Recently Bob from the blog: Beauty in Ruins asked me about reader reactions to my stories. I would like to share my response here with you as I feel it is important for the reader to see an author’s view point. Here is the post:
You asked me to tell you about wrestling with reader reactions. It is an interesting topic and I appreciate you bringing it up for today’s discussion. The weave of the story uses the threads of my life. I know the characters and the nuances intimately. A reader picks up my book and as he reads he assimilates the story applying his own life’s framework to it. The story is the same but the flavors of it may taste differently from the readers view point. This is normal as we all experience things in our own way. When that reader expresses their opinion it’s how they see things and that’s fair.
It is so delightful when a reviewer completely gets what I’m trying to say in my book. Sometimes though they have rushed through parts or perhaps they were reading sections while they were tired and they have missed points. These lapses may be reflected in their reviews. Other times they have a very valid point that I need to clarify in another book in the series. Reviews/reactions can hit the whole range. It’s normal. We don’t all like avocados or peas. We’re all different and so are our reactions.
That said the reviews that criticize something that was explained in the book but they missed it..are the ones that can get to me. It doesn’t do any good to argue the point with the person. I look at those critical reviews the same way I do with the edits. I stand back and study what is said to understand the reasoning behind it. They can have a valid point that I need to address.
How I respond depends upon how valid I find their viewpoint. One: I never attack or confront. There is nothing gained by doing that. Two: Sometimes blog posts I write will be framed to answer that individuals concern. I recently was given the opportunity to address some of these questions on Jade Kerrion’s blog with a post “Why did you..Why didn’t you?” but I also do them for my blog.
Some of the comments get me thinking. I know why I did something a certain way but perhaps I can clarify that in another book in the series. Divergent Paths is the second book in the Sage Seed Chronicles and though I have written five only three are currently out. For instance one person wanted more of a land mass on my planet. She thought it was too small. No problem. Keep reading because that gets answered/resolved in another book. As designed my own world I have the power to change and develop all sorts of things as long as it fits into the framework of my story. It is a lot of fun.
I want to leave this discussion by letting all of you know how important you are in the relationship. Support authors by purchasing their work from legitimate places and not pirating sites. Always click “like” on Amazon and click on the tagged descriptions of the books. Please take five minutes and write at least twenty words for a review that can make a difference in the life of a hard working working author. You’ll walk away feeling good and the author will surely appreciate it. Review their work on Goodreads. Join their fan pages. Share links. Tell your friends and get others involved. We write to share our stories with you.