Comments and Reader Engagement

Yesterday, many of you know I updated Clash of Tides. For those who don’t know, Clash of Tides is my long running novel that I’ve been writing. My goal is to finish the story by the end of the year, rewrite and edit it at the beginning of next year, and then submit it for publication. Will I accomplish that goal? I don’t know, but I want to try.

However, this post isn’t about my progress with Clash of Tides; it’s about comments and engaging readers. Recently, I received an angry review from a reader stating they don’t like the questions I ask at the end of the chapters, and they don’t like me begging for reviews.

So I started thinking,

X8I9SUI6DZ

(image is free stock photo)

It made me reflect on the problems we face as writers. It’s no secret that writers want reviews. Whether comments on our chapters, reviews on Amazon, or just an article discussing our novel, we want feedback. One way I engage my readers and encourage comments is by asking them questions about the story. By asking questions, I gauge if readers enjoyed the chapter, if any details were hard to follow, and of course, just keeping their interest. However, I feel this reader failed to understand this. Instead, they accused me of asking the readers to write the story for me (which honestly, is pretty silly since I already planned out the book), and that they have no investment in the story, so I shouldn’t ask questions. If a reader has no investment in the story, then I question why they are reading it? Needless to say, I understood their point of view, but the comment offended me. Next, they said I beg for reviews. Well, don’t most writers ask for reviews?

In my last post, I stated stats matter. For you to get noticed, you need to prove readers like your work. This is usually shown through book sells and reviews. If 400 people read a book, love it, but never speak up, then the writer has no proof to show publishers. At that point, I would question why am I writing? Well, of course, I know why I am writing, but then I would wonder why I post my story for free, online.

After that comment, I decided I’m no longer going to ask for reviews. I do understand some readers don’t like to comment, and that’s fine. However, I’m at the point where I’d rather focus on my craft than reader engagement. If readers enjoy my work but can’t take the time to tell me, then I won’t worry about it anymore. In today’s fast-paced society, readers want quick reads, engaging stories, memorable characters, and they want all of it for a low price. As writers, we spend countless hours – personal time and work time – providing stories for readers. If we don’t ask for money, then at least we can get a few reviews for our books.

Time is better spent perfecting your craft, and then maybe, the reviews will come naturally.

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Comments and Reader Engagement

  1. This person obviously lacked the maturity to simply unfollow or ignore your requests for reviews. I understand that you are looking for feedback and for the time you put into your work to be reciprocated, but you said it yourself: ” In today’s fast-paced society, readers want quick reads, engaging stories, memorable characters, and they want all of it for a low price” If that is the demographic you are trying to pursue, then I think you are going about it in the right way and that reviews will come from those who want to take the time and truly enjoy your writing. Don’t let one stickler get under your skin. I admit that I have personally unfollowed someone’s blog because they posted daily advertisements about their ebook, but that was my decision and I didn’t berate them about the frequency of their posts. Marketing yourself is difficult and I sympathize with you. Keep your head up. If the writing is good, people will find it and tell others.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks so much for commenting on my blog post^^ Yes, I feel like the reader could have handled her concerns in a private message rather than posting a review for the world to see. As such, I responded to her and let her know I will no longer be updating the story on that website. I didn’t have many readers there, anyway, so I don’t feel like it’s a loss.

      For now, I’m posting my first drafts online for free to get feedback on them. The only reason I push myself to write so fast and update are to gauge readers thoughts. So, if they don’t leave comments, I can simply write the story offline and proceed with my publishing goals.

      Thanks^^ I do plan to keep on writing, but her comment was slightly offensive. Ah, I understand. I think asking for reviews every day is too much. I only update maybe 1-2 times a month, so I’m only asking for reviews about every two weeks.

      Marketing is difficult! And sometimes I feel readers don’t understand this. Thanks again for commenting!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You should asks for reviews. You have to have confidence in your work. But why not receive some feedback. How else’s are you suppose to grow. That angry person needs to go somewhere and get a life. I don’t see anything wrong with that

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My only caution is that by ‘publishing’ the work on your blog for free you might be hurting your chances of seeing it published traditionally… if that’s your end goal? If you plan on self publishing, then rock on. I’m no expert, but I’ve heard this in the many trade craft sites I frequent. Might wanna check it out? Either way, stay strong and write on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry you had to receive that kind of comment. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions. We post our work for opinions; we as writers are supposed to ask for reviews. Nevertheless, I do agree there’s something admirable in focusing on your craft and letting the reviews come on their own.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The only thing we can control is the quality of our work and even that is no guarantee of writerly success, however you measure that. Get a professional editor. It’s going to cost you if you’re self publishing; otherwise you can doggedly search for a publisher. That will take time and try your belief in yourself to the limit. Few can stand it.

    Find a small group of writing friends who will give you honest feedback and work sincerely at becoming the best writer you can be. Read, read, and then read some more. Your success is guaranteed, absolutely. Please allow me to repeat that — you will be a successful writer as soon as you recognize that as fact. And do the work, of course. No cheating there. No easy way out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, this post was amazing. That person obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I just posted my first story on Wattpad yesterday, and I’m out here working my butt off trying to get people to read it (haha and here it is, me asking for reviews: https://www.wattpad.com/story/83113039-the-escen), but not because I want my stats to go up, but because I truly want feedback on my writing! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with marketing yourself, especially if your doing it to better yourself in your craft. You go girl. Don’t let this person’s ignorance bring you down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I certainly didn’t expect to get a comment today saying how amazing my post was. Yeah, I don’t think they did either. I mean, if a writer is going to post their hard-earned work online for free, then take the time to leave feedback. Aww thanks! I hope you get a lot of reads on Wattpad!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s