Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Honors and Controversy

Today I have the honor of an interview with Charity Bradford. She asked some questions about writing, my books, and a little about me. So, for your amusement, I invite you to visit her SITE.

I had a huge surprise Monday night when Jennifer Hillier notified me via Twitter that my blog was an official BLOG OF NOTE! That really blows me away. I am really humbled.

I was also really honored when this book came in the mail on Tuesday - Yvonne Lewis’s new book, Written From the Heart. It’s finally available for purchase here in the USA and I’d ordered it last week. Yvonne is such a sweet person, a really giving and loving spirit, and I’ve often referred to her as my online Mom. And here’s another reason why I was so stoked to get her book:

Yes, that is my name on the back of her book, like it means something! I was just as excited to see it on her book as I have been on my own. Yvonne, thank you for this gift – you are truly an amazing person.

Before you go, I’d like to toss a couple controversial and hot topics at you. Feel free to chime in with your opinion.

Should an author read reviews of his own book?

Elana Johnson posted about this last week. Her view was that reviews are for readers not authors and we shouldn’t ever read them. (Because at that point, we can’t change the book anyway.)

I think we should read them. Sure, we’ll be bummed by negative reviews, but we can learn from those - they can reveal where we lacked and what we need to work on in the next book. They can also guide us as we write the next book – what do the fans want? And of course, the good ones just plain make us feel good!

If I hadn’t read reviews for CassaStar, I wouldn’t have known I needed more detail, depth, and world-building. I also wouldn’t have known how much fans wanted a female character!

What do you think?

Now for the other tough subject. This one is huge:

Patriots or Giants – who do you have winning the Super Bowl?

I am still groveling for votes for CassaFire’s book trailer at You Gotta Read Videos. (And the groveling isn’t a pretty sight.)

And don’t forget to visit the awesome Charity Bradford.

You are now free to leave your opinion and move about the Internet!


A Daft Scots Lass said...

Done my voting, Alex

Congrats again on BON!!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Your 'Blog of Note' award is richly deserved, Alex - congratulations.

Juliana said...

Congrats on your Blog of Note award!

Hm, I'm not into the Super Bowl, you know, here in Brazil we're more into soccer =P Even when I lived in the US, I just wasn't into it.

About reviews. I agree with you. We should read them all, but not answer to them, at least not to the negative ones.

India Drummond said...

We should definitely read them--we just need to learn how to keep them in perspective (a small percentage of people will never be happy and will leave scathing reviews no matter the content of the book--look at famous bestseller's reviews to see even more evidence of that) and not be driven by them.

But I do strongly believe we shouldn't respond (unless the reviewer has done the review at our request, but even then we should thank them privately.)


Yes Alex I saw it on twitter to about you being a blog of note.
Well deserved.

Well, I didn't expect that bit a good publicity about me and my book. A big thank you Alex.


Tonja said...

You're having a great day! Blog of note AND a quote on a book cover. Awesome! I think it's probably good to read the reviews for authors planning on writing more.

Marta Szemik said...

'Blog of Note' award - very well deserved. Congratulations.

Patriots or Giants - that's football right? Sorry, have no clue but I would bet on the cuter outfits.

I agree to read book reviews for the same reasons you gave above. We may learn something about our book we didn't know and improve the craft in the future.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Not surprised your blog is a Blog of Note. You are such an awesome blogger.

And I saw your comment on Elana's blog post and totally agree with you. Even if it's hard to read the bad reviews, you do learn from them.

I read some book review blogs and learn a lot from reading what they like and don't like in the books they are reviewing.

Lisa said...

Congratulations Alex!

Karen Baldwin said...

Congratulations, you blogger of note. And I agree with Elena. For heaven's sake! Why abuse ourselves with more ways to feel insecure? If the book is published...isn't it enough to celebrate?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lass and Annalisa, thanks!

Juliana, responding is not good.

India, you're right - even the best books have bad reviews.

Yvonne, thank you for allowing my name to grace the back of your book!

Tonja, that's how I feel.

Marta and Natalie, I do think we'll learn something.

Thanks, Oceangirl!

Will said...

Congrats on a great day! I've only heard of one other Blogger Buddy getting a Blog of Note, and his followers exploded overnight!
I used to watch a lot of biography's, back when the Bio channel showed them before they became another "Reality' marathon, one many artists said that if they read reviews at all, they kept an emotional distance, so they didn't wind up with swelled- heads or cruched-spirits.

Li said...

Can't weigh in on the football - I don't follow it, only soccer.
I think it's important for authors to read reviews and know what others are saying about their book, both good and bad. As you say, Alex, it's a good way to find out directly from the horse's mouth what readers like, dislike, or wish for in a future volume. As for a bad review - well, that's just one person's opinion isn't it?
Congrats once again to Yvonne on her book, and to getting your name on the back of it :-) (You are, of course, a person, author and blogger of note even without the recognition/awards, but it's always nice to get them!)

