Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On Reviews and Fan Mail

What I'm Reading: Whiskey Sour by JA Konrath

I'm still new enough at this to get the adrenaline surge when I see an email that says "a review of your book has been posted..." I try to brace myself for the worst. You can't please everyone. Don't take it personally. Remember, you've had great reviews, so there are some people who like your books. I remind myself about all the knock-down-drag-em-out discussions with my critique partners where nobody agreed on anything. A review is one person's opinion. I hold my breath, tell myself that if someone gives me a bad review, I will blame it on my editor. After all, she should have fixed any problems, right?

Still, we don't like to see our babies put down in public.

Finding Sarah's reviews have ranged from "top pick" to "okay." Nothing scathing, and, thankfully, no personal attacks. Some of them got the name of Sarah's boutique wrong, and one even spelled my name wrong, but what the heck. "What's in a Name? hasn't been out as long, but it's doing well, too.

However, yesterday I got an impromptu "review" from a reader. These are special, because first of all, readers BUY your books. Reviewers normally get them for free. And readers have absolutely no obligation to take the time to tell you what they think about your book.

Now, what makes this "review" even more special is that it came from well outside what I consider my reader demographic. Here it is.

If I'm reading fiction, it's usually sci-fi like Asimov, so romance/mystery was a complete departure for me.

I'm a mechanic, not a literature critic. You haven't asked for my opinions, but heck I'm sending them anyway :-)

Well, I enjoyed reading Finding Sarah hugely. Detweiler's thoughts and feelings were well-drawn. Sarah was likable, and the difficulties she faces are believable while being... well, unbelievable.

Chris *gasp* you weren't meant to like him, were you? I was impressed with the way the finger is slowly pointed to him by implication.

My favourite characters were Starsky and Hutch, naturally.

Just to re-emphasise, I'm a tradesman who knows nothing about fiction, least of all romantic fiction. Just sending some mid-thirties male reactions.

Maybe I should start advertising in Popular Mechanics

No comments: