As authors we are forever chasing that well known beast—reviews. A good review can elevate your books to a level that catches a reader's interest and a bad one can just as easily close the book before the first page is turned. However, as a reader, I like to compare. I don't take a 2.5 or 3 star review at face value. I peruse through all the posts and then come to my own conclusion on whether or not to buy the book.
Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, a negative paragraph or two can have a huge impact on us as authors.
Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Absolutely. That's why I always point out that there's enough readers for all of us, and we should help each other as writers instead of sabotaging one another. Now here's the issue I'm seeing lately and one that's bothering me. With the ease of digital we are able to offer ARCS instantaneously. Good, perhaps, but there's a dark side as well.
Enter the reader who just wants a free book. They're not necessarily interested in your genre, you, or the books you have parading around on Amazon. They see FREE and they're in. As authors it's difficult to say no and weed out an audience that normally doesn't enjoy paranormal, sci-fi, romance, thrillers, mystery, or whatever genre you write. So we do the gracious thing and offer our babies up for whomever will read them with hopes they leave a fair review.
Negative readers will present a murky interpretation. Not caring or maybe realizing that beginning the first sentence of the review with, I normally don't read this genre so the book did nothing for me, isn't a well rounded picture of the book itself. When someone starts off on a negative, they usually end that way. I'm not saying there hasn't been occurences that someone has read a book in a genre they normally wouldn't have and wind up loving it, but those magick moments are few.
So what's the point you ask? The point is as authors we cannot comment, call out, or highlight contents, on any of the negativity. We just swallow the lump in our throats, take in a deep breath, hope others will dissect and conclude for themselves, and then move on. I'm sharing this with the hope that if just one person thinks about it before they agree to read an ARC that doesn't truthfully interest them, they take a pass and wait for one that does. Kindness is always free, thoughtfulness always welcome, and community the only way we can all thrive.