Very excited to have woken up this morning to find that we have our very first Amazon review on the Parliament of Twilight: Episode 1! And it’s a great one! I couldn’t have made up a better one myself.
On that note, I feel like I have a few random opinions and things to drop here for you.
Firstly, I love reviews. And I dread them. I think that’s true of all authors. You never know if the person who wrote it is your next biggest fan or was completely offended by how you portrayed your alternate steampunk history version of a cyborg Genghis Khan. In that moment before we open our eyes and read it, the mind of an author has already crafted about half a dozen different versions of what the review is going to say.
We brilliantly extol our favorite moments or characters. We dissect every weakness, real or imagined, in our narrative. We fear that the reader couldn’t stand our not-quite-redeemed bad boy. We hope that they also fell in love with our slightly damaged romantic interest. We pray they laughed at our jokes and we just know that they didn’t get any of them.
But once that initial rush of emotions passes, we open our eyes and read the review.
In this case, it was a glowing commentary on the first book of our series. In the past it has been a scathing dressing down. Both kinds of reviews affect me as a writer and as a person. Like all other people who put my work out there, I don’t particularly like negative reviews.
But I still appreciate that someone took the time to write something about my work. I learn from every negative review. Whether the lesson is that there’s no way I can please everyone. Or that the warning label marking our books as erotic horror needs to be more prominent. Or that the way we portray Jacob Kruez (the aforementioned not-yet-redeemed bad boy) is so spot on that we’ve utterly offended someone.
The glowing reviews, on the other hand, reaffirm that I don’t totally suck at this writer thing. They help me move forward with the next book. (Did I mention that we’re doing first edits Episode 3 right now? Only a few weeks until we’re shipping it off to the editor’s desk.) They let me know that what I want to communicate with my stories is getting across. And, let’s be honest, they just feel good when I stroke my ego with them.
But no matter what the content of the review, I think that its important for them to be left. Doubly so if the author is either published through a smaller press or self-published (as we are). Do it if a work entertained you, made you cry, made you think, or offended the very core of your ideas about a steampunk cyborg Genghis Khan. If that book gave you a reaction of any sort, taking a few moments to rate and review on Amazon, Goodreads, or just talking about it on your social media outlet of choice will help the author.
Every little bit builds us up. Every mention online gives us the chance to reach more readers and tell our stories to even just one more person. And I don’t know about other people who are publishing, but that’s really the point for me. To tell my stories to whoever will listen.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. If you’re interested in our books, check out the shopping page for links.