Oh yeah…about that thing…

Being a writer is tough. And it’s certainly not for everyone.

You need a thick skin. You also need to learn how to ignore.

But sometimes when things are so obvious and blatant, it makes you wonder and question why you even bother.

For the first time in my writing career, I’ve experienced something rather unique – when a story sells well, but there are no reviews.

None. Zilch. Zero.

The book in question is the full book to Daddy’s Angel. There are reviews now, thanks to some loyal readers, but for a full 24-hours, there weren’t any. Normally I would chalk it up to being an odd occurrence, however, the last couple of books I’ve released had the same reaction; those books being All I’ve Ever Wanted and I Need You.

I don’t write very long books.

So I had to take myself out of the equation and really think about what is my true purpose of being an author – is it the storytelling? Is it the glory?

My books have never been big on reviews for whatever reason. The sales surpass the reviews and one could never tell that. In fact, my biggest selling story is not the S&M series but To Love and Obey. Yet, it only has 44 reviews on Amazon, along with reviews from some well-respected book blogs.

Yet, I find myself in a predicament…should I continue to slave over a story and characters just to meet with a resounding silence?

Let’s put it in another way – reviews generate sales and feedback. If a story does well, it makes me start writing another story, then another, and you get the idea. So if a story doesn’t do well, I can chalk it up to it just being that story and continue with another one. But if the reviews are slow coming in, or worse yet, none at all, I have no desire to write another.

Which brings us to S&M IV…

In the full version of Daddy’s Angel, I included a hidden (well, not so much anymore) sneak peek of S&M IV since three characters of the book appear in Daddy’s Angel (those who have read the story know who I’m talking about). I was excited, very excited and hoped that the feedback would drive me to finally finish IV and release it this fall instead of Christmas.

Oh how naïve I was.

I’ve noticed something – if I do something that many considered to be “wrong”, I will never hear the end of it (see Where I Wanna Be for an example). If I do something right, it’s silence. I don’t know why that is but I know it’s always been that way despite how hard I’ve tried to change it.

So what does this mean for S&M IV or any future books? I don’t know, to be honest. I need to take a few days and really reevaluate why I’m writing. Do I really want to write for a silent audience? Do I want to cater to a passive-aggressive audience? Do I want to write for the love of writing? Am I really okay receiving paltry reviews? Am I really okay with people giving me their silence and secret support but not open and vocal?

Do I really want to put my blood, sweat, and tears into IV…just to receive NO feedback at all? Because we all know, I will receive no reviews for that book if the past is any indication.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’m at a crossroads.

I’ll release the other books I’ve been working on with little to no fanfare. It’ll simply be a case of you’re on Amazon (or other sites) and see that I dropped a book.

So that’s it, really. I’m perfectly okay with how things ended with Scott and Mariana in I Need You.

And there you have it,

-V.

6 thoughts on “Oh yeah…about that thing…

  1. seasonedone says:

    Hi Vera,
    I am also guilty of not leaving comments. Your S&M series is how I came across your work. It is my favorite. However I understand how you feel if you do not hear from your fans concerning your work. I had never read books from bdsm until I read your books and it opened my eyes. So in this case I am going to beg. Please please please (in my James Brown voice) complete the series.

  2. Zina Barnum says:

    I am sometimes guilty of reading a book with out leaving a review. If it is a book that I really liked and it truly moved me I will leave a view. Usually I will finish one book then start another before I can leave a review and then I usually get to busy to leave a review. I will try harder to leave reviews. But my to read list is very long, I keep buying books and it will be a while before I read it.

  3. Kim Scott-French (@Ksfgyrl6) says:

    Hi Vera, I wanted to take the time to say that I am a huge fan, but if I have to be candid, I am not a consistent reviewer. Until I saw your reply to my tweet yesterday regarding S&M IV and this blog post today, I never realized the effect of not reviewing a book and how the author feels about that. I could give a multitude of excuses for not posting reviews or giving feedback, but honestly it comes down to plain laziness. Normally for me, I post reviews when I am extremely unhappy with something and therefore I want to warn others not to waste their time or money. However, reading your blog post lets me know that positive reviews are just as important.

    I understand that you are at a crossroads, but let me just say that you are inspiring more people than you know. You have inspired me to venture into the world of writing erotic romance because I fell in love with the stories that you have told. You create wonderfully real and flawed characters and you have a way of pulling people in – not every author has the ability to do this. I hope that you let your book sales speak to you over the lack of feedback in the form of reviews (or lack thereof). I also want to agree with another point that was made in an earlier post which is, I buy the book but I often don’t read them right away (due to my schedule).

