Sometimes I find reviews of my work positively frustrating. I don’t expect constant high ratings, I accept that some people just don’t like my material – you know the old adage about pleasing some of the people some of the time. What I have problems with is those that either appear to have a hidden agenda for marking people’s efforts down, or it is clear as a bell that they simply haven’t read the work in question properly. To wit, one recent one likened my second book of the series ‘Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle’ to WWZ, only not in a good way. From the throw-away comment it was clear she hadn’t really read it or the first in the series and secondly the only thing in common with WWZ was zombies and an aeroplane ride. So sue me!!
I’m sure that all of you who have put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards, and after months/years of sweat and grind uploaded your hard-won efforts to Amazon, Smashwords or other platforms have been subjected to such banal and often deliberately hurtful reviews. There is an element out there that prefers to destroy rather than build. These days I pull no punches when responding to such rubbish. After all, for most of us, our writing doesn’t put food on the table, it is done for fun and these worms simply don’t get that.
I read an interesting article recently about the value of keeping bad reviews in place. On the one hand it does lower your star average, but on the other, if you have a predominance of 4 and 5 star reviews, then these bozos are shown for the mealy-mouthed and sad little individuals that they are. There is even an argument that says the occasional poor review actually increases sales. Well, I don’t know about that, but a bit of a spread in star ratings probably sends the signal that not all the praise for your work comes from your great aunt Bessie. We can but hope!
Now for the ray of sunshine. I recently came across a site, http://www.gadgetgirlreviews.com/ that looked pretty interesting.
On it, the owner of the site, GadgetGirl (I think that really is her name), reviews some great gadgets. I love sites like this, they always have something interesting to read. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this same site had reviewed the first two books of The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (see TCC 1, and TCC 2). I coyly admit they were good reviews.
It dawned on me that praise – or otherwise, comes from quarters you wouldn’t normally consider. Needless to say I immediately asked her if she would review Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle and she did. Check them out. And all this started through the simple discovery of a truly interesting website. You really have to check out the Gerp! Where have you been all my party life?
The message to take away from this article is that proper reviews of, well, anything are often to be found in less obvious places. Reviews written by your not-so-average-reader such as GadgetGirl are often well-considered and designed to truly guide their viewers towards things they believe are of value and not just issue throw-away comments. Reviews are their bread and butter so misleading is not an option. These same reviewers will also be honest and uncover positive and negative aspects of the target object, be it a book or a Gerp. Gotta get me one of those!
Zombie books by David K Roberts:
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor