There is another reason why I have taken my time. All of my ebooks are on Amazon exclusively (paperbacks can be found at iBooks, Barnes and Noble etc.) Like all people who have a product on Amazon, I depend on customer reviews to help sell my books. My books sell incredibly well and I get a lot of positive feedback via social media and email about how much people love them. I have even gotten emails from fans saying they are going to go give them a great review. which makes me really excited. So. I go to Amazon and no review ever posts and I realize they gave it 4 or 5 stars on goodreads, which is fine because readers are important there too! But, my books on Amazon have almost no reviews and it makes me kind of sad. I tell myself that I don't need them because I know I have a good audience and my books sell. Then I get a 1 star review like this one:
I've been looking for another fantasy series to read and I came across this one and decided to download the sample on my Kindle. I am so glad I didn't waste my money on the actual book. After reading a few pages into the second chapter I just couldn't go any further. Within the first two chapters there are 2 inconsistencies:
Inconsistency #1: Shey and the little girl Oria are taken by the Enforcers. One of the captains was apparently a friend of Shey's and he gave her a magical stone that transported Oria and herself to the Defenders outpost. The little girl asked her what happened and she explained that the captain was her friend and had a personal Lora Daine, a dragon stone. She explained that she used it to transport them to the Defenders outpost. They go inside and meet Enowene and she comments how Lyrrath found her to which Shey says "What was that?" and Enowene proceeded to explain that it was the Lora Daine that she used. Um, what? Didn't Shey just finish explaining to Oria what the stone was?
Inconsistency #2: Shey has to travel to the ruins of the temple. When she gets there she is startled to find another person there and admonishes him for "sneaking up on her". A few paragraphs later she makes a comment that she had asked Enowene to send him to meet her there. Ok, so if she KNEW he was going to be there, why was she startled when he showed up???
It's small things like this that bother me. I could see a small inconsistency in the middle of the book where there is the possibility that the author forgot a small detail but within the first two chapters? If the author can't keep track of things within the very beginning of the novel then I fail to see how he can keep track of things throughout.
End of review
So, I panicked a little and then went to the text. The passage for inconsistency #1 reads as follows:
“I see Lyrrath found you,” the woman said.
“What was that?” Shey asked, still pouring the dark, fragrant liquid into a small tin cup.
“The Lora Daine. You used the stone.”
“Aye.” She handed the stone over to the woman. “You will see Lyrrath gets it back, won’t you?”
The reviewer completely misread it. Shey is not asking what a dragon stone is! She is saying "huh" or "what" to Enowene and Enowene clarifies that since Shey used the Lora Daine (dragon stone) that Lyrrath must have found her. No inconsistency at all! Still I changed "What was that" to "What did you say" in the original text just to make certain it's clear.
AS far as inconsistency #2 Yes, Shey knew Gondrial was coming but she didn't know when he would show up. She is in a spooky place and looking at a grave when he suddenly speaks behind her and she is startled. Again, no inconsistency at all. It would be like you were in a cemetery and someone walked up behind you and said boo! It's really not that far of a leap to understand.
The moral of this story is that I got a little discouraged. I didn't know why exactly, I know it wasn't because I got a silly 1 star review. a simple look into the reviewers past reviews revealed that she rarely gives more than 1 star to any book. She is a chronic 1 star reviewer. It happens and we just move on, which I did.
Then it hit me why I was discouraged. The 1 star review was not the problem (everyone gets them they are no big deal) If an author can't take a 1 star review they may need to look into doing something else! Even when the 1 star review isn't accurate or fair (as the one above) authors trust that most readers can discern fact from fiction and see the truth. Sometimes fans will even reply to the reviewer and tell them they misread or something. So, again, the 1 star is no big deal.
The part that got me down is that the people who like and love my books do not often review my books. They left me to eat this ridiculous 1 star review, knocking my rating down. I know Amazon asks buyers to review products including books but too often people delete the email or ignore it leaving authors like me with little to counteract silly or inaccurate reviews. Several of my books have zero to 2 reviews. If I get a review like this on one of those books it will kill the rating and people might think the book is bad or something. I live in constant fear of that. I have asked for reviews inside all of my books and I have asked for reviews from my mailing list but rarely does it work. It seems only people who dislike a book feel a need to review it.
It's a cycle, I have to keep selling books to keep writing books. Reviews may or may not help sell books but bad reviews do tend to torpedo sales if they are the only review a potential buyer sees. So, I implore all of you to review all of your books (not just mine) and support your favorite authors. Don't skip the review! Don't let inaccurate or silly reviews be the only reviews on the author's book page. Especially if you enjoy reading that author. It does make a difference. Reviews are supposed to be for readers, so negative and positive reviews are suppose to help a potential buyer decide on the book. If you like an author or a book series then please speak up and review that author or series!
For me personally, If you hate my work, I welcome the bad review (sometimes I need the kick in the pants) but equally, if you like or even love my books give me a good review on Amazon. You don't have to type much. Just give it a star rating and say good book in the comments!