Reviews & Ratings…and putting it into perspective! My thoughts…

Hi, friends!

I did promise I’d try to blog more, so here I am…blogging more.  🙂

Today, I’m putting things into perspective about reviews and ratings. When I was first published I was told, repeatedly, not to read reviews. Of course, I never listened to that because well, I just had to know. Then I learned my lesson, since I couldn’t stop thinking about what the reviewer had said. Yes, I know they tell you not to take it to heart, but come on, anyone with a heart is going to be affected when someone talks negatively about a book they poured their soul into.

Sure, some authors have thick skin and can read things people hated about their books and brush it off. Me, not so much. It got right into my head and ruined my day. I even noticed that it affected my writing. Too much negativity is just not good for any person, and doubt starts to stick its ugly head up.

Now I’m not saying I never read reviews, because I do when a book is first released. I tend to read reviews from book bloggers who I know are gentle in the way they explain if they didn’t like something. I like to hear opinions, and even sometimes take something away from it. Reading reviews can help when I’m writing the next book in a series—as it lets me know if I need to clarify something better, or so on and so on. Though the moment I read a bad review, I shut down my computer and avoid Goodreads. Not everyone is gentle, and I surely don’t want to read someone trashing my book. Of course, everyone is intilted to write whatever they like and loathe a book, but I just don’t want to read about it. Sorry, no thank you!

So, that’s kind of how things went for a while. Then just recently, I noticed something on Goodreads that put it all into perspective. Some authors (me included), can get hung up on stars and ratings. Maybe it’s a need or something, but we wanna be loved! I think we can get wrapped up in saying, why only three stars? Why not 4 stars? Why not 5 stars? Why 1 star—oh god, why?!

Those damn freaking stars…

Thankfully, Goodreads has this little thing that made me wake up one day and realize how silly it all was. I’ve taken a screen shot, so you’d know exactly what I’m talking about. Just below all the ratings, one day I noticed the part where it says, 90% of people liked it. To say this was an eye opening experience is an understatement.

When I saw this on Goodreads, it made me look at the whole thing differently. Really, what do stars matter? 90% of people who read my story enjoyed it. Does it matter that they’d want some things done differently or hated certain parts, nope! Or even that they didn’t get my characters how I intended for them to be seen? Certainly not. We all have opinions and want things done a certain way, but good ol’ Goodreads is what put it all in perspective for me.

To Goodreads, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for adding in that little line.

90% of people liked it. Yep, that’s total smile worthy stuff! =)

So, my advice to new authors wouldn’t be, “don’t read reviews”, it would be “go on Goodreads and look at that little line.” Then feel damn tooting proud of yourself that you wrote a book people enjoyed!

Comments

  1. Stacey Kennedy says

    YAH! Christine, it’s a good obsession! Much better than obsessing over the ratings and then drinking a bottle of wine! LOL! 😀

  2. says

    Awesome post, Stacey. I, too, was a stupid sucker for reading reviews when my books first hit. But yeah, no more. Thanks for this…we all need a perspective check every once in a while! 🙂

  3. says

    I swore I wasn’t going to watch ratings or rankings. Then my first book came out four days ago. I am OBSESSING. It’s really, really hard not to do. But you’re totally right. I’ll stop.

  4. Jan Meredith says

    Thanks, Stacey. As a newbie with Entangled and all the chatter about reviews and ratings, it’s all a little overwhelming. This helps a lot!

  5. Stacey Kennedy says

    Tracy, trust me…I’m obsessed, too. Only now I look at that sweet little line that makes me happy, instead of rocking in the corner somewhere! 🙂

  6. Stacey Kennedy says

    Jan, it is so overwhelming–BIG TIME! Even more overwhelming if you take the reviews and ratings to heart, which I always do. Can’t help it–just the way I’m built! I’m glad it could help you, too!

  7. Stacey Kennedy says

    Virginia, I’m not sure if it always been there, or if it’s something new, but I’m glad it’s there! 🙂

  8. Stacey Kennedy says

    Thanks for dropping by, Tiffany! I just know how much it’s helped me and I wanted to share! <3

  9. Hayson says

    Awesome post, Stacey. I have never noticed that awesome little line before. Smacks head. Thanks for putting everything in perspective. I am NOT going to be star obsessed.

    Hayson 🙂

  10. Stacey Kennedy says

    You’re welcome, Claire! It’s such a little thing that makes a big difference. 🙂

  11. says

    Thanks, Stacey! I’m sure I knew it was there at some point, but I needed the reminder to focus on that and not just on the ratings and reviews individually.

    Here’s another thing to know about Goodreads: Readers use the stars for their own purposes, not just for how GR intends. I knew an author once who ranted about people giving 1 star to a book she hadn’t even finished writing yet. I later learned that many people click one star for the books they are most eager to read! Talk about putting things into perspective! I haven’t encountered that yet myself, but the more insight we have into the reader mind, I think the easier it is on our neuroses. 🙂

  12. Stacey Kennedy says

    Thanks for sharing that, Natalie! Just another thing to make us authors feel better! Love it! 🙂

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