by Giselle Renarde
I don't read reviews of my books.
In my mind, reviews are for readers. Write a review to tell prospective readers: here's what I loved about this book. Here's what I hated. It didn't appeal to me because X. It did appeal to me because Y.
I don't care it if you 1-star my book. Go ahead! Do it! I've heard a lot of authors talk about burying 1-star reviews or discouraging them because they'll tank sales, but guess what? My books tank themselves. I am not a high-volume bookseller over here. How I make ends meet I'll never know, because I certainly don't sell a lot of copies of the books I write. Please feel free to malign my work or review it with rabid praise--particularly if what you're saying will help other readers avoid a book they're not going to like or find a book they'll love.
Here's the thing: I appreciate every review posted about my books. That probably sounds strange since I don't actually read them, but I do truly appreciate the time readers put into reviewing my work. I hardly ever review books, but I do sometimes review music I like. Frankly, there's a sense of vulnerability about the whole thing. One of my sisters has a degree in music, but I sure as hell don't. Sometimes I think... well, who am I to post this? What do I know?
I only know what I like, and I try to articulate as best I can WHY I like it and who else might enjoy it. Bravo to everyone who has the confidence to post a review online--to post anything, for that matter. Christ, there can be repercussions.
But not from me. Never from me. Don't be afraid of telling the world how you really feel about my work. I'm not looking over your shoulder.
Giselle Renarde is an award-winning queer Canadian writer. Nominated Toronto’s Best Author in NOW Magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards, her fiction has appeared in well over 100 short story anthologies. Giselle's juicy novels include Anonymous, Cherry, Seven Kisses, and The Other Side of Ruth.