Bring On the Constructive Feedback!

As an author with one book published and one on the way, I have been extremely interested in the reviews I get on my first book through various sources – amazon, goodreads, book bloggers, etc.

I have been pleasantly surprised to receive ratings mostly in the 4s and 5s for Blue Violet as well as a majority of feedback that has been positive. Had I received a majority of 1s and 2s I would have kept writing, but I would have considered keeping it to myself. Huge thank you to those of you who both enjoyed the book and took the time to give me that positive feedback!

Now I will admit that I have also received ratings and reviews of 1 and 2 stars. And while they do make me sad, believe it or not I can handle that. I completely understand if my writing style, or plot, etc. aren’t to someones liking. There are books out there that the masses love and I can’t stand. It’s all personal preference.
Here’s what I find interesting… many of the reviews (on my book and other authors) that I see a 1 or 2 star as the rating either don’t have comments or simply say something along the lines of “I didn’t finish.” The reader in me sees that and thinks, “Fair enough.” The writer in me who’s only published one book and is working on a second book and would absolutely love to improve thinks, “Okay, so give me some feedback. Why didn’t you finish? Was the plot too slow? You couldn’t connect with the characters? Not your genre? Not your writing style? Too many typos?”
There are a TON of different reasons that could cause a reader to not finish or not like a book. Even a small amount of feedback is actually appreciated because I can read the feedback and decide for myself if it’s just a mismatch of author style vs. reader preference, or if there’s something I could and would want to actually work to improve. And I do want to improve.
Now you’re going to laugh, but I had to take my own medicine. People who rate books but don’t leave reviews are still appreciated (it’s a form of feedback) and in general don’t bother me – because I’m one of them. I am not a book blogger and don’t plan to review every book I read, therefore I decided to not put reviews up for any books. And here I am complaining about not receiving specific feedback for the 1 & 2 star reviews. Therefore I am changing my own behavior.  I’ve decided that I won’t list books that I would rate as 1 or 2 stars unless I leave a reason. Because I know as an author that I would want the feedback to be aware of and possibly incorporate into my next work.
Writers? Readers? Thoughts?

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