Friday, September 10, 2010

Undue influence

A couple years ago, a book I'd waited for with much anticipation was released. Anxious to find out all about the story, I broke my cardinal rule. I read a review.

Then I read a second review.

And a third.

Pretty soon I found myself searching out everything I could find about the book because I just couldn't believe what I was reading.

Everyone hated the the book. Everyone.

Disappointed (and broke) I put off buying the book. Why spend money I couldn't really afford on a book I would be disappointed with?

Two days ago while at the library, I found a copy of the book and on a whim, I checked it out. I just finished the book. I absolutely LOVED it. And for two years I denied myself the pleasure of reading it based on opinions of total strangers.

I am angry with myself and for good reason. I allowed other people undue influence over my reading choices. Never again. The only good thing about this entire experience is this: Book TWO will be released next month. How providential is that???

In the meantime, I'm both encouraged and discouraged by my experience. I'm discouraged because no doubt there are people who have given my books a pass because of negative reviews. That makes me feel sick.

On the other hand...maybe after a couple years, potential readers will forget any negative reviews they've read and will try my books. That's encouraging. Very encouraging.

And finally--I received this note from a reader today and I truly needed the encouragement!

"Just wanted to tell you that the Mystic Valley Series is the best series I have ever read. I am so excited that there is another one coming out soon. I hope it isn't the last. :)"

Thank you so much for your kind words, Diane!



  1. What a great note. I don't read reviews to decide if I'll buy a book. Like you said, I could be missing out on great reads.

  2. Clearly an intelligent reader! Congrats on the great letter--it's well deserved.

  3. What a wonderful, sweet gift! I know, reviews are so very weird and I'd love to know what book it was that you put off reading...

  4. What a wonderful note, Anny.

    I don't put much heed in reviews because I know my opinion may differ from that of the reviewer.

    The very first Christine Feehan book got a 3 star review and a lukewarm comment. I wanted a new vampire book and bought it all those years ago. I've bought evry other Feehan book ever since.

    Some of what I consider to be my best books haven't gotten the great reviews of other books. You just never know what folks are going to like.

  5. I don't pay attention to reviews either. If my friends like it, I'll give it a try. But usually I'm the one who's yelling 'Have you read this yet? You HAVE to!'

    My shame-on-me moment came when I finally decided to read Chrysanthemum. Fell in love with your flowers right then and there. Whyyyyyyy did I wait so long? Head-slap!