Kindle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't normally get hung up on my reviews, but this last one I received keeps popping up in my thoughts. I'm going to blame pregnancy and hormones for the reason I am overly sensitive right now, but just for kicks, here's what keeps bugging me.

The review in question was positive; however, it ended with this:

This was a really short story (less than 100 pages on Kindle), but was entertaining nonetheless. It definitely has the potential to become a novel, if the author were so inclined. =)
In my description I clearly state.

This novella is approximately 30k words or (120 printed pages). It contains some offensive language but no sexual content. Suitable for YA-Adult readers.
I don't believe in over-fluffing a story to make it into a novel if it is not novel length. I'm perfectly happy writing until the story is finished and then seeing if it is a novelette, novella, or a novel. But the vibe I got from the reviewer made me feel like they thought the story was published as incomplete. I could understand if the reviewer said it had potential to become a series, but no, they said novel.

I know I should just be happy the review was good, but I keep getting hung up on that last line. The story was finished. It had a beginning, middle, some flashbacks, and a climactic end with a HEA finish. Just because I did it all in 30k words does not mean it is less of a story. If they want novel-length, I have three (in a series) they can read. ;D This particular story was never meant to be a novel or a series.

What do you think, just shut up and be happy, right? Have you ever run into a review that felt you should have fluffed your work up to make it novel length?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
63,460 Posts
I don't read that as a request to "fluff up" your work, but as the reader telling you he or she enjoyed it so much that he or she wanted to spend more time with your characters.

I sympathize with the reviewer--I prefer long works to short for that reason--I always feel like I've just gotten to know the characters a bit and then the story ends!

Betsy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
982 Posts
I think you're being overly sensitive.

I'm just teasing there.  :D

Seriously, I can understand why you would be a bit uncertain about how to feel over such a review, but I don't think the reviewer meant anything about it. I've thought the same thing about several short stories that I've read before. Some short stories would be great novels, in the opinions of many readers.

Readers like to be entertained for longer. Wouldn't you rather be entertained for 200 pages than 100 pages? I know I would.

So perhaps you're reading too much into the review.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You both are right, I should try and look at it from the other angle. They want more to read. That makes it all sound a bit nicer!

And yes, I have been extremely sensitive lately, so I should just shut up and be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
That's a common response to short stories and novellas. It can be frustrating, but there's a compliment at the heart of it. You told the story you wanted to tell and you didn't wear out your welcome. Yay!  :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
982 Posts
Sometimes we reader/reviewers are not eloquent when we want MOAR STORY PLEASE!  :D I think you should take it like she was sad it was over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
I've actually said something in a few reviews before (no, that wasn't me!) and at least when I said it, I meant it as a good thing. That I was intrigued by the characters/ story line and would love to read more based on the work I'd read. I don't think they meant that you're story wasn't fully developed, just that it has the potential to spurn further shorts or even novels.

Take it as a good thing! That's how I'd read it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,548 Posts
Katie, you're being oversensitive.  ;)

My take is, maybe the reviewer didn't read that it was a novella before she bought it and was enjoying your story and characters so much she wanted to read more.  ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,748 Posts
Readers generally prefer novel-length works. I suspect that that's a part of this reaction. They enjoyed the story as far as it went and would have liked to see something bigger built from it? But, not having read the story, I can't say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,989 Posts
Here is a direct quote from a review I did of a short story:

"The entire story left me feeling as though I had missed something. It read more like it was a novel with all of the details left out."

I don't think your reviewer meant that at all.

See, my review was obviously a complaint. Yours, however, was a compliment. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Anytime we become the focus of attention we are going to receive comments we consider negative.  Most of the time, comments are given without regard to our feelings about them.  A reviewer is not charged with the obligation to exhibit sensitivity.  Her job is to give an opinion.  She works for the benefit of readers, not to stroke the egos of writers.  If we do not wish to receive a reviewer's honest appraisal of our work, we should not submit the book for review.

