A Life, Redefined was self-published three months ago. Sales have ranged from high, to low, to non-existent, and back to high (relatively speaking, of course). Reviews have mostly huddled around high (4 to 5 stars consistently), with one 2 star review that I didn’t think was all that bad.
Reviews can take the author on a roller coaster ride of a life-time. Not until one has written and edited a novel until one’s fingers bleed, then released that novel into the reader stratosphere, can one really understand how emotional reviews can be for an author. A positive review can set the tone for an entire day, maybe two. A poor review can send self-confidence plummeting for weeks.
I can’t count how many times I have received e-mails from distraught writers. “I got a 1 star review. Help!” Reviews can be harsh. If you’re going to write the book and release it to the world, you have to have a tough skin when the reviews start coming in.
A Life, Redefined has received a wide range of reviews, from high to low. Here is a quick, abbreviated low-down of the most complimentary to the one that is, well, not so:
“Ms. Meyer is an author worth keeping an eye on, and a talent worth reading!!!” –Tonya Smalley with InD’Tale Magazine
“An amazing novel–should be required
reading in school.”– reader Joni Lynn via amazon
“…it is brilliantly written and I highly recommend you read this ASAP. My only criticism: I wanted more . . . lots more.”
– Best Chick Lit Reviews, 2013
My 2 star review states this (among a lot more):
“This story is stingy in offering hope…While the content is meant to be heavy, it sometimes teeters on the edge of
cliché. ” – J’Nel Wright for IndieReader
The 2 star review was an honest assessment of their reading experience. When I first saw the 2 star review, my heart plummeted to the floor. I blinked several times. My head was flooded with I’m a terrible writer. I’m never going to make it in this business. I can’t write. I suck.
But then I took a deep breath and reread the review over and over and over. It wasn’t so bad. The reviewer didn’t attack me as a writer. She kept the review aimed at the book, which is how it should be. She might not have loved the book-bummer-but her review was mature, respectful and honest. I’ll take it.
The thing about reviews is that you want them-the good, the bad and the ugly. (Why do some reviews have to be so ugly, though? I don’t know.) But as a reader, when I search through reviews, I want to see a variety of opinions, not just a mass gathering of 5 star reviews. That makes me suspicious. Even the most successful, well-known writer’s novels don’t move everyone.
Be glad someone read your book! Because in the end, isn’t that what we want-someone to read our book? And when someone attacks the author, not just the novel, move on along. That is unnecessary and you don’t need it. Criticism is one thing. Being mean for mean’s sake is another.
A Life, Redefined is a harsh, gritty book, bordering on the line between Upper Young Adult (YA) and New Adult (NA) fiction. The heroine is only 17, which falls into the YA category. But the content is so heavy, it can fit within the NA category as well. And sometimes, no matter what genre it falls into, it’s going to gather poor reviews. Fortunately for me and A Life, Redefined, it’s garnering very positive reviews. Even the bad review isn’t so bad.
If you’re interested in reading this novel, I’m putting it on a celebratory sale for a few days. You can get it for $0.99 if you order today (kindle version). You can see for yourself what the reviews are talking about and if you’re so inclined, please leave your own review, good or bad.