The Angry Lurker said...

Reviews are good to read even if they're bad, we can grow better sometimes if we know what's wrong and Patriots for the win.

Rusty Carl said...

Congrats on the blog of note thing. Good stuff. As for reading reviews, I agree with the thought that reviews are for the readers, not the author, but that doesn't mean I can't look. I just try not to respond to them, good or bad.

Giants in the Superbowl I suppose, I had been rooting for San Fran and the Ravens respectively so I'm a bit disappointed already.

Unknown said...

I think Giants to win. They had Brady's number once and he hasn't changed his style of play, plus the G-Men defense is far superior to the Pats, but who knows?

Reading our own reviews can help or hurt us depending on how we decide to take them. Plus it also depends on the reviewer. Some offer genuine criticism, some are just haters. Then you have really positive reviews that lift us up.

Thanks for the awesome linkage. :)

Anonymous said...

I'll have to agree on the first point. Gracefully accept the criticism, and become a better writer. Period.

As a loyal Bears fan, I'm mostly ambivalent to the Super Bowl. However, I married into a Giants family. But I like The Pats. It'll be close, that's for sure. I'll put Giants over Pats, but just barely. And in overtime.

Brinda said...

Congrats on the Blog of Note award. Also, that is so cool that you are quoted on the back of a book. You have been officially named an authority! I have voted on the trailer. Good luck!

Ciara said...

I voted. I believe in reading reviews. If you see a constant comment showing in many of the reviews, than you know it is something you should work on. Don't take one specific review too personal.

Laura Pauling said...

I probably will read reviews for the constructive ones, to know where I let readers down and how I can improve. But I will ignore the completely negative ones. I think some authors just can't handle the negativity and if it affects their writing, they need to stop reading them. I guess, it's personal.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

A lot of awesome news. Congrats to you and Yvonne.


LynnRush said...

As an author, I read the reviews. ALL of them. And I've learned a few things that'll help me in the future books/writing adventures. Sure, the bad ones sting, but that's okay. Critiques and editing sting sometimes, too. It's just part of the process. We learn from them all. Become better people and better writers! :)

One thing I will NOT do is read my book once it's published. Because I know I'll find a mistake or something I want to change, and that's just torture! LOL!!!!

farawayeyes said...

Congrats on your awesomeness(I mean that sincerely not the snarky way it might sound.)

I think authors NEED to read reviews for a variety of reasons. Also, I recently read that it was a 'conflict of interest' for an author to review other books. I DO NOT agree with that either. Authors are the reading public too. Personally,I'm pretty sure I would value a review by another author a little more. Isn't that why we have CP, Beta Readers (who generally include other authors) and belong to writing groups. Seems to me READING reviews and WRITING reviews; it's all part of the Plan. said...

Elana makes a good point, but what author is able to avoid reading reviews? I can't imagine I'd have that kind of restraint.

I'm so glad you got blog of note. Good to know they pick noteworthy ones, or did this time. CONGRATS, Alex!

PS Giants for the win!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Will, that's good advice.

Aw, Lisa, thanks!

Rusty, I can't ever root for the Ravens.

Joshua, good advice and I think it will be close as well.

Ciara, exactly! That's how I knew I needed to work on world-building and to add a female character.

Lynn, I've never gone back to read CassaStar either.

Faraway, good point!

Thanks, everyone!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Voting, done.

Reviews, must read all. Good and bad.



Laura Eno said...

Congrats on seeing your name highlighted on someone's elses book! Also the blogs of note. You rock, you know. :)
I couldn't ever stay away from reading my reviews, although they do swing me from ecstasy to agony.
Superbowl...who are those teams? I watch the commercials and eat large quantities of snack foods.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your name being highlighted on some body else's book that's huge!!! You are pretty awesome though.x

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think reviews are really kind of useless to an author when you arrive a that point in the game. Why? -Because no two people read a book and come away with the same exact impressions for every detail. You can't please everyone and in theory, the most important problems in the book should be picked up by the countless writers, betas, or professionals that help it get to where it's at kwim?

Tess Julia said...

Just stopping by to join your blog- On your hot topic of reading reviews, I wish I was far enough along to have someone read my work! I would read reviews because painful though it might be, I might be able to grow if they had valid points.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Congrats on being a Blog of Note. I think your thousand plus followers already knew that.

Maurice Mitchell said...

When I first started blogging I used to dream of being a "blog of note". Awesome man! Giants forever!

baygirl32 said...

blog of note! congrats

PIEBIE said...

Top Information, Visit me back my brother.............

Charles Gramlich said...

