I was going through my draft folder and found this. I’ve been debating on whether I should post it or not. The reason, or the drama which prompted me to write it, has long passed us by; but the idea behind it is still something I believe in. People can say what they want about negative reviews, but if you want my attention, that will get it.
Yes, negative reviews impact sales, but has anyone confirmed that it’s 100% a bad thing? How many people have bought a book based on a bad review? How many people have found a new author because there was a discussion on Twitter/Facebook/Google+? How many times has a negative review sailed a book higher up someones TBR stack because they wanted to see for themselves what all the fuss was about? Negative reviews can get people talking just as much as positive reviews.
I don’t read reviews. I can’t. I don’t want my opinion influenced by what someone else has said. So while I’m friends with a bunch of bloggers and hit up their sites somewhat irregularly, I rarely ever go read their reviews. HOWEVER, I find out there’s a well written negative review somewhere and I’m there. Everyone loves to rave and scream their love for their favorite books, but you rarely find anyone who’s willing to post a negative review. So I will go read those reviews, see why they didn’t like it, and half the time I end up buying the book because the one element they didn’t like, I simply adore in books.
That’s the thing. Just because one person gives a book a negative review for a certain story element, someone else may give that same book a 5 star rating because of that story element. One person’s stink bomb may be another person’s goldmine. Yes, you can find someone else who loves the same books as you do, but you can also find just as many who don’t. That’s the wonderful thing about the world we live in – no two people are a like and there are a TON of books to chose from.
Here’s the thing, a well written negative review can help an author who’s willing to look at it as constructive criticism. Back in the beginning of LE, I had an author and a publicist contact me about a review I wrote for their respective works. I had never read anything by the two authors involved, and they were curious what it was I specifically didn’t like. They didn’t get mad or demand I take the review down. No, they asked what would have made it better. I ended up having an actual constructive conversation about what worked and what didn’t. Because of that, I went out and bought both follow-up novels. Since then I have gotten to know the authors and have read more from both. These authors hadn’t lost my business, in fact they earned more of my business and they both have been featured here on LE multiple times. I may not be completely caught up with all their stories, but that’s not going to stop me from making sure I yell about their new releases from every rooftop I can get to.