Posted by: codecalla | March 5, 2013

Book Reviews and Hijinks Ensue

As an indie author on Amazon, I have noticed that some of the posted reviews I have known about of my book have not been published by Amazon.  It’s not that I asked people to give me 5 stars, or that I wished for them to lie about “The Protectors of Tarith,” which I published in December, but that the reviews prohibit anyone with a vested financial interest or personal interest in publishing a review, or that authors can’t review books in their genre for Amazon, and perhaps they are especially attentive due to recent controversies.  Shelfari and Goodreads allow more author reviewing, and I do it honestly and openly with my own novel.  I see no reason to rip apart others’ works, especially when I know how much effort goes into writing.  As a writing instructor, I know the merit of honest feedback, which is the greatest method to improve.  There is a great difference between being critical and critically reviewing a work.  I am an avid reader and I love reading.  If I enjoy a work, I want to recommend it to others, because I love reading.  It doesn’t have to be my book.  It sours the experience to know that there are review trolls out there who have ruined the honest experience for authors to enter into conversations with each other about their work, especially in a marketplace.  Even if I love “The Protectors of Tarith”, it’s  not a book for everyone.  It’s a fantasy, action/adventure, with romance.  Some readers will enjoy it, and I hope if they do, they recommend it to others to enjoy.  I deliberately priced it low at $2.99, because I feel even more could have been done with it.  I also like the idea of offering entertainment to others at a reasonable price.  As attributed to Leonardo (da Vinci), “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” which I definitely agree.  There is more to the story than made it to the page, and I could have chosen different scenes.  For the next work, I will work with an editor, even if it is self-published.  I am curious about the “what-ifs” of improvement.

Is it possible that I’ve had numerous reviews that have been deleted?  I wouldn’t know.  Amazon doesn’t have an author review process for the unpublished review comments, which is unfortunate, because even if they weren’t published for the world at large, the author could still learn from them.  So I am left scrounging around for feedback about my novel.  As my mother suggests, I am my own worst critic.   My biggest question is was it enjoyable?  Even if imperfect, there were small noticings of slight issues, was it something that was fun to read?  Thus far, everyone I’ve heard who has read it, mentions they “couldn’t put it down.”  Even a nurse at her station admitted she didn’t want to put it down to go answer a call (of course she did, and I wouldn’t want anyone to neglect their duty, but what a nice compliment, even if it was an exaggeration).  This is secondhand and meaningless trivia for anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good sword fight and is not interested in fantasy or romance.

So, whether any reviews show up on Amazon, or Goodreads, or Shelfari, I will keep honing my skills and attempting to write enjoyable stories.  If it is enjoyed, then I will feel successful, even if perfection is something that will be continuously attempted.   Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s don’t connect reality after publishing.  At least the next book will learn from this one.  (i.e. I could have named the dance differently, but I was having fun.  There were a lot of characters that were named, but only made brief appearances.  How much description to add? )



  1. Interesting, thoughtful post.

    • I took the opportunity to provide feedback to Amazon with my suggestion about author reviews of comments. I’d like them to seriously consider that reviews are not only for potential buyers, but also for the authors.

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