Congratulations on being named "blog of note." That's very cool man.

Unknown said...

Congrats on the interview and having your name on someone else's book.

As to your question, I think it depends. Can a writer handle the reviews? Will that writer want to respond to the negative feedback?

Sometimes the reviews will help you know where to go on your next book and will encourage you to keep writing when you're in a slump.

Michelle Gregory said...

Patriots, in honor of my friend from Boston.

Old Kitty said...

Cats to win!

Loved your interview btw! No pants for you!!
p.s. I get upset when I read bad reviews of friends' books - so I only read the nice ones! :-)

Take care

Rek Sesh said...

Need guts to read reviews specially bad ones....haven't been there yet, so feeling warm and safe for now.
Congrats to you for the award and Yvonne for her poetry book out in the big, bad, non poetic world. ;D
Voted for your video too.
And American football doesn't move me with their tight pants and helmets. Soccer!! now that's something I dig specially the South American teams( hmmm...the good looking guys are just a bonus really).

Karen Lange said...

Congrats, Alex! Will hop over to the interview.

I would have really liked to see the Eagles in the Super Bowl, but, oh well. Don't have a fave between these teams. Now if the Flyers would win the Stanley Cup, I'd be really happy. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Laura, you're funny!

Honey, well said!

Maurice, and I'm sure you will be!

Clarissa, that's how I feel.

Kitty, if the Panthers or Bengals were playing, that would be a valid pick! Silly Kitty.

Thanks, everyone!

Matthew MacNish said...

Yours was the first one on there. And A to Z is up there too. Very cool.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats about being a Blog of Note! Although we people here already knew yours was one. ;)

That's also Yvonne had your review on her book. I would be thrilled too. :)

And I agree with you about reviews.

As for the Super Bowl, I'm not sure. I think the Patriots will want it more, since the Giants beat them the last time they were in the Super Bowl together.

Budd said...

look at you getting blurbs on the backs of books and blogging notes and what not.

Arlee Bird said...

Sure authors should read the reviews. The well presented reviews, even when bad, can be used as a learning tool. The bad reviews that are poorly written and just plain dumb can provide some entertaining reading.

Tossing It Out

Jeremy [Retro] said...

awesome news on the blog of note thing... let us all know your daily numbers will spike... the world is a better place, when cool stuff gets some notice...

mshatch said...

Nice review over at Charity's and yes to reading reviews for the very reasons you state. No we can't change what's been written but if we don't know what didn't work how will we ever improve? Of course, one also has to try to not take those reviews too personally. Which is probably the hard part.

Jen said...

Serendipitous. I just discovered Jennifer Hillier's blog today! In fact, I stopped by there before coming here.

Very cool to have your name on the back of someone's book your admire!

I think we should read reviews but only if we can handle them like a mature adult. As in: read it, take from it what you can to either better your writing or make you feel good and then walk away. Leave all the mess behind! Easier said than done, I know.

And now, off to the interview!

Happy Wednesday!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Congrats on being a Blog of Note!

As for the Super Bowl - I hate both teams since I'm an Eagles fan. Objectively, I think the Pats will win. I just can't wrap my mind around a 9-7 team winning the Super Bowl.

Christopher Hudson said...

How could you resist reading a review about your book?

Patriots vs. Giants? Who cares ... the Tigers just signed Prince Fielder!

Sarah McCabe said...

I think whether or not author should read their own reviews depends entirely on the author themselves. And specifically, whether or not they are able to exercise enough self-control to not respond to them.

Once upon a time when reviews mostly happened in newspapers and magazines it wasn't a big deal. If an author read a negative review there wasn't much they could do about it. Now any author can easily find and respond to all sorts of reviews online. The temptation is great to respond in thanks to good reviews and to try to justify yourself to bad reviews. Authors should avoid all responses, I think. So if you can't do that, if you're going to feel compelled to respond, then you just should read them. Remove the temptation.

Jay Noel said...

I can see why many authors think reading reviews is pointless. But I think you can gleam some insight with them. I mean, if you see one review after another making the same points - it's something to consider. But I wouldn't lose too much sleep over a bad review.

Rooting for the Giants, as I never liked New England. (Old grudges die hard)

BB said...

Congratulations on BON! That's awesome. As for Super Bowl, I'm an avid NY Giants fan. Go Blue!!!!

Luna said...

Congratulations, Alex!

Well, I don't like either team so I'm rooting on myself to win some money. :)

Good luck!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I have been a musician my whole life and firmly believe that critique is great - even when I can't do anything else. However, I also know that there are people who write bad reviews because someone stepped on their big toe and they hate the world and don't have anything to offer except a black heart of hatred. Those are the people who shouldn't have the internet.

Huntress said...

The biggest problem with commenting is wrapping my brain around all your info.

