By: Greer Macallister
I like to give advice. While I don’t consider myself an expert by any stretch, I’ve been writing a long time, and I think all writers benefit from a community that shares information, support, expertise, and suggestions. (And also wine, but that’s a lot harder to do online, as it happens.)
And one of the things I tell people is this: Don’t read your Goodreads reviews. People will say nasty things about your book. About your writing. About you as a person, even though they don’t know you. So why bother? You’ll be happier not mucking up your life with that kind of negativity, right?
Except for this: I do read my Goodreads reviews. Almost every day. I’m a terrible hypocrite, and I thought it might be interesting to explore why. (With a few examples straight from the site to help out, because why not?)
The Magician’s Lie was captivating, to say the least. This novel is a concoction of The Night Circus, Water for Elephants, a splash of Downton Abbey, a pinch of American Horror Story: Freak Show, and a sprinkle of The Hunger Games.
There’s nothing like unvarnished, straight up reader reviews to remind you that every reader is different. Everyone sees what they want to see. If you want to control what your readers experience, to tell them that a certain character is intended to be a hero or a certain scene is meant to be read ironically or they didn’t catch a clear reference to one of your influences in Chapter Sixteen… well, publication is not for you. Once the book is out there, it’s theirs. Period.
Unfortunately I was just bored the majority of the time.
Do negative reviews push me to do better on my next book?
. . .
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