Yesterday I got my first non-family five-star review (I’ll go into the family reviews later in this post) and it came at the best possible time. Watching as my sales slowed, which I hear that’s normal, I was beginning to doubt myself and wonder if I was even a tolerable writer. I had received one review already and it hadn’t been glowing, it wasn’t horrible either, but I realized that I was not going to make enough money from this first book to pay for cover art and editing for the second one, plus recoup the costs I already had. I’ll either have to release it without paying an editor like I did the first one or I’ll have to get a “real” job and just write on the side. Having someone review my book asking for the series to continue was…I’m not going to lie tears were shed. That review made everything worthwhile. I got awesome highs when my family read the book and said they liked it. I loved it when my sister gave me her review on the book because she is the target audience and she loved it. Having a stranger tell you they liked your work and then ask you to continue with the series, the feeling is amazing. So to the person who reviewed my book, in case you read my blog, thank you. You’ll never know how much it means to me.
Now onto family reviews. I read a lot of the kindleboard writers café, probably too much because I feel like I know some posters better than real life friends and I have to work to make sure my own posts aren’t creepily stalkerish.
“I see ______ that your opinion has changed from what you said on October 27th 2010 in _____ thread. Would you care to explain what happened to make this change? Is it because the third book in your series came out and based on your sales results posted _____ happened?”
I really don’t want that to happen because these people are my peers and I want them to like me, so I avoid those posts.
Lately there has been a lot of discussion on the board about reviews, mainly sock puppet reviews, but family reviews have also been mentioned. Several posters said that family reviews embarrassed them and I think some said they encourage their family not to post. I was lucky enough that my sister, her husband, and my mother read my book. As previously mentioned my mom skipped a lot, but my sister and her husband read the entire thing. They are my first 5 star reviews; I don’t in any way think their reviews are “cheating.” Part of what I feel family is, is a support system. When my grandfather sold cars, we bought our cars from him; when I sold Avon, all the women in my family bought their makeup from me. I have a very tight-knit family so this is just what our family does. Yes the reviews are enthusiastic because they were a part of making the book, but they aren’t lying to prospective customers. They give a better idea of what the book is than my plot synopsis actually.
Anyway that is all I’m going to say about that.