Good Reviews Are Like a Chocolate Cake Delivery to the Door!

guest post by fellow The Wild Rose Press author, Kim Hornsby--

I love waking up to a good review on Amazon! But...

I suffered a bad review today and I’m feeling the (hopefully) temporary pain of not being loved. Even though I know that it’s my book she didn’t love, it feels like something between an annoying paper cut and open heart surgery. This particular reviewer does not like most books she buys (over 50 reviews) and I have to wonder about her choice in books. She also gave away a little secret in her review so I’m hoping that Amazon will delete it for that reason. I’m not holding my breath seeing Amazon took down my husband’s friend’s glowing review of the same book probably because it was written on a computer within our cloud.

mazon is not making new friends in the author community right now by taking down reviews from authors, unless they can disguise their name enough to not draw attention to themselves. Luckily, some of my readers are not published authors and I have many great reviews still up there, but they removed my critique group’s comments seeing they are published authors. Boo Amazon. Don’t t they know authors read too?

What did I do after I read this ‘bad’ review? I fought the urge to curl in the fetal position and took my dogs for a walk in the forest. I talked to myself the whole way. I even spoke with the lady who wrote the review and told her the rules for critiquing someone’s work. “You sandwich your message between two compliments,” I said to the trees that were listening. Unless you are in need of feeling important and full of yourself, the sandwich method is a great way to offer constructive criticism.  Or unless you are a professional reviewer, like my sister

Thing is, she reviews mega movies that have made it to the big screen, not debut author’s humble books that only cost .99 and she gets paid to review.

When I returned home with two dirty, tired dogs, I reached out to my author friends to cry on their cyber shoulders. They immediately reassured me that the book is wonderful, deserving of the 28 five stars reviews it boasts and that this woman clearly reads out of her genre. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. She didn’t identify with the protagonist’s journey. This particular novel is more Women’s Fiction than Romance, (although there are some very steamy scenes in the book) and the evolution of the character, from being sad and resentful to coming around, is something you can’t change or edit.

As the day wears on, the bad review seems less important but still smarts. I need to toughen up, believe in myself. I teach a course called Channeling Your Inner Rock Star about self confidence in public speaking and you would think that I’d ooze confidence, both publicly and privately. As is the case in most public figures and rock stars, I first need to put my confidence ‘hat’ on to channel my alter ego who is outgoing and bubbly. The public me can handle any social situation with grace and amazing popularity.

But reviews are hard to get, for some reason. If you are a writer, reading this, do you have a difficult time getting friends and family to write you a review? It’s the same with everyone, I hear. It is a big chore for someone who isn’t a writer. Here’s something I’ve used that was effective in getting reviews for The Dream Jumper’s Promise to the #20 mark:

“Hey Friends! I’ve got a little contest on to see if I can get 5 more reviews before Friday for my book that I know you read and liked. Can you help a girl out? Words like ‘page turner’, ‘loved’ and ‘skilled writer’ are awesome to use. I just need three more.

Here’s the link:

Click ‘write a review’ and after you hit 5 stars, go for it! Thanks a big bunch and I’ll owe you a 5 minute favor sometime.”

I’ve found that making it easy is paramount. If you are over 50 like me, your friends might be clueless on how to even buy your book. I’ve written detailed instructions to several people about what to click etc.

I believe that people have no idea how much a good review means to us authors. It is the equivalent of getting a chocolate cake delivered to your door every week for a year.

Or having a full body massage for 3 hours by your favorite hunky TV actor.

(This is who I imagine to be Pete in Necessary Detour).

Here’s to 5 Star Reviews! May the 2 Star ones get deleted from Amazon because she revealed a secret from the book’s plot! My latest release, Necessary Detour, has only five reviews because I used up all my favors on the first release two months ago. It is free today until Sunday and if you read it and like it, I’d appreciate 2 sentences under ‘reviews’, if you have 5 minutes. It’s about an international Rock Diva who finds love in an unlikely place.  FREE Wednesday Feb 13th to Sunday Feb 17

Kim Hornsby is also the author of The Dream Jumper’s Promise, a romantic mystery set on Maui. Both novels are available on Kindle.

