That’s how I open goodreads. With the same kind of feeling you have when you find a sealed envelope with your name written in your boss’s handwriting laying on your desk. Half terrified, half nervous, with the tiniest hope that it might be something awesome, but knowing it is way more likely to be something sucky.
I was told (or rather, I heard from lurking on goodreads author threads) that is was of utmost importance to NOT go to the page for your free book until you were either 1-drunk or 2-in a really positive state of mind. So I stayed away. I lasted 2 days.
When I finally peeked, I was happy to see some nice reviews on my page! Yay! Even the reviewers that gave me 2 stars were nice, and honestly I can’t find any fault in their reviews (they are totally accurate reviews, my story just didn’t “do it” for them) so really I can’t complain about that.
I am pretty happy, because (as I posted here pre-release) I was nervous about the BDSM aspects of my story. I really wanted to write a more accurate portrayal of BDSM as it exists in many real relationships. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea, considering many readers of BDSM want a hard-core fantasy experience, not a real-life playful one. But it was well received, and though some people stated they’d have liked a more intense BDSM element, everyone agreed it worked with the story (whew!! Relief!) It makes me especially happy because I really wrote the kind of story I enjoy reading, so knowing that other people liked it too sort of validated me and my wacky tastes.
BTW, that story is now available for download directly from the mmromance website, where you can snag an ePub, Mobi, or PDF of the file for free 🙂
Anyway, back to reviews…
High from my positive reviews, I read a few other LL stories (some great freebies are up, you should check them out!) But when I looked at the LL story pages, I was shocked at the brutality of the reviews. I was surprised by not only the harsh tone of many reviews, but the commentary that followed them. The virtual “high-five”s reviewers share in comments after one of them posts a particularly scathing critique. The multitude of “likes” on each others one-star reviews. It was disturbing to see, more so since I realize it is only a matter of time before they post those kinds of things on my story’s page.
Suffice to say I am not going back for a while. I’d rather remember the very nice reviews I have now, and pretend that is the way my story’s page will forever stay 🙂
This song could function as an ode to reviewers:
“Your words in my head, knives in my heart. You build me up, and then I fall apart. ‘Cause I’m only human.”
I wonder, when people write mean things about a story, if they even realize there is a real person who is hurt? I’m not advocating false-praise, and I think if a reader has a problem with a story, they should be free to state it, of course. But there is a line between “critical” and “mean.” It is sad to see that line crossed so often. Sadder because I don’t think the people leaving these mean reviews are trying to be hurtful 😦