Today’s Friday Friend, Toni Lynn Cloutier, talks about reviews .
Have you ever written or received a book review?
I picked this topic because lately I’ve been hearing about negative/spiteful posts on Goodreads and Amazon. It makes me wonder if reviews really matter to readers when it comes to purchasing a book. Sometimes a negative review can pique the interest of folks just as much as a good review. I know honest reviews have made a difference for me as a writer.
As a reader, there are a few things I read before I buy a book. The back blurb gives me an idea of the plot, the first few pages gives me a feel of the author’s writing style, and then I read the acknowledgements because I like to read the personal side of an author. Only if I purchase a book from online, of course, I will glance at the reviews.
If you have been following my tour, you will know that I am a writer who is not a big reader. So if a plot or the writing catches my interest, I will read the book regardless of the reviews.
With that said, as an author who receives reviews, I have to say that reading a good review feels like being the ugly duckling getting a compliment from a beautiful swan. It’s priceless!!!! Of course all writers would love for a review to be positive but the reality is not everyone is going to enjoy your story. I totally get that. I don’t mind a positive/honest review I can learn from such as this one:
This review is for The Patriot Girl (The No Bulls Series) (Kindle Edition)
by By Jess@From Me to You ... Book Reviews (Elizabeth City, NC)
4 out of 5 stars, this dramatic romance throws a lot of twists your way and keeps you wanting more! I thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry and relationship between MaKayla and Dustin!! It's as if they were made for each other! Also, I appreciated MaKayla's dedication to Paul, even though at times I just wanted her to give up her personal fight earlier than she did so she could have been with Dustin sooner!
My only big problem with the book was all the little secondary storyline questions that were left unanswered. Like .... What happened to Tiffany to make her not show up to meet Buck? Did Tiffany's Dad like the "gift?" Will MaKayla and Dustin have more kids? What did MaKayla's in-laws think of Dustin? ... etc. So, I hope that within the next book in this series they will answer some of these questions and more.
Otherwise, I recommend this novel to those of you who like reading a dramatic-packed contemporary romance!!
How great is that? Now those of you who have read the book might be thinking.. Hmmm…I never thought of that. I remember these questions were answered in the original story but somehow had been deleted during the revisions. I never thought they were that important, but obviously someone thought so. It’s these little things a writer might miss in a story and I’m glad Jess mentioned them because it will help me to consider what to include in book 2 and what not to exclude in book 2.
You never know what your words can do to an author. Just a small shout out to say “Awesome book!” can make a writer's day. There are several ways to compliment an author. A private email, a post on Facebook, a Tweet, a full review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or on your own personal blog.
Here is a private email I received from Patty H, a reader in Rhode Island:
Good morning. Here’s a BIG compliment for you. As I was reading Patriot Girl last night I cried twice; real tears! Once when Jodi was arguing w/Makayla at the bank about Paul being “dead”. And then again when Dustin was at the hospital and remembering what happened. I’ve got to tell you I am really enjoying this story; no bull.
I enjoyed receiving this email because there is a personal story behind the first scene she described. I, too, cried while writing this part of the story. My husband came into the room as the tears were flowing. When I told him I was crying because of what I was writing, he shook his head, smiled, and then quietly left me to my characters. At this point, his reaction had me laughing that I had to stop and get myself together. So reading that Patty had the reaction I’d hoped readers would, had really made my day.
If you’ve never written a review or think you can’t, don’t worry. The only thing a review is, or at least should be, is the reader's honest opinion on a book. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Knowing there are readers out there enjoying what we do helps us to sit behind a computer and live in a fantasy world for a few hours while we put our real world on hold.
So, if you’ve ever read a book and really enjoyed it, or just want to tell the author your thoughts, don’t hesitate to send her/him a quick email or a short letter in the mail or a quick comment on Amazon. It could mean the difference between a writer writing her/his next book or throwing the computer out the window.
So, do you think an author should be concerned about whether or not he/she has good or bad reviews?
Toni Lynn Cloutier lives in Rhode Island with her husband and teenage son. She likes listening to country music while cleaning house, rearranging furniture, and playing with the cat they adopted from the shelter. As well as writing contemporary romances, she has also compiled two word search puzzle books which are fun and entertaining for all ages.
The Patriot Girl (published by The Wild Rose Press)
MaKayla Adams has always been curious about the wild side of life. Making love with her late husband wasn’t exciting, and she never could understand the big deal…until hunky nightclub owner Dustin James hires her as a public relations consultant. His touch arouses feelings she’s never known, and his kiss tempts her to cross the line between business and pleasure.
Dustin doesn’t remember the car accident that put him in a coma three years ago, but since his recovery, he’s pushed his own needs aside to be a single father to his young daughter. When MaKayla offers to help publicize his country nightclub, however, she ignites deeper feelings he can’t ignore.
But there is more than mutual attraction between MaKayla and Dustin—there is a shared past connected to her husband’s death. Will the truth bring them together or tear them apart?
She tilted her head toward his touch. “We do have an unusual chemistry, but anything more between us would complicate things.”
“In what ways?”
“Alex wouldn’t understand. Not to mention Paul’s parents.”
“What about what MaKayla wants?”
A loaded question she didn’t know how to answer. She wanted what she couldn’t have—not to be alone, the noises in her backyard to go away, a husband to spoil, and another child to mother.
“It doesn’t matter what I want. What matters is doing the right thing.”
“Even if it means being unhappy? When was the last time you did something for MaKayla without worrying about consequences?” He rolled his tongue and smiled.
“There was liquor involved. Otherwise, I never would have growled at you.”
She shrugged. “Because it’s inappropriate.”
He cupped her cheeks between his palms. “I find you sexy as hell and I’m going to kiss you. The time to stop me would be right now.”
Now here's the good news! Toni is offering an e-book copy of The Patriot Girl to someone who leaves a comment or question for her (don’t forget to add your email address so she can contact you if you are the winner)
Also, if you follow her 2013 blog tour, and leave comments on the other blogs, you’ll have more chances of winning the grand prize at the end of the year. Visit her blog for more details: http://tonilynncloutier.wordpress.com/about/
Other links for Toni are:
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=209524634&trk=tab_pro