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,
(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.