    While I don’t think that I am in any way qualified to say this, I think that with your snippets of S&M IV, people were just waiting patiently to see where your vision would eventually take the story. So again, while I now understand that the lack of feedback is not good – I really enjoyed the snippets and waited to see where you were going with it versus imposing my view of what should happen.

    I understand that the decision is completely yours and I will continue to be loyal fan. However, I hope that you take the replies here to heart and know that within the silence there is a ton of love and respect for your work.

  4. S Harris says:

    There are a lot of reasons why people don’t leave reviews. Personally, I’ll immediately write a review after I finish a book if it evokes intense feelings whether it be positive or negative. I also try to leave a review if it’s the author’s first book. Otherwise, I wait until I have more time which is usually when Amazon sends me an email asking me what I thought of the book. I belong to a popular ir readers group where there are daily suggestions on new books to read. Many of us buy books but don’t read them immediately. I’m pretty sure that’s part of the reason for your lack of reviews even though you have high sales numbers.

    Now for my unsolicited suggestion: If you want more reviews politely ask for them. Most authors do. Some leave a message at the end of the book. Others post messages on their fan pages when they announce a new release. And most have personal advocates who constantly remind readers on the author’s fan page weeks following a release to leave a review because the author would appreciate it. From what I can tell, the above mentioned approaches work.

    On another note, I hope you decide to finish writing the S&M series. A few of us were just talking about how much we enjoyed it and would like to see the conclusion sooner rather than later. I’m pretty sure you’ll get a lot of reviews once you’ve completed it.

  5. ♦KBeautiful1♦ (@KBeautiful1) says:

    Hi Vera, I actually came across your work from “The Nanny” and loved the book and eagerly looked for other books in the series which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    For me I just really started writing reviews maybe in the last two months and I post my reviews on goodreads.com because I honestly trust those reviews on that site as opposed to Amazon. In my opinion Amazon seems to have trolls and not true readers of authors works, they seems to be sent by rival authors (which is really sad, to write these bogus reviews and if you read closely enough then you can tell that the reviewer never even read the story).

    Now my thoughts to you are this; If you are writing because it is what you truly love to do, then the stories will continue to come. But if you are writing for only the fanfare then yes you will need to reevaluate your decisions as a writer.

    I love your work because there is a complete reality to it, now “Where I Wanna Be” was excellent. I saw the outrage, the oh I can’t believe she wrote a story like that, yadda, yadda, yadda. The truth of the matter is this, the outrage (Oh I can’t believe it’s not butter) was simply because the story hit home for many people, let’s just be real lol!! Because as for those who railed against it many of us applauded you on going there. Infidelity when people where crying about Eli cheated for know reason (was a lie) because if they really read the story the discontent between Eli and Faith was happening long before the third party person came on the scene. Infidelity doesn’t just happen, it happens when a person’s heart begins to turn away from their spouse and in the turning away, a person begins to question all that they believed they had.

    So in conclusion to my rant (believe me we can chop this up all day lol!!) I say if your heart of hearts is for you to write, then you continue to do so, if it makes you happy, then continue to write. If it keeps your spirit, heart, mind and soul youthful then you continue to do so.

    But the minute your spirit, heart, mind and soul begins to whither into that of dried bones, The minute you are begrudging all things as a writer, then it may be time for you to put it aside and focus on something else that you may have always wanted to do.

    I say this that no matter what you decide, let it be your decision and not nobody else. Let no audience dictate your livelihood.

    Sincerely,

    KBeautiful1

  6. Annigrey says:

    Resounding silence is a killer and does lead to the question of why. But when you look deep inside yourself, the answer is there. I’m just dipping my toe into the world of indie publishing and at the precipice of this new venture, I ask myself, “Will anyone read what I have to say?” Then the next question is “Will anyone care?” What I’ve learned thus far is that no matter what the outside voices say, writing is my passion. It’s what compels me to rise, it’s the last thing on my mind when I retire. It’s inside of me. No matter how many people like, leave reviews or say nothing, it’s ultimately for me.

    I say this to you, Ms. V. You have a phenomenal talent and it has inspired me to push the boundaries in my own life and works. Whatever you decide, just know that you have a loyal reader in me.

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