Creative Re-Reviewingby Jill Monroe
About a week or so, a pretty flying discussion took place over at Romancing The Blog on book reviews.
I thought I might share my perspective as an author.
Most everyone who has employment has a performance review. Usually this entails a meeting with your supervisor, sometimes even over coffee. A form can be involved. Although these reviews can take place in many different ways (I'm picturing a scene from the TV shoe The Office), I can say with almost certainly the results of your evaluation are never printed in a magazine or posted on the Internet for all to see.
A month or so before my first book, Never Naughty Enough, was released, one of my good friends e-mailed me. "Hey, I saw your review in RT - what did you think?"
Well, I hadn't seen it. And just what did her question mean? Was it a bad review? Did the review say something weird? Did it say my book was bad and I needed to lose 15 pounds? Surely if it were a good review, my friend wouldn't want to know what I thought. She'd say congratulations.
Luckily she e-mailed me the score (4 - yea) and the last sentence.
Jill Monroe's debut, Never Naughty Enough, is a strong effort, seamlessly blending raucous humor and pure sensuality.
Of course, if you know me, you've heard me talk about how my ability to obsess, will know I spent hours, and I mean hours on the word "effort" Click here for an example.
Anyway, like an idiot, I signed up my name for google alerts. Google will send you a nifty little e-mail anytime you're mentioned. Let's just get this out right now - MISTAKE!!! And no, I no longer get the alerts anymore.
So picture the evening, kids in bed, dh planning an evening at home with me. My name pops up. It's a review site, and based on two or three words - NOT GOOD.
I've likened in the past getting a bad review to flowing through the stages of grieving. Denial and Anger are first and on the heels of each other. Then comes the forwarding of the bad review to all your friends and critique partners. A round of blasting e-mails, usually with the subject header of “They’re Wrong” and “They Totally Missed It” floods your inbox.
Next comes the stage involving chocolate and diet cherry cokes from Sonic (I celebrate with these items, too). The last stage is acceptance. This stage only comes after I have rewritten the review.
This is my favorite part, and easy to do. And although I have not consulted with Dr. Debra, it's very therapeutic, and I'm sure she'll say it's a healthy release. I remove all the words I don’t like from the written review. For instance, the new (and highly improved) review I received became:
Never Naughty Enough is… entertaining and unexpected.
Hey, honestly, all those words were in that review!
I call this technique of getting over a bad review Creative Re-Reviewing. And although I hope you're never in the need to creative re-review, feel free to use it if needed.