Jul 20, 2011


Reading: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (actually I've finished reading it & it was fantastic!!)

Watching: Dear John ... love that movie!!

Listening to: My usual writing soundtrack of about 6 songs on repeat

I don’t believe authors when they claim never to read reviews. I mean seriously? How can you not?? Maybe I have fellow author Natalie Anderson to blame, I mean she introduced me to google alerts, sales rankings on Amazon, review websites to stalk … are you starting to get a mental image of me frantically jumping on the internet each morning??

I write because I love to, and because I couldn’t not, but I also want others to enjoy the stories that I produce. It’s human nature to want to please, or if it’s not, it’s certainly my nature. So when I read a good review, it makes me feel fantastic, as does an email from a reader. The first time I opened my emails to find a letter from a happy reader, I almost cried. It was so special for someone to take the time to write to me, to say how much she loved the book of mine she’d read.

So far, I haven’t had any bad reviews. A few average ones, sure, but nothing bad. I’m realistic enough to know that it won’t be long before I do get a bad one, but right now I’m enjoying stalking review sites and blogs. I’m desperate to know what those in the industry think of my work, and I want to please.

I’m not sure if it’s just part of being an author, but the desire to bring happiness into the lives of others certainly appeals to me. I know that for me personally, books can mean so much. Whether it’s people like me in earthquake devastated Christchurch wanting to escape into fiction, or someone sitting in the sun one afternoon looking for a little entertainment, it’s great to know that your book has fulfilled its promise. That it was as enjoyable to read as the blurb on the back cover made it out to be!

So how about you? Do you cover your eyes or desperately search out reviews? Or if you’re not published yet, can you imagine the terror of waiting for the verdict from review websites such as Romantic Times or CataRomance? And do you aim to please?

I’d love to give away a copy of my current AUS/NZ release, Soldier on Her Doorstep, so leave a comment for a chance to win!


  1. I'm still waiting for reviews on my published works, but when I used to write on the Internet for fun, I loved getting reviews. But I do know how nerve wracking it is to wait for reviews with bated breath.

    I wish you and the whole of Christchurch the best and hope that everyone is safe and cared for.

  2. Soraya, I had the same reaction the first time a reader took the time to tell me she loved one of my books. Such a simple sounding thing, but so special!

    Re: reviews, I think Jennifer Crusie says it best: http://www.jennycrusie.com/for-writers/essays/id-give-it-a-nine-but-its-hard-to-dance-to-ritas-reviews-and-other-nightmares/

    She talks about contests and reviews: "You know, it’s hard enough writing the damn books without adding this garbage to the mix. And there’s really no point to adding the garbage anyway: lovely as they are, contest nominations and good reviews are no guarantee of a book’s quality, and no nominations and bad reviews are no guarantee that a book is a wall-banger. In fact, they’re pretty irrelevant in general."

    The whole article is fabulous - whether you write books, or you're a reader who's interested in reviews about books.

  3. I remember one of my pubbed friends got a 1 in RT for her first book which was gutting. I reckon anything better than that must be okay!
    I have Dear John sitting on My Sky, Soraya - I must actually watch it!!

  4. Hi Soraya,

    Congratulations on the release of your SOLDIER ON HER DOORSTEP!

    As you're not on twitter, you must have missed, we already raved about your book getting such good reviews! I read the review at Cataromance and it absolutely made me want to read it...NOW!

    Here's the link to that enticing review!


  5. Hi Soraya, congrats on the few reviews I have read about SOLDIER ON HER DOORSTEP - they've been very positive and all have commented on how real to life and down to earth the characters are - a story that touches the heart.

    I guess reviews can be such a double edged sword - I'm excited/anticipating them yet I'm also dreading them. I might have to get a good friend to vet them before I read them (sensitive little soul that I am) - LOL.

  6. Congratulations on all your wonderful reviews Soraya! I love book review sites anyway, so definitely will be unable to avoid my reviews when I eventually get them.

    Like Kylie, I'm both excited and anxious about my upcoming reviews - I guess the coolest thing about reviews for me at the moment is that if someone is reviewing my book, than it really truly IS published :) Something that still seems a bit surreal to me!

  7. I definitely agree with what Jennifer Crusie had to say - some of my favourite books of all time have received some pretty average reviews and others I've hated have received great ones! But that said, it still puts a smile on your face as an author to get a great one :)

  8. Oh, and while I remember, I've just found out that my November UK release is a 2-in-1 with our very own Michelle Douglas. Yay!!

  9. Hi Soraya!

    Reviews can be wonderful and terrible (as I can attest all too well of late!) For me as an author it's all about taking the good with the bad - dusting yourself off with the terrible ones (and learning from them) before getting on with the job we love - and taking a little time out to rejoice in the good ones =)

  10. Hi Soraya

    I am not a writer but I do read a lot and although I read reviews I always like to make my own judgment and I always like to email the author of a great book I have read, you should all be proud of the effort you put into your stories that take us on great adventures.
    I love reading them and have done a few reviews (although I wouldn't say I was great at them LOL) for ARRA and on Goodreads when I have read a great book.

    Have Fun

  11. Great post Soraya. I must admit to thinking "oh, reviews - one more thing to worry about". I do like to read reviews, but not sure I'm going to be hanging out to read my own come January :)
    Congratulations on such great reviews. I'm looking forward to reading your latest release.

  12. Congrats on the release of Soldier On Her Doorstep, Soraya -- super exciting!!!

    For my first couple of books I hunted down reviews and invested a lot of emotion in them -- now I do neither of those things.

    I love Jenny Crusie's article and have reread it several times. It helps me stay sane!

    It's lovely getting emails from readers who've read a book and loved it. Those emails make all the blood, sweat, and tears worth it!

  13. Hi Soraya
    Congratulations on the release of Soldier On Her Doorstep. Isn't it exciting?
    I confess to only looking at the comments on Amazon so far. Maybe I should take a chance and look further. Scary stuff.
    Sue MacKay

  14. Thanks for all the comments! The winner of my book is Helen from Sydney - I'll be in touch via email soon to get your address :)


  15. Hey Soraya - the formal reviews are not the scary ones because most professional reviewers take care to be balanced and declare it if they (for instance) hate military stories or whatever. The bad ones are the random Amazon reviews from someone who might not be a romance reader or who hates romance or who just takes delight in bringing others down and have no ethics to worry about breaching.

    They'll say anything and put it out in the public sphere with no accountability whatsoever.

    Those I hate. BC what if someone believes them!

    Nothing you can do except delete (and that is vaguely satisfying) and believe in the quality of your work.

  16. Yay, Soraya, we're in a 2-1 together -- how exciting!

    When I was first published I was so gosh-darned ignorant. I didn't know my first book had even been reviewed until me editor emailed me.

    Good reviews are nice, but reader letters are better. Congrats on all your lovely reviews, Soraya!