So, I've been patiently waiting for Smashwords to finally distribute my free story collection to Barnes and Noble. I've been checking every day several times a day, and yesterday, Eureeka!!
Only, someone else beat me to it. Apparently, within 2-3 hours of the 11,000 word collection going live, someone had read it and given it two stars. Then, within 2 hours of that, another person gave it a scathing 1 star review--one of those that lamented the time spent reading the free work.
The funny thing about this is that I'm not upset about the one star. Sure, it might hurt the book from gaining more exposure, but honestly, Angels and Demons was just a fun experiment with first person perspectives where your afterlife can be determined by what someone else might do to you. I just thought it was something interesting to think about. Either some people really, really didn't see it as interesting or fun at all, or someone is legitimately review bombing me (I've read about these kinds of things on KB).
Here's the thing, though. Either way, I'm not mad at all. I'm not even a little upset. Publishing books is fun, and what I love about the books I'm working on is that I actually enjoy reading them. I've read Angels and Demons several times since I released it on September 3rd, and I still get a kick out of it.
The maelstroms? The homeless, amoral sidekick? The charred wings and the devil trying to kill as many people as he can before God's angels catch up with him? A naked angel walking around Oslo? It just seems fun to me. Someone else could have written it better, but for some reason, I had the idea instead. Sorry about that.
I've heard of authors who can't stand to read their books, and directors or actors who would never watch their movies again, but I'm just not feeling it. I have fun rereading my books and stories--often way more than I enjoy reading other authors.
Anyway, I expect a lot of 1 and 2 star reviews, and I'm sure I'll have earned them in spades. Maybe that comes with writing specifically what I want to read. It sounds pretty darn selfish, but it doesn't mean I don't want other readers to be happy and enjoy themselves. I value feedback from readers, and I hope that others take a chance on Angels and Demons and provide your opinions in all their unadulterated honesty and sharp, serrated edges.
You won't get backlash from me. You're more likely to get a high five and a thank you, especially if you actually offer valuable feedback. Sometimes, as an author, I can't see the forest for the trees. I've even had stories that intermingled with each other, and while I'm rereading one of them, I might patch it in my mind with stuff I wrote somewhere else and not notice where holes or something like that might lie. So a bad review is often a blessing in that regard, and I look forward to them.
It's all good. Heck, it's more than all good. It's fun! So, review bomb or not, I hope more people speak their minds about books and give honest reviews. 1 star, 2 stars, or 0 stars if you can manage it. If a book needs work, let other readers or the author know about it. Similarly, if you loved a book, tell everyone why in detail. It can only help us authors get better!
Happy reading everyone!
P.S. Before I finished this post, another reader appears to have plopped down a 5 star rating to offset the 1 and 2 stars and brought the average up to 2.5. Thanks whoever you are! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one having a good time reading these things :D!
P.P.S. In the spirit of the light-hearted way in which this collection was composed, I've updated the Smashwords description--which will eventually make its way to Barnes and Noble. It's sort of Samhainy :D!