Thank you for all you do to promote wonderful books, which are written to both entertain and minister to folks in some way. Without some of you and your steadfast support, I don’t know how I could have had any Kingdom success with my book, “Secrets of the Pastor’s Wife: A Novel.” I am very grateful to many of you, but especially to the @themaryreader who was there for me every step of the way.
Yet for a very small number of reviewers, when you are reviewing and rating a self-published book, please remember your review holds incredible weight. Indie authors like myself, often spend a lot of our own hard-earned money on editors, book designers, formatting issues, etc., and sometimes also have to purchase quantities of books from our self-publishing companies, which can total thousands of dollars.
One negative review or rating from a highly-followed reviewer can be very damaging to a book’s sales potential, especially since self-published books already have a questionable reputation in general due to some being poorly edited, which is a huge hurdle for a diligent author to overcome anyway.
Reviewers do need to warn their followers when a book is poorly written or not edited well though. But when an author has produced a credible work, please consider that any three star or even 3.5 star or under review accompanied with some criticism might mean to a reviewer, “I still liked the book,” but to a potential reader, it says this is a mediocre work, and there are plenty of really great books out there, so why bother with it. This is especially disheartening, if the book truly promotes the Gospel’s message.
I’m not referring to mean-spirited reviewers, who enjoy posting caustic or damaging things about a book just for fun. Most authors have suffered unfairly from their destructive words on occasion, since we can often count on the world to be unkind or even cruel when reviewing a Christian book of any genre.
Instead I’m talking about well-intentioned faith-driven reviewers who might not realize the intense weight their review can carry. Of course, if a book truly deserves a mediocre rating, a reviewer must follow their conscience in the matter. Plus, an author can learn from constructive criticism, especially when it is cushioned by all that’s positive within a book.
Although, despite dozens of good reviews, self-published authors frequently do not have the support base to overcome even one negative review by an esteemed or major reviewer. A less-than-positive review, is also devastating for an author in a personal sense and emotionally painful, whether self-published or traditionally published. There is a fragile human being behind that author name on a book, one who is probably trying to do his or her very best to serve God as His wordsmith. Just food for thought.🙏
Christina Ryan Claypool has been featured on Joyce Meyer Ministries “Enjoying Everyday Life” TV show, and on CBN’s 700 Club. She is also an a national Amy/Ohio AP award-winning columnist, and two-time Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor. Her most recent book,“Secrets of the Pastor’s Wife: A Novel,” is available on all major online outlets. Contact her through her website at www.christinaryanclaypool.com.
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