What about reviews?

There seem to be some differing opinions about book reviews out there among writers. This is my personal view.

I don’t think any writer should ever get so blase about reviews that they criticize others for drawing attention to them. Having a loyal following may mean you do not need to take any notice of reviews, or you may simply choose to ignore them anyway, but reviews are important to writers trying to build a readership and, for the many writers who suffer from low self confidence, a good review lets them know that somebody else out there actually appreciates their work. It is up to the individual writer whether they read their reviews or not but it is unfair to somehow consider it unprofessional to admit their existence (I do think it’s unprofessional to respond to bad reviews but that’s another issue). I like getting reviews, good or bad, because it shows me that someone is reading my work and that I’m not completely wasting my time when I write. Good reviews make me happy, bad reviews can hurt, but both show someone cared enough to sit down and type. I envy those writers who feel reviews don’t matter because they have reached a stage where they know that their work is appreciated and worthwhile. Not all of us are so lucky. So while I personally might not get ecstatic and do a happy dance at every review (because I’m far too boring for that) I will tell people about them because that review might just be the one that persuades someone to try my work who would not have otherwise done so. And yes, whether we like it or not, Amazon is the most important online venue to get your reviews. So, if you read, review it when you’ve done, and if you write… well, it’s up to you whether you take any notice or not but I think we really should listen to what the reader has to say, don’t you?

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