Multicultural Paranormal Romance Author Alexandria Infante

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Reviews cont...

Author Alexandria Infante.
 This is the Teaching between Midnight and Dawn Series

Hellur!


Due to the Gr thingie we decided to talk about reviews, how we feel about them, and how they affect us the author. I've only been in this business for the last 2 years, so I'm still learning new things everyday. When I was a kid, a published author meant Random House, Double Day, Harlequin and the like, and it still amazes me everyday that regular people can write a book lol. 
People say that as authors reviews should not define us, but I will state now it is terribly hard for them not to. We are connected to an art which most often exposes and eviscerates, then renders the inner most thoughts and feelings of the author on paper. So when you hear, “Well that just sucked,” or “My God, what was the author thinking,” or “This author needs an ESL Class,” for something many authors have spent their entire lives working on; it can be excruciating, agonizing, embarrassing, dejecting and miserable. We have a heart that bleeds red as well, that hemorrhages with an unquenchable passion, that hopes, and dreams too.  
What people seem to forget is, to do what we authors do takes tenacity, drive, passion, and an understanding that to make it in this business; you need the skin of an armadillo. People will not always like you or what you wrote, however I do believe that the door to courtesy should swing both ways. I find it next to impossible to believe that if the author is being attacked by readers, reviewers, or just people in general, the masses feel that we need to just grin and accept it.
Moreover, the ironic part is that this is an accepted practice nowhere else, but in the creative field.
If you don’t care for today’s special after the server tells you it has garlic, yet you order it anyway because you want the Chef to take the Garlic out. The server explains that it is next to impossible to do, because it is pre-made like that. Even after that, you order it anyway, and it is exactly as he described, and you don’t like it.
However, you have no cause to complain.  Yet, because we are such a privileged nation the way in which people are today, they will go online to trash or write three comment cards about the service, the fact that the Chef sucked, people should never eat in his restaurant again ect ect.
This to me is the saddest part of all. I write in a genre that isn’t as accepted as the masses would like you to believe. Interracial Romance is mostly purchased by minorities, or happenstance. Therefore, reviews are doubly as hard for us. Albeit, if the review is speaking on technical things then I’m fine with it because that is something I can change, that isn’t necessarily a part of me the individual. It is a bit more decisive when the reviewer hates your characters, your world, your pov, and the context of the book itself. This to me is harder on the author, and where I find feelings are always high strung when it comes to these points.
Most authors aren’t reacting to the reviewer personally, because most reviewers try to be constructive. I feel like, just as we authors need to learn the schematics and schemes to writing, reviewers need to learn the same. When authors like Stephanie Myers get hate mail, hate sites and such, you have to ask the question; where do we as human beings draw the line between opinion, and harassment. 
Everyone is, entitled to their opinion. Yet should it be at the maltreatment and torment of other people? Moreover, where do we draw the line between Reviewing, and Bullying? The people on the Gr site didn’t like what the girls did, and that is their right, however banning my books, labeling them with things like “I’d rather stab out my eyes,” “Don’t Read,” is it really justifiable behavior from people who were so angry over what those girls did, that they would resort to the same behavior?
On the other hand, do people not truly consider it bullying because in America, the public is always right? Equally, I feel like some reviewers write what they write to get a reaction out of people. How anyone could send an author death threats and hate mail over a fictional character is beyond me!
The fiasco with Good Reads is a shinning example of it. The reviewer felt like she was doing a good job on reviewing the book. I personally had no problem with what she wrote, however the girl Leelia/Cynthia did. 
Conversely, because she disagreed with Heather’s review, does that make her wrong in her review? How can we respect their reviews as authors, when they don’t even respect each other? Maybe those girls had a point? Makes you think. Is it standard that a review can’t be reviewed? Where is it written that this is a taboo?
I’m on this site where you can watch movies for free. I see nothing but people contesting other people perspective, reviews, or outlook of the movie; yet I have never in the year that I