The Not-So-Stellar Book Reviews

open white pages book

Today, I received a two-star rating on my debut novel, Passage of Promise. It was my first two-star review out of twenty that have been mostly five and four stars.

As a newly-published author, I expected to receive some ratings that judged my work mediocre. It is part of the life of an author.

Even top, best-selling authors get one-star and two-star reviews, some, unfortunately, with a few nasty remarks. It’s par for the course in the realm of the author’s world, as I said.

Experienced authors have always given the advice to newer authors that they must grow thick skins and not take reviews that aren’t spectacular to heart.

I found the two-star anonymous reviewer’s comments pretty fair. Not everyone is going to like my storyline or my writing style.

This is natural.

As a reader myself, I too, pick up books to read, and come to the same conclusions. Although, if I don’t like the writing style, I don’t buy the book, so I may be even more picky than my two-star reviewer!

The latest book I bought and am having a struggle getting through, I read the first few pages on Amazon and tended to like it because I thought the writing style was pretty good.

But I admit now that the storyline so far has been dragging, and I’m finding it easy to set down the book. The story just isn’t drawing me in to the point where I feel compelled to keep reading it.

Therefore, I understand everybody’s tastes are different, and that each author has her/his niche readers. And that’s good enough for me.

New writers out there and newly-published writers, don’t be discouraged if or when you may get a negative or lower-starred review. Count it as a good thing.

There are three things good about even two-star reviews that are somewhat negative, especially the one I received:

  1. The comments weren’t really insulting.
  2. The person took the time to leave a review.
  3. You learn what each reader gleans from your novel.

For someone who doesn’t really have a high self-esteem, I do know my writing is good, that my stories are worth sharing, and I appreciate the feedback.

Newly-published writers, keep writing and keep publishing your work. There are enough readers out there for each of us.

 

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The Value of Reviews

five star reviews

 

I cannot tell you how important reviews of your book, especially your first one, are. They are an author’s lifeline, and the review builds the author’s reputation and the value of her work.

Two ARC readers have shared their reviews so far, and I am going to share them here with you:

A cancer patient, a stolen icon, a Greek Islands vacation and an unexpected romance all come together in Dorothy Robey’s debut novel.

With her nephew lying in a hospital bed, Marina’s mother sends her on a mission of mercy to retrieve the family icon, famous for its healing properties. But when she arrives in Greece, Marina finds the icon is missing. Unsure of who to trust, Marina races against the clock to find the lost heirloom before it’s too late.

In Passage of Promise, the author’s writing pulled me into her world and kept me reading. I loved the familial thread in the story. The health problem was heart wrenching and realistic and helped me to engage with the characters. The mystery kept me turning pages until the end.

(full review available on Goodreads)

 

AND:

 
Can a single woman alone in Greece find her great-grandmother’s miraculous, healing icon that her family desperately needs, before it’s too late? Moreover, can this same woman find the something inside herself that she’s been missing, before she loses herself?

And what about the American English teacher she meets on her journey? Is he the man she has been looking for, or will he just cause her more pain?

Marina Sutton’s adult life had not been easy—a horrible track record with men, an overbearing mother constantly reminding her of her faults, a sister she is no longer close to, and a nephew with a life-threatening illness. The only light in her life seems to be Yiayia – her devout, Greek Orthodox grandmother.

This book is full of excitement, love and hope. The twists and turns of the story only reflect what is happening inside Marina. While she is searching for the icon her family needs, she is also searching within herself to find the faith she lost long ago.

Travel with Marina to Greece – see the sights, feel the salty breeze, taste the local cuisine, and experience the beauty of the Orthodox Church.

What a fun journey. I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to read Dorothy Robey’s future works.

 

As that old saying goes, my cup runneth over. I’m so grateful to these dear people for their thoughtful, insightful, and beautiful reviews, the last of which had me in tears. God gave me such a gift, and He’s guided me through my writing and all the processes involved in the craft. Thank you, Lord.

Fellow writers out there who haven’t published your work yet. Keep at it. Endure until the end. 🙂 Acquire ARC readers, followed by many other readers for your great work and feel the many blessings.

 

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