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Dana Taylor

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Member Since: Sep, 2010

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Praise and Punishment--Customer Reviews
1/5/2012 11:54:00 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Should authors read their customer reviews?

Indie authors actively seek customer reviews because we know they can generate word-of-mouth book sales. Not surprisingly there are actually review mills, offering positive reviews--for a price.

When I first started publishing, I asked my inner circle to PLEASE write a review. And you will see some common names if you check out my various books.

Ain't Love Grand?However, as time has gone by, the reviews have come in spontaneously, without begging or coercion. I was shocked last week to discover AIN'T LOVE GRAND? had garnered 23 reviews at Barnes and Noble when I wasn't looking. And you know what--I'm not going to read them! 

Yes, I've learned the hard way that reading customer reviews really messes with an author's mind. Several years ago I remember Suzanne Brockmann saying she doesn't read the customers reviews and I thought it odd at the time.

Now I understand. The praising reviews just flit through the mind, but the solitary 1 star sticks like a thorn, forever implanted. I've received two 1 stars that I know of and in each case, I had hit a hot button for the reader. One person ranted about my historical inaccuracy in my satirical comedy, ROYAL REBEL, a twist on the Robin Hood legend.

The other 1 star was one sentence on AIN'T LOVE GRAND? calling it a "religious trap."

It's true that faith and spirituality are a common theme in all my books, even the comedies. It's who I am, the air I breathe, the thoughts I express. Don't read my books if you want to avoid God-talk.

Once a book is published, it's pretty much a done deal. True, now with digital publishing, we can revise with the push of a button. So, I do have a friend read all my reviews in case there is some glaring editing problem that needs revision.

But, on the whole, it's time to move on to the next project, go where the muse leads. Looking back at the customer reviews makes me lose focus on what's ahead. They make me second guess my instincts with everybody's opinion.

Still, it is encouraging just to see a new person has taken the time to say a few words about the story. Maybe someday when I've decided I'm all written out, I'll go back and read the reviews. Hopefully, the good will out weigh the bad and I'll know readers found joy in my imaginings.

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More Blogs by Dana Taylor
• Free Land! A Mad Dash for the American Dream - Tuesday, April 22, 2014
• Time for a Latina Heroine - Sunday, April 13, 2014
• OK Spirit Shines in "Proud Heart" - Friday, April 11, 2014
• The People's Republic of Amazon - Saturday, October 27, 2012
•  Praise and Punishment--Customer Reviews - Thursday, January 05, 2012  
• DaSample: Hope for the Holidays - Saturday, December 03, 2011
• DaSample: Shiny Green Shoes - Friday, November 11, 2011
• Run, Maddie, run! - Monday, October 31, 2011
• When Women Share A Vision - Friday, October 07, 2011
• Steve Jobs, A Cautionary Tale - Thursday, October 06, 2011
• DaSample: "Royal Rebel" The Jousting Tournament - Friday, September 02, 2011
• DaSample: I Can't Get Next To You by Chicki Brown - Tuesday, August 23, 2011
• Meet the Funny Ladies - Saturday, August 06, 2011
• DaSample: "Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance" - Friday, July 29, 2011
• DaSample: Return of the Runaway Bride by Donna Fasano - Wednesday, July 06, 2011
• SundaySample: "Ain't Love Grand?" - Sunday, July 03, 2011
• Da Sample: Ever-Flowing Streams: Christ, Reiki, Reincarnation & Me - Friday, July 01, 2011
• DaSample: Where Dreams are Born by Joyce DeBacco - Friday, June 17, 2011
• Dana's Metro-rail Adventure - Sunday, June 12, 2011
• Sample Sunday: "Ain't Love Grand?" - Saturday, April 09, 2011
• DaSample: "Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance" - Friday, April 01, 2011
• SampleSunday: Ain't Love Grand? - Saturday, March 05, 2011
• DaSample: Fourteen Days Later by Sibel Hodge - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• DaSample: Matchmakers 2.0 by Debora Geary - Wednesday, March 02, 2011
• DaSample: Secrets of Midnight by Miriam Minger - Monday, February 28, 2011
• Sat. Sample--Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance - Friday, February 25, 2011
• Sample Sunday-- "Ain't Love Grand?" - Sunday, February 20, 2011
• Sample Sunday--Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance - Sunday, February 13, 2011
• Sample Sunday--Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance - Sunday, January 16, 2011
• DaSample: Second Chances by Valerie Maarten - Tuesday, January 11, 2011
• DaSample: Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance - Saturday, January 08, 2011

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