Charity = best CP ever, congrats, very deserved acknowledgement, I agree, and Patriots.


Sangu Mandanna said...

I love your take on the reviews topic, Alex! And it's such a great topic I had to, erm, 'borrow' it :-)

Congratulations on being a BLOG OF NOTE! I'm not at all surprised.

Kelly Robinson said...

I can't remember who said it --Kingsley Amis, maybe?-- but the quote is something like "A bad review can spoil your breakfast, but you shouldn't let it spoil your lunch."

Walter Knight said...

Poor reviews affect mid-list sales. I know it is difficult for an author to be objective, but if you don't defend your work with a few responsive comments, no one else will.

Most negative reviews are honest, but there are trolls out there intent on only causing harm.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, Giants seem to be the favorite.

Cherie, might be revenge time in the Super Bowl.

Lee, and I'm all about the entertainment!

Jen, "mature adult" is key!

Nicole, it's rare a 9-7 team even makes the Playoffs.

Sarah, excellent point.

Jay, I agree that if the same points keep coming up, one should take note.

Jamie, I like your way of thinking.

Tasha, well said!!

Huntress, you did it!

Sangu, feel free to borrow.

Kelly, wise quote.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Between these two teams, I want the Pats to win. They certainly have motivation because they lost the superbowl to them before. Should be a good game.Giants have been in a hot zone of late.

Reviews: I think it depends upon whether an author can refrain from responding to those negative ones. Some are truly snarky (my opinion is, snarky is unprofessional in a review). But I agree with you, you can learn from the less than stellar reviews, especially if the same few points are being commented on.


Bob Sanchez said...

I always read my reviews, and the comments are nice enough, I quote them shamelessly.

Rooting for the Pats in the Super Bowl, but it should be a tough game.

Dani said...

Yes, definitely read them. Alex, what's a Super Bowl? ;)

Angela McCallister said...

Alex, you are total humble pie ;) And my vote has been tallied and I tweeted for the poll.

As far as reviews, I'm undecided. You have very valid points for reading them, but I may opt to ask my closest friends and family to screen them for me first. I had a bad crit experience a while back and it was pretty traumatizing. I still can't touch the WIP I'd worked on without feeling sick. I'm very good at taking criticism, but it was destructive, not critical. Think I'll avoid that situation in the future.

David P. King said...

Got some more sites to check out. Awesome! If I ever get something published, I'd probably read the reviews, too. I've reviewed a ton of movies for another site, so I understand the process. It will be the well-written negative reviews that might concern me. :)

Cate Masters said...

Congrats on being a blog of note!
Off to visit you at Charity's.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Oh, I missed that blog post by Elana. I think I agree with you on that, Alex. I recently came home from a trip to visit my grandkids and my daughter and her husband have both read the book I'm getting ready to query. My SIL finally said he that had a problem with one issue. It's something none of my betas commented on. I chided him for not mentioning it sooner because it was a valid point and something easily fixed. That kind of input is invaluable!

And I must confess that I'm really glad there's going to be a female in CassaFirE. lol

Patsy said...

Congratulations on these awards. See we've both been nominated for the college finder one too -

Vote for me! Vote for Me! Er, I mean Vote for Alex!! Vote for Alex!!(Actually vote for all the blogs you like as multiple voting is allowed)

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats on being A Blog of Note. I don't have an answer for you on anything. My brain is wishy-washy-ing along with my washer today. I hope to return to firmer footing tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I read reviews. If I get one where the author for some reason not specified clearly didn't like the book, I just shrug. Even Stephen King gets one, two, three star reviews. You can't please everyone. But when someone really likes my book, it makes me feel good. All we writers need to feel good!

I have to say I don't follow sports. I keep thinking I should since all my children and grandchildren do. But....

I'm now going to visit Charity Bradford to read about the awesome Alex Cavanaugh. Wow. CassaFire is going to be out SOON. :-)
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Helen Ginger said...

Congrats on the Blogger of Note. I zipped over and voted.

I watch football, but don't have a lot vested in who wins. I tend to cheer for a team based on odd reasons. I like New Orleans Saints because Drew Brees graduated from the same high school as my kids. I like San Francisco because my daughter lives there now. But neither of them made it to the big finale.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats on Blog of Note.

I've always read my own reviews. As you stated, we can learn from them. I think authors who don't are a little bit in denial.

D.G. Hudson said...

Should authors read their own reviews? Yes, to find out what the readers say. The performer has to find out the reaction from his audience. That's his feedback, in a sense.

Congrats on the pleasure of seeing your words given respect by another writer! (That seems to imply that it does mean something).

Well deserved.

Birgit said...

