Tuesday, 4 March 2014

On negative reviews...

I probably shouldn't enjoy getting negative reviews half as much as I do. Every time a review for The Forgotten or Under comes in I inflate with joy. Really. I inflate, like a balloon, or like Harry Potter's aunt. Before I had reviews, I thought they were just a really cool thing to have. People reading my book and saying things about it! Maybe they even liked a couple of things! But I've since learned the error of my ways. Reviews aren't just cool and exciting and humbling ... they're extremely helpful.

It's been nine months since The Forgotten was first published, and I have an equal amount of positive and negative reviews (possibly one side is more than the other, I haven't compared numbers). What these opinions have done for the Lux Guardians series, though, is much wider than maybe recommending the books to a handful of people. 

Reviewers have pointed out things about TF that are blindingly obvious to me now, but never occurred to me before. Like, for example, six POVs is far too many (Why did I think that was a good idea? Rookie mistake!) and they switch far too often, leaving the reader disconnected from the characters. Also people find it confusing for the same reason and are unable to keep up with the plot (though that may just be related to the plot itself, which is admittedly convoluted and complex - for good reason.)

This isn't to say I don't enjoy reading positive reviews because I do. I love them. I squee. I freak out. People enjoyed my book?? It cannot be! But negative reviews aren't completely worthless. Well, not the ones that give reasons, anyhow. If your reviews are all 'THIS BOOK IS TERRIBLE! AWFUL! THE DEVIL'S WORK!" I probably wouldn't pay much attention, but critical reviews ... those are gems.

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