This is NOT a book review. If you've followed all of last week's posts from the blog tour for Secrets of the King's Daughter, you've seen plenty of those for now, but you may find what I observed helpful or interesting.
1. I went into it recognizing that most reviewers are honest and will tell what they did and didn't like without intentional meanness. I hoped for mostly good but expected that some would find both negative and positive elements. Opinions vary, after all.
2. Book review bloggers typically have enough experience to be diplomatic. They've learned to sandwich in a negative issue between other positives. Trust that overall, they will give a fair review.
3. That said, as a first-timer I anxiously awaited each review, keeping busy to avoid excessive focus. Still, I wondered if they would love it or find it amateurish. My confidence grew when the consensus proved positive.
4. Use the feedback rather than fear it. If one or two reviewers point out a weakness, it's not the end of the world. You either chalk it up to a singular opinion and ignore it, or you analyze similarities in what reviewers are saying so that you can find where to fix/improve.
I'm not sure what I would have done if the reviews were less than favorable. I love writing enough to believe that I would continue on. Some writers may need a break, but should recognize that we only get better with time and practice. Find a few cheerleaders or a support group to get you going again. Read some how-to books or go to a conference if the writing craft was the issue.
5. Picking reviewers that like the genre you write in will garner more positive reviews, so do your research. My marketer handled this.
6. Sometimes a blogger will fall through. Line up two or three reviews for each day so that your book gets more reviews, a better representation, and you don't have a day that bombs.
7. Thank the reviewer no matter how the review goes. It's not only common curtesy, we need to keep those who blog about books wanting to continue with their service.
8. Consider doing more reviewing of the books you read. Writers and readers depend on your word of mouth/pen.
What do you think about book reviews?