At some point, we are all going to receive negative reviews.  I consider these excellent opportunities for learning.  The reviewer didn't like something about my story.  Usually the reviewer specifies exactly those parts of the story she didn't like, and I find this specificity useful.  I analyse the review and try to determine exactly the qualities of the story the reviewer found to be lacking.  I do feel wounded by the negative review, but my feelings are secondary.  The primary objective is to connect with readers, and therefore my job, upon learning of a reader's dislike for story elements, is to re-evaluate the story, especially with regard to those elements the reviewer mentioned.

In the case of your story, the reviewer mentioned only that the novella was not a novel.  As you noted, you stated the length of your work in the blurb.  All I can take from this is that the reviewer might have a preference for longer works, although the brevity and non-specificity of the remark leave open the possibility of many other interpretations.  Since the review was positive, my working conclusion would be that the reviewer was simply sad that the story ended sooner than she would otherwise have wished--meaning that she enjoyed the story, and wished for it to continue.

My advice would be to divorce your feelings about reviews from your desire to connect with readers.  Your feelings don't count.  Only your readers' feelings matter.  If this is not true, you probably should not be writing for the public.  If it is true, then your job is to evaluate even the most negative review, and accept it gratefully, because it tells you the honest feelings of at least one reader.  That is useful information.  If you use that information, you can write stories that will appeal to more people.  If you sell two books and receive one negative review, it means one person liked the story.  If you sell one hundred books and receive one negative review, it means 99 people liked the story.  Remember that when you receive hostile reviews.

Thick skin is difficult to acquire.  But it is useful, and for writers it is essential.  You noted your discomfort with a positive review.  Imagine now that the review was not positive, but negative.  The reviewer didn't like even one thing about your story, and she told the whole world of her displeasure.  What will you do with such a review?  This will remain a hypothetical question only for a matter of weeks or months.  At some point, that negative, hostile, tear-inducing review is going to appear.  What will your response be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,602 Posts
It's the pregnancy.

But I understand your feelings. I'm not pregnant and I'm a bit offended by a review I got today. It comes with the territory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,651 Posts
Katie,

What's the old saying? Always leave them wanting more.

If that's the only criticism, then you should be very happy indeed. I had a similar reaction to one of my shorts. But that's good, it means they engaged with the story/characters and wanted more.

This happens all the time. Writers of novels with popular characters get plagued to do a sequel. It's not because anything was unresolved. It's simply because the readers want MORE. This is good!

Dave
 
Joined
·
7,412 Posts
Take it and be happy. Just as there are 2-star reviews that can say wonderful things, there'll be 5-star reviews that sometimes say weird or annoying things. Heck, I just had a 5-star that said the book was waaaaay better than the horribly written other books I'd released. Try figuring out the proper reaction to that one. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,017 Posts
Half-Orc said:
Take it and be happy. Just as there are 2-star reviews that can say wonderful things, there'll be 5-star reviews that sometimes say weird or annoying things. Heck, I just had a 5-star that said the book was waaaaay better than the horribly written other books I'd released. Try figuring out the proper reaction to that one. ;)
That one makes me laugh. Apparently you're such a crappy writer that the reader can't help devouring each and every one of your books to see if you'll ever improve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,087 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Note the smiley symbol at the end of the review...looks like it was intended to be taken lightheartedly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
I actually had a similiar review for, Under The Midnight Sky, as it is short, but like you said. I promoted it as being fairly short! I didn't see it as a negative, because I plan to do a novel for a sequel and really build on the original plot. And if the person liked the first one then they will love the second one. So I wouldn't take it as a negative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
The one and only self-pubbed work I have is currently a short story. I tried to give it away and only decided to self-publish this short story in an effort to test the self-publishing process. It was an experiment and I made sure to list the story as a short story so readers would not think I was trying to pull a fast one on them.

Despite my best efforts at pricing the book as close to free as Amazon would allow and categorizing my work as a short story, I still had a reader mention how short it is. Perhaps the story could be fluffed up, but that's not how I chose to treat it. While the review I received was fair (and I was happy to get it), I wish the reviewer hadn't taken away for brevity. I told the story in the amount of words needed. Isn't that enough?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,227 Posts
I wouldn't worry about it Katie. Almost all of my reviews, both the good and the bad, mention they wish the book was longer. I think that's pretty common for works on the shortish side. I take it as a compliment that they liked it enough to want more.  :)
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top