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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who Likes Bad Reviews???


Heart, home and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories that feature those comes naturally to her. She has been writing contemporary Christian romance for more than a decade. Her debut novel, Lakeside Reunion, released in November by Love Inspired. Her second novel, Lakeside Family, releases this month. Happily married for over twenty years, Lisa and her husband have two young adult sons. When she isn’t writing or caring for children in her in-home childcare business, Lisa enjoys family time, romantic comedies, good books, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. Visit her at www.lisajordanbooks.com to learn more about her writing.

NR: Leave a comment for Lisa and be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of her book. (U.S. residents only, please)

Bad Reviews Can Help You to Become a Better Writer

One star.

Wow.

I read the reviewer’s words that expressed her displeasure after reading Lakeside Family. My breath caught in my throat as my heart thumped against my ribs. Heat crawled across my cheekbones. How could she write such things? Didn’t she realize the struggle and tears that went into this story?

Of course she didn’t. She read the words on the page and wrote a well thought out review citing examples from the novel to prove her points. Despite the one star, I appreciated her feedback.

After I pondered her words a while, I considered how I could learn from it to create more likeable characters from the beginning. But, I also had to consider this character’s journey throughout the story. She carried a heavy load and needed to go through her own emotional journey to hear truth so she could learn to trust.

Authors risk public feedback the moment their books are made available to the public. Of course we want our readers to love our stories and our characters. But you know what? We won’t be able to please everyone. We simply need to write our novels to the best of our abilities and know we are offering our finest work. As authors learn more in the craft, they write better books.  

When we do get those tough reviews, we need to consider the source. Is the reviewer someone who reads a lot of books, reads a variety of genres and expresses her opinion clearly? Reviewers who like a book, but give it a lower score based on genre frustrate me. Reading the back cover copy gives the reader a general idea if the novel is Christian or secular.  

After reading the reviews, ask yourself if there’s some teachable moment threaded in the reviewer’s words. Is more than one reviewer saying something similar? Talk these concerns over with your agent and editor. Is this a weak area in your writing? Should you strive to change that particular component?

Finally, believe in yourself and your abilities. You can’t allow every review to shake your confidence. Otherwise you will be too paralyzed to write something new. When your novels are released, simply remember you did your best, your editor loved the story to have offered a contract and you won’t able to please everyone.

Bio: Married 23 years to her real life hero, Lisa Jordan knows a thing or two about romance. She and her husband have two college-aged sons and will be facing an empty nest soon. By day, Lisa is an early childhood educator, and by night, she is a contemporary romance novelist with Love Inspired. Lakeside Reunion, her debut novel, is a 2012 Carol Award Finalist. Lakeside Family, her second novel, releases in August 2012. She is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Agency. In her free time (ha!), Lisa enjoys good books, chick flicks, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. To learn more about Lisa, visit her website at www.lisajordanbooks.com.

Lisa is celebrating the release of Lakeside Family with a month-long party of giveaways, including Coffee Lovers and Tea Lovers baskets. For more details and to enter the gift basket giveaways, leave a comment on: http://lisajordanbooks.com/novels/lakeside-family-book-release-celebration/)


Lakeside Family
The one man she never wanted to see again is the only who can save her daughter’s life.

In the space of a minute, Nick Brennan learns he has a nine-year-old daughter— and that she desperately needs his help. All this time, his high school sweetheart, single mother Josie Peretti, thought he knew about their child. And that he just didn’t care. About the ill little girl—or Josie, the woman he’s never forgotten. But Nick made a long-ago promise never to forsake his family the way his father did. A promise he vows to make good on now… if only Josie will bless him with a second chance.



9 comments:

Lori Ann Freeland said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm in the process of a rewrite and then getting ready to query. I apply those same teachable principles to my feedback from crit partners and beta readers. It hurts but it's invaluable.

Sarah said...

I would love to win,Enter me!
Thanks and God Bless!
Sarah Richmond
Blanch,N.C.
sarahrichmond.12@gmail.com

Charity said...

Lisa, I so appreciate your transparency and teachable nature. Thanks for the reminder of how valuable those traits are. Love the premise behind your new book :)

Beth K. Vogt said...

Who knew reaching for the stars could also cause us to be tripped up by some very different stars, LJ?
Like Charity, I appreciate your transparency and humility.
And your writing always touches my heart.

Lisa Jordan said...

Lori Ann, the feedback from your CPs and beta readers will help you become a stronger writer. Blessings as you work through your rewrites.

Lisa Jordan said...

You're entered, Sarah!

Lisa Jordan said...

Thanks, Charity. Those words did sting, but I chose to focus on nuggets of truth instead of grumbling about the review. I moved past it and feel better. :)

Lisa Jordan said...

Most definitely, Beth! Thanks for your constant encouragement!

morganlbusse.com said...

Thank you Lisa. I definitely needed to hear this today!