and Goodreads and are just mood killers. Some people will simply not like a writer’s work. That is a given. Nothing is loved by everyone. A writer hopes readers will give their work honest and helpful reviews. Review the work even if you did not like it. Tell the author why you did not like it. Was it poorly written with too many distracting grammar mistakes or was the subject matter simply not to your liking.
I hope everyone who reads my work will submit a review. If you liked it, tell me why. If you hated it, tell me why. A writer cannot improve his or her craft without that information. It is vital.
Until tomorrow, Write On!