Giveaway: One lucky name will be selected from those who leave a comment on this blog as the winner of a copy of The Dream Jumper’s Promise


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  • 2/15/2013 8:47 AM Kim Hornsby wrote:
    Thanks for having me over here Linda!
    If you read this and you're a writer, how do you get over a 'bad' review?
    Reply to this
  • 2/15/2013 9:52 AM L. M. Gonzalez wrote:
    I know the feeling, Kim. For my debut book, TOO LATE FOR ROMANCE, I received mostly good reviews. However, I still remember the sting of one bad review I received - and to my face! A book club picked my book to read. All the ladies liked it except one. And of course, she's the one I remembered most for the next few days. I came to my senses when a friend of mine pointed out that even if this person hadn't liked my book, she'd bought it and she'd read it.
    Thanks for the post, enjoyed it.
    Reply to this
  • 2/15/2013 10:20 AM Kim Hornsby wrote:
    Good Morning everyone!
    Authors: What is your method to get over a bad review?
    Reply to this
    1. 2/15/2013 2:53 PM Christine Fairchild wrote:
      Kim, great, heartfelt post! If a review has constructive critique, I can't help but take it into consideration. If the review is clearly more of a style difference, then I accept that not everyone will love my book. In fact, my 2 negative reviews (even though one was still a 4 star) between Goodreads and Shelfari were both from ladies who made it clear that my book was not in line with their tastes: one because my book had sexual scenes and she wanted closed doors, the other because my book was too complicated, too many subplots, too many characters. Together the reviews just confirmed to me my original goal with this book: to write a sexier, more edgy book that's part Bourne Identity, part hot romance.

      So sometimes the negative reviews underscore your correct choices!

      Chin up!
      Reply to this
      1. 2/15/2013 5:18 PM Kim Hornsby wrote:
        Christine: I agree wholeheartedly. I had two new reviews on my books while this was up so I'm not complaining.
        Reply to this
  • 2/15/2013 10:22 AM Kim Hornsby wrote:
    Didn't mean to post twice but I suck at captcha!
    L.M.: To your face, no less! That is just plain mean.
    Reply to this
  • 2/15/2013 6:54 PM Diane O'Key wrote:
    Kim, I empathisize. While I've only had 1 review that was so-so, she included a spoiler--and 2 inaccurate comments. Also, Amazon removed a couple of really nice reviews, one from a bookstore. Bummer!
    Loved your suggestion as to how to get some additional good reviews. It's hard to ask, but worth the shot
    And I'm historical romance, which tends to garner far fewer reviews than contemporary, whatever the subgenre.
    Hang in there...and put this reviewer behind you. If she consistently writes poor reviews, not worth the angst.
    Best of luck!
    Reply to this
  • 2/15/2013 7:07 PM Angela wrote:
    A bad review is just like receiving a rejection letter. A writer feels sad for a while, regroups, and moves on. Thanks for the post.
    Reply to this
  • 2/15/2013 7:38 PM Kim Hornsby wrote:
    Thanks Ladies: The camaraderie of women is definitely cherishable. What would we do without our writer friends?
    FYI, I just hit #1 in romantic Suspense for free Kindle and I'm very proud of my little book that could. In Suspense, I'm up there at #2 with best selling authors and I attribute that to the romance community of women who clicked on buy today. Thanks anyone who did that and reads this. I'm going for a Coors Light now!
    Thanks Linda for the venue today!
    Reply to this
  • 2/16/2013 7:54 PM Jeanne Donnelly wrote:
    I only have one review on my book and it was pretty good.
    I think a bad review would bum me out but as long as there are plenty of good ones just know they out weigh the meanie. I only leave good reviews. My mama taught me if you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all!
    I'd love to read your book! And leave a good review, too!
    Happy writing!
    Reply to this
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