You should be proud!! That5 is great to see you name reviewing a book because as one who reads books..I read the back and inside pages to see what others think. As for your is up to the individual but I think even the people who say they don't read the critcis...they do! So whatever floats your fancy as long as you have to stomach for negative comments. I think of it this way...if they give comments, good or bad, try your best to support your reason. If you say it is schlock and don;t state why well i wanna know same as why you think it is good. I find it fun that one person thinks it is schlock writing is the same reason another loves it! Often happens. For the 2nd question??? Is that baseball? or Hockey?? OK just kidding. I shall vote for the Giants..Although i have no clue why so I just rubbed out my own talk up above. Have fun!!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

my vote is still out on the subject of reading reviews. I think I'd be too tempted not to because I like to know what people think. Likely it will depress me though ;)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

First off, congratulations on your winning blog of note. It is definitely deserved as I have found that all of your content is "noteworthy".

I have no opinion on the reading of reviews. I think that for me, I will read some but not all. But each person will have to decide whether it is the right move for them (that almost sounds like I have an opinion now doesn't it?).

On the Superbowl. I would like Eli Manning and his team to win. I'm relatively new to the whole superbowl thing and there's just something offputting about Tom Brady that I don't like. So for me, it's simply about not liking Tom Brady (even though he is an incredible athlete and has many gifts). I am great at picking losers it would seem. I wanted the Ravens to win and my heart really goes out to the poor kicker and how he must have felt. I hope that people console him for it must have been the must difficult day of his life.

Unknown said...

Yay for being a blog of note!

I'm torn about the review thing. I think both you and Elana make valid points. Um... Perhaps I'd get someone I love and trust to go through reviews for me, print the awesome ones (for when I'm feeling down), as well as the ones that seem to criticize constructively, and never let me know about the just-plain-mean ones!

(I still think I'm going to have a VERY hard time NOT looking at reviews! It's just so tempting!)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sia, exactly! And the Super Bowl all comes down to who is hot right now.

Shamelessly, Bob?

Angela, that's a good idea to have someone screen them for you - I like it!

David, all we can do is learn from those.

Donna, and better to know now than later! I think you guys will dig the female lead in CassaFire.

Patsy, it's quite a list - I think I know 75% of the bloggers,

Ann, I know - less than five weeks! I am so not ready...

Helen, sounds like you select favorite teams the way my wife does - she likes the Saints because Drew Brees is cute, though.

DG, that's true - it's the reaction after the play, so to speak.

Birgit, I want to know why as well.

Lynda, you are a brilliant writer - I wouldn't worry.

Michael, there was a hint of opinion there! And yeah, rough for the Raven's kicker.

Rachel, Angela had the same idea and I think it's a good one!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Just came back from your amazing interview on Charity's blog. What a neat thing to discover your opinion is so valued that an author put it on the back of her book!

Like you, I believe we should not avoid a chance to grow as writers simply because a negative review will hurt. If they wildly off-base, they are easier to bear, for the person obviously has an ax to grind. Insightful ones smart but also help you grow, too, Roland

TL Conway said...

Wow--congrats on the award! That's incredible!

G-men. Please Dog, G-men...

Laura said...

Yay - you are a Blog of Note - how cool is that! Can't wait to get my copy of Yvonne's book through the post!

Andrew Leon said...

While I do agree that reviews are for readers, authors that don't read reviews always strike me as little kids with their fingers in their ears saying, "la la la la..." That may not be fair, but all of them that I have seen posting about it seem that way to me. The "I just don't want to hear that" attitude. Reviews are important. For many different reasons that I don't have time to go into right now. Mostly, though, I just don't think it's healthy to try to pretend they don't exist. If you can't take it, maybe you shouldn't be writing? However, like Sarah said, read it and let it be. They're not meant to be responded to. It's just someone's opinion, and everyone is entitled to their opinion (no matter how wrong it might be :P).

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Elena - reading reviews on your book is about seeing what you can learn as a writer. Everyone has subjective views and you'll never please anyone...

Pearson Report said...

The Ninja Captain rock the Blogosphere! It's a fact!

CONGRATS on the BLOG OF NOTE distinction...Blogger got it right!

Cheers, Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

Helena said...

Congrats, Alex, on being quoted on a book cover!
As for reading bad reviews of your books: sometimes they can make a good point, but at other times a critic can be very wrong. There's a reason why we now laugh at critical reviews of everything from To Kill a Mocking Bird to Wuthering Heights. Ultimately, all reviews are subjective, whether good or bad.

Emily R. King said...

I don't watch the Super Bowl. I guess my Canadian side wins over my American, but I can say with total confidence that authors shouldn't read their book reviews unless they are prepared for the criticism. Yes, they will miss out on a lot of good, but the bad can spoil all the good. Besides, we're not supposed to believe our own press, good or bad, right?

