Saturday, May 17, 2014

Not Every Review is a Positive Review

It's 4:00 in the morning and for whatever reason, I am unable to sleep. It has just been one of those weeks. So like any person who is trying so desperately not to waste a moment of time, I decide to be productive and check my emails..(yes plural I have a few, all for different uses...don't you?) So I open my account that is currently dedicated to all things author ( .... feel free to message me if you so choose!) and this is the message I find....

Hi Jessica,
I have read Last Stop and I had a couple of issues with it. I don't think I could write a very positive review, and I'm not fond of writing negative ones. But I know the responsibility of review books. I want to ask if you would be okay with me not writing a review or would you be okay with a negative one?

All the best,
(Name withheld for privacy purpose) an author, artist, a person who puts myself out there and hope that EVERYONE  will love me (as unrealistic as that hope may be) do I respond?... 

Hello (Name withheld for privacy purpose),
It is unfortunate that you did not enjoy Last Stop. As an author its a risk we take when we put our work out there, not everyone will love it. I for one would be a liar if I said that I wouldn't mind a negative review (who loves those?) But if you feel strongly about your dislike of it and choose to write one, well that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. I know people have expressed their dislike of the POV and tense the book was written in as well as the length as it is a novella.
All I can truly ask is that if you decide to write a negative review that it be something constructive that expresses why you weren't pleased. Maybe it will help me in the long run as a writer or provide honest and solid feedback for another reader.
I truly appreciate the honesty.
Much love,.
Jessica Cage

And now of course my stomach is hurting because, yes I knew negative reviews may come, and I can only think of the average 4.9 STAR rating on Amazon right now and well I don't want that to fall. And of course I simply just don't want people to hate my work. But then I stop and count my blessings. Its not good to wallow in self pity, its not good to take one negative thing and have it over shadow all of the positive occurrences of life. 

....And now.... the response....

Hi Jessica
I have decided to no longer post a review, but I would give you feedback on what I felt about it. I hope that's okay. These were just some things I personally feel or think.
I think that novellas are difficult to write. You don't have a lot of space to cover a lot about a story and it's certainly difficult to flesh out the characters. I noticed how Josephine was instantly attracted to these 2 guys. That just moved too fast for me, and it didn't work for me because I didn't get to know these guys too well. I'm not one to buy it. I was actually starting to like Edward, but then you suddenly brought in Sam and Josephine was all over him too fast. That really threw me off.
I also feel that the story didn't really go anywhere. It might have been better to have made a full novel. I think that most stories should have a strong build up, a climax, and a resolution. Last Stop only felt like a build up and I don't think it went too far. It felt too incomplete. Even the build up needs more work to make it a page-turner.
Honestly, the idea of the Sighted and demons is interesting. I think you just really need to work more on it. And you might want to find a proofreader because there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors.
I really hope that helps. I do think that your story can go somewhere. So just keep working on it. I have a huge respect for people who write and put out there work. I hope that you do get far.
(Name withheld for privacy purposes)

You may ask...why the heck am I posting this? They said they wouldn't post a review. I was free and clear.

I post it because though I may not agree with everything listed above, I am in love with the honesty of it. I started this journey not only to write books and get sales but to improve, grow, and continue to share my experiences with my audience. Good or bad. My work is not perfect, and neither am I and that is a part of being an artist. You must be able to recognize your own flaws and you cannot hold hatred for anyone else who is daring enough to point it out. As I stated, I do not agree with all the points mentioned, but there is some validity in others. (I will not list which is which because that is NOT what this post is about...)

 But I also post this because for a moment I felt the world crumbling around me over ONE negative review. And I think of others who have been bashed and in some cases targeted with negativity. Those reviewers did not come to them and pose this question. I am lucky in this instance and may not be so lucky in the future. From day one, I have learned that I must grow a thicker skin if I am to make it. not only in this business but in life. I posted a blog before about authors who are being "bullied" with bad reviews and I asked the question "Where does honest opinion end and bullying begin?, this is a case of an honest opinion and I truly felt it should be shared. 

And yes, this post makes me feel better, I don't have to hold it in anymore, mulling over all of the finer points and trying to desperately to remove the sour taste from my mouth. (Am I the only one who gets that when facing negativity? I can't be...right?)

To this reader I simply say, thank you for your honesty.

Much LOVE!!!