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Donita Paul
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I have learned to pay little attention to the reviews that give a one star. Usually the writer of the review has an agenda or just likes to spout off. I am wary of three stars as well, dating back to the statistic classes I took in college. The mid point didn't declare anything and mostly avoided giving an opinion. That isn't necessarily being a mugwump. There are many times when I don't feel strongly, one way or another about a book. I wouldn't throw it into the river and I wouldn't keep it on the shelf for frequent re-read. In that case, a three star designation is acceptable. When I'm looking at reviews for my books, I read the five star reviews for warm fuzzies. Armed with good strokes to my ego, I read the two stars. Often there are valid points in these. If said as constructive criticism (even my son has told me my battle scenes are meek) I try harder to fine tune this part of my craft. Then I read the four stars where more bits of wisdom often lurk. And if my confidence in my craft has taken too many hits, I read the five stars again. I have author friends who never read reviews. That's okay too. I don't want my ego squashed or my head swelling like a pumpkin in September. I've identified one reviewer who delights in crushing reviews. I see his name and skip it. I would just like him to know I don't bother reading his vitriol. That would be satisfying. However, it's petty, too. Do reviews help me as the author? Yes, I think the well-written and thoughtful analysis of a reader is priceless in affirming what I do right and motivating to hone my craft in areas I am weak. I'm going to go look at Dana Lynn Smith's book.
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Aug 29, 2011