Dafeenah said...

congrats! I personally would read reviews. It's the only way to grow. I have no idea about football lool unless it's soccer lol

Carrie Butler said...

Congratulations, Alex! It sounds like your 2012 is off to a good start! :)

Belle Wong said...

Great question about reading reviews! I think you can learn a lot from reading reviews of your books, although you should always keep in mind that you can't please everyone. But the most important thing for an author is not to respond to (or attack) a negative review - that can just get so messy!

Anonymous said...

Giants! And congratulations on your Blog Of Note award.

Morgan Mandel said...

You definitely have to read reviews of your book so you can tell everyone about them. In the case of bad ones, try to hide them.

Super Bowl question - I don't care who wins as long as there's good food around and good commercials.

Morgan Mandel

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats on being of note. I think, like you, that an author can learn from reviews. One of my reviews said my first book started out slow. I didn't think it did, but it made me keep that in mind for the next one.
I'm torn on Pats vs Giants. My house is divided.

Leovi said...

A nice interview, I envy you in playing the guitar.

Christy said...

I also read Elana's awesome post. I think every writer has to go through the entire experience--including reading horrible reviews of our books! It's a right of passage you know.

DL Hammons said...

BON! Alex BON!! :)

Yes, authors should read their reviews, but they shouldn't comment about them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Roland, yeah, what was Yvonne thinking? But seriously, I was very honored. And I think the reviews help us grow as authors.

Andrew, that's a great visual with the kid! I think reading them is important and one has to be prepared and tough enough for the crappy stuff. Because it will happen.

TF, but we do need to know when we are consistently messing up. I'm not talented enough to see that on my own!

Jenny, thanks!!

Emily, if we're prepared, we can usually handle it.

Belle, I'm sure you've had it happen! We can't please everyone but we can always try to do better.

Morgan, here's hoping the commercials are better than last year.

Susan, that should make for an interesting Super Bowl then.

Christy, that is one way to look at it!

Thanks, DL!

And thanks everyone for your willingness to vote for my trailer, your congratulations, and for spurring on a great conversation here.

Kelly Polark said...

Well written blurb for Written from the HEart!
And congrats on Blog of Note. You totally deserve it. You are seriously the King of Bloggers!

And yes, it would be incredibly hard not to read your reviews. So go ahead. You can't change it, but like you said, you could use some of the advice for the next book. Or just ignore it and focus on the positive ones!

nutschell said...

Oooh! Congratulations. Your blog is definitely note-worthy. Done voting! hope you win!

Nancy Thompson said...

Hey, I voted for your blog on Twitter! Good luck! And hey, how cool is that to have your name and review on someone's cover?!

As for reviews, should I ever receive any, I would definitely read them, though I know I would piss a lot of people off with my current book for it's level of violence. But I know I can't satisfy every reader so not all reviews would be positive, but perhaps the negative ones could help me improve, like you said.

Jennie Bennett said...

I was pleasantly surprised just now to open my dashboard and see your name on the blogs of note. I was like "I follow that guy!" it was pretty awesome :)

RaShelle Workman said...

I voted! Go CassaFire!!!

Nicki Elson said...

I love it when I'm free to leave my opinion. ;)

Re: the Superbowl - Who cares?
Re: Reviews - I absolutely think authors should read reviews. Not live and die by them, but take what we can for future writing. And yes, to smile real big sometimes. :D

Not only are you a Blog of Note - you're at the tippy top of the page! Congrats.

Christine Rains said...

I agree with you. I think we should read reviews. It will help us in the end. As for the Superbowl, it's here in my state, not an hour away from where I live. It's dominating the news. I'm ready for it to be over with!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kelly, thank you!

Nuschell, at this point, I'm just hoping for third place.

Nancy, thanks for doing that!

JA, thanks!

Nicki, that is wild...

Christine, you still have ten days.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Congrats on being selected as a Blog of Note! I also love what you wrote to Yvonne! Julie

Shannon Lawrence said...

Congratulations on the blog of note; well deserved! Wonderful that Yvonne had your review on her book, and that it's out.

I intend to read my reviews. Yes, some of it will be stuff I don't want to hear, but if there are helpful nuggets and valid complaints in there, it's worth reading.

I guess Giants. I was hoping the 49'ers would be in. Admittedly, I'm not really invested either way; I just enjoy superbowl party food.

Adrienne said...

Congratulations on your award!
I think reviews are important for authors to read. In art school, we always had critiques on our work, but I had to learn to sort through all the BS and at least consider the constructive criticism. It still stings, though, when someone doesn't like your work.
As for the Super Bowl, I'm a Redskins fan, so it would be nice to see the Giants lose. I'm holding my nose and picking the Patriots.

Tamara McRill said...

Congrats on your well-deserved Blog of Note award, Alex!

