A Review of Reviews?
For creative writers the review is a necessary evil. We want feedback so that we can see if weeks and months of effort stand up to the challenge of entertaining our readers.
We must be prepared to take the rough with the smooth, which for some writers is easier said than done. Personally, although I feel annoyed when I see a negative point within a review, I don’t feel annoyed with the reviewer, as long as they have justified their comments.
I am most annoyed at myself if I can see that a negative comment is justified.
What is my average review across all of my titles?
I have so far published: four novels, two short story anthologies and five anthologies of poetry, and my average review: 4.7 stars. Over the full spectrum of my titles, I’m happy with that result, but I aim to improve on it.
Yes, it’s great to read a five-star review that praises one of my books. Irrespective of the rating, when I see comments that are less than complimentary I still tend to question my work, even if the reviewer has not qualified their reasoning.
Up until now, when I’ve read a comment that suggested that any part of one of my stories could be improved, I’ve made a mental note for the future. This is something I intend to amend in the coming months.
I am planning to start with the reviews of my most popular book, Beyond The Law. I will read each of the reviews in detail, including the five-star rated, and then I will make a list of both the good and bad points.
A well-written piece of feedback will give both positives and negatives, but where there are negatives, the review author will suggest why they’ve raised those particular issues.
My intention is to locate, analyse and amend any offending dialogue, narrative or plot issues.
Yes, it will be time-consuming, but if it means the reading experience will be improved for my future customers, then it will be worth any time I invest.
If I find that there is a point made that nobody else has highlighted, and I believe it’s simply a personal dislike of that particular reviewer, then I’ll leave the issue unchanged.
Why have I not done this already?
I have made several minor adjustments in the past, if I thought an issue warranted it, but this time I will revise whole sections of a story, not simply content to change a word here and there.
Do I have a sequence for how to prioritise my titles?
My plan is to start with my most popular book, and then deal with the next most popular and so on. At time of writing, I have four novels to work through.
How soon do I intend to get underway with my plan?
I am working on two novels simultaneously at the present time, and for the first time I’m using more than one beta reader prior to publication.
My aim is to have both of my current stories published by October 2015. My review of reviews plan will begin a week after the second of my latest stories is published.
Do I have a target date for my first in-depth revision?
Yes, my target date for the revised edition of Beyond The Law is December 2015.
What are the reasons for performing such an overhaul?
First of all an improvement to any book must be a good thing for readers.
Secondly, if my undertaking to improve my previous titles then produces predominately good reviews, then it will strengthen the case for multiple beta readers instead of paying an editor. Although my books are selling, I don’t earn enough to pay the rates of an editor.
As always, I will follow up this article with any tangible results when the time comes.
Thank you for reading, and if you have anything you’d like to add, or comment on about the topic, please do.
6 thoughts on “A Review of Reviews”
A review of reviews – that is such a Tom Benson thing to do! You are the ultimate perfectionist but it just shows you really care about your readers and being the best you can be. I’m not sure I’d have the patience to undertake such a big task but I wish you good luck.
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Hi Sylva and thank you for the visit and kind comments. Yes, it will be time-consuming, but I think it will be worthwhile. We shall see as my titles start to find ‘2nd Edition’ and a date in the front pages. 😀
I wouldn’t have the patience, Tom, and I certainly applaud yours. Keep us appraised, I’m curious now 🙂
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Hi Ramona. Thank you for the visit and kind comment. It might end up a labour of love, but however I treat it – it will be done. 😀
Reblogged this on SharonBrownlie.
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Thank you for the visit Sharon, and special thanks for the reblog. 😀
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