Reviews can be scorching. They can decimate an author's confidence. They can also fill an author's head with so much fluff that before long an author thinks every book she/he writes should be a national bestseller. Then there's reader reaction. Some buy books based on good reviews, where others buy them based on bad reviews. Still others don't much care what a reviewer thinks, but appreciate the blurb accompanying the review.
I decided to write about reviews today because I came across a less than flattering review of one of my stories. I don't necessarily like negative reviews, but I do like a different perspective on my work. This particular person wrote a snarky review about my book. I laughed as I read it, because if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? And everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Some of what she wrote I understood, and some I disagreed with. But I'm not going to slit my wrists because one person didn't like or get my work.
Depending upon how they're written, reviews can help or hinder a writer. What can be scary is how much influence a review can have on a reader. There are so many books available, and with costs going up, I am very choosy about what I read. So when I read a well-written review (not snarky or emotionally charged) about a "bad" book, I tend to steer clear of that particular novel.
Then again, when I'm jonesing for a great romance, it's the author's voice and content, not a review, that drives me to purchase. A happily-ever-after I can sink my teeth into.
Guardian's Redemption earned 5 stars and a Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews. Does that mean I can quit my day job? Heck no. But it was nice to see that someone (besides me) liked my work.
What do you think about reviews? Like 'em or hate 'em? And how much a part do you think they play in making readers purchase books?