Anonymous said...

Of course I read reviews!!! Like yourself, the feedback is essential. From early reviews I learned I needed to make numerous changes to the original version of Breakthrough and re-release it.

I added the ending rather than leaving it a cliff hanger, changed the POV to Third Person, and edited out hundreds of gerunds and redundancies.

And Congrats! on the BON award. Very cool.

Jamie Gibbs said...

Congrats on the mention!

I think with reading your own reviews, you need to make sure that you can handle criticism. You need to be certain that your resolve is tempered enough to take the rough with the smooth. I've seen enough authors crack at the sight of negative reviews to know that, unless you're 100% sure you can take it, never read them.

Mark Koopmans said...

Voted again and Super CONGRATS on the Blog of Note... but you've earned it, Alex, so don't be surprised :)

PK HREZO said...

How cool your blurb on Yvonne's book. Two of my fave bloggers! :)

Misha Gerrick said...

Hehehe I'm not sure if I'll one day read my own books reviews, but you've also made a good point. I'll have to see when I get there.

As for Super Bowl, I don't know, since we watch Rugby in South Africa. ;-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shannon, I'm not invested in either team, so just hoping for a good game.

Adrienne, critiques can help us grow.

Stephen, it obviously benefited you then.

Jamie, no one wants to see an author crack. It's not a pretty sight.

Thanks everyone!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Alex - you certainly have a blog of note! And also the blurb - lucky Yvonne :-) I don't know who the Giants and Patriots are LOL. Yes I do live on the moon.
And, finally, I'm having second thoughts about reviews too. Not because there's anything wrong with them, but I don't think they help to sell the book. Someone said you shouldn't give 5 star reviews - it shows you're the author's friend (that's not true, actually - and that 4 stars are the ones that count. If I could get reviewed by...say...The New York Times then I'd be happy to forget any others LOL.

Saucy Siciliana said...

Congratulations! I am following you from Rome, Italy.

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations Alex! Should I ever be so blessed as to have a book published, I think it would be hard for me NOT to read reviews, good or bad.

As for the Super Bowl...who's playing at half-time?

Mina Burrows said...

#120 commenting sir!

Great post. Congrats on your blog of note award & Yvonne's book. It's nice to be recognized.

Reviews are tough. Reading what readers think about your book is important, but if the negativity hurts/hinders the author's process, then they may want to pass. I see both sides of this one.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I don't know about the reading the reviews thing. I don't know that i'll have the temerity to read them, but i agree with you that they may help me become a better writer. I'll need like a review screener

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

It's so nice that Yvonne has quoted you one her new book. Quite lovely!

Jessica Bell said...

I really enjoy reading my reviews. I love to see how differently people perceive my work. I think it's entertaining, and I don't let shitting things get to me. It's just the way it goes. Not everyone can love everything. And MAN ... how do you cope with all these comments????

Helen Ginger said...

How many times can we go vote?

Helen Ginger

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think we need to read reviews . . . I've read the ones about my poetry at Every Day Poets, and it helps.
Superbowl . . .umm, not sure.

Karen M. Peterson said...

Congratulations on being a Blogger of Note, Alex. When I saw that tweet from Blogger, I was like "HEY! I KNOW HIM!!"

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, but what if I like the book that much?

Thanks, Francesca, and welcome!

Bish, I heard Madonna, but I hope I'm wrong.

Thanks, Mina!

Sarah, a screener sounds like a good idea.

Jessica, some days it isn't easy!

Helen, how many computer gadgets do you own?

Thanks, Tyrean!

msmariah said...

Congrats on the blog of note Alex. Google is finally acknowledging what we've known all along.

With regard to reading your own reviews, I think it's absolutely essential to read reviews of established reviewers. It could only help your future writing projects.

Constructive criticism is important, especially in the deeply personal world of writing.

That's my humble opinion.

M Pax said...

I voted Monday :)

Cool on Yvonne's book and being a blog of note. Yay for you.

I don't authors should respond to reviews, but I think we have to read them so we know what our fans love about what we do.

I think I'd have to go with the Pats. The Giants are still a sore spot for me.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I wish you luck on the trailer! Already voted. I am so happy for you about the award. Thanks again for visiting my blog and staying to chat, Roland

CA Heaven said...

I was disappointed that the Broncos didn't go all the way. I think Patriots will win

Cold As Heaven

Unknown said...

Hi Alex, usually there are so many comments on your blog that I do not have the time to go through them before making one myself, but just in case no one has mentioned this,the link to Yvonne Lewis’s new book is not working.(loved the shout out given you) Off I go to check out your interview.

kjmckendry said...

You rock! Congrats for being on Blogs of Note!

I think it is important to read all critiques, if you want to grow as a writer. But you can't get down on the negativity. Just work hard to improve.

Mark said...

Wow! That's really rad your name's on the back of her book...way to go!

essays uk said...

Very nice post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

MsMariah, thanks, and I agree with you.

Mary, so that we give them more of what they want, right?

Thank you, Roland!

Cold, it will be close.

Siv, thanks - I'll fix it!

Thanks, Kmckendry!

Mark, just as exciting as having mine on the front.

Unknown said...

Woot, woot!!! What an honor. :))

Oh, and should authors read their reviews...hmm, tough one since I haven't published a book. However, I have published a short story in a YA magazine (Sucker Literary Mag.), and I heard one "review" I could've done without.

My fellow SCBWI peeps encouraged to to brush it off and grow thicker skin. :)

Copyboy said...

That's an amazing honor. And well deserved.

MISH said...

WOW! Congrats on your Blog Of Note achievement!
I'm off to vote now...

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Woohoo Man, Blog of Note, what a grand honor.

Stand up and take a bow!!! This is fantastic!

I'll have to check out Yvonne's book!

God bless ya and have a phenomenal day!!!

Talli Roland said...

Congrats on your blog of note! Very well deserved.

As for reviews, I'm with Elana. They don't do you any good and can do you a lot of harm! Either you end up believing the Kool-Aid or the fact that you're a 'disgrace to the genre' as one of my so kindly said! :) See, I shouldn't have read it!

Susan Oloier said...

Wow! Lot's going on. 1) Congrats on the blog of note; 2) I think writers should read reviews if they can learn and grow from them. If it just makes them angry, then they shouldn't; 3) I live on the west coast, so I'd prefer to have seen the Broncos in the SB; 4) Off to visit Charity's site.

Pearl said...

Blog of Note! But of course!


Leovi said...

These beautiful words deserve to be put yours on the roof, clearly visible.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is definitely one of note. :)

I don't mind reading reviews of my work. It gives me ideas on how to improve my writing.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks so much for the heads-up about Yvonne's book. I just started a new book order and went right over to add it to my list. Now I need to go over to her blog and get caught up on posts. I'm so far behind on everything bloggerly...

Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on being a Blog of Note! :) Wow. And I see you've reached exactly 1200 Followers--congrats on that too!

I think a few won't be terribly injurious; I think being obsessed with them--looking them up and dwelling on each one--is a bad idea.

Suze said...

I love that your blog is a blog of note, Al -- yay!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Candy, sometimes we have to do that.

Thanks, Copyboy!

Nezzy, I think you'll really like Yvonne's book.

Talli, you aren't a disgrace to anyone.

Susan, yeah, it would've been quite the story to see the Broncos make it.

Patricia, she'll be happy to hear that/

Golden, I have???

The Happy Whisk said...

You absolutely are a Blog of Note. No doubt about that. Congrats to you, Alex. And keep up the great work.

Cheers & Boogie Boogie.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the award! And my vote was #101. =]

Unknown said...

Alex, thankyou for taking the time to make a comment on my Blog and wishing me a Happy Australia Day! I went to comment on this entry and was blown away by the sheer amount of people making a comment! (151) You seem to be a really motivated person, and I congratulate you for receiving notification of a 'Blog of Note' form Jennifer Hillier!

I am just astounded, please give yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work you do and the kind words you embark upon others.


Author A.O. Peart said...

Congratulations on the Blog of Note award - 100% deserved!

As for the book reviews, we should definitely read them. Otherwise it is like ignoring what our readers want us to know. After all, we write for the readers and not just for our own satisfaction. Not taking into consideration the voices of those who put time and effort into reading our books and writing those reviews, would simply feel wrong to me. Some of the reviews are not nice and hurt our feelings. But, we authors, must develop a thick skin. This is hard but necessary in this business.

Elana Johnson said...

I replied to almost everyone on my reviews post, so I won't go off again here. (I said everything over there.)

But I will say that I think it's a mistake for authors to look to reviews as a reputable source for critiques. I'm going to write what my story needs, regardless of what the fans want. If my story required a woman, I'll write her in. If it didn't, I wouldn't. And I don't need to read a review to know that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Whisk!

Thank you, Milo.

Thank you, Carolyn - thanks for taking the time to come see me!

Angela, I couldn't agree more.

Elana, every author is different. It helped me to read them. And I had no idea what to write for the next book, so thank God I read them!

David said...

When you are wandering around a bookshop browsing through various titles, there is one thing that is absolutely sure: you Will judge a book by it's cover. Intriguing title? eye-catching artwork? What else have you got to go on? Of course one alternative is to have read something about the book before you buy it. This is why book reviews are good. It helps you to avoid wasting money and your valuable time on a book that really is not very good.
Furthermore, I believe that the Giants will win the Superbowl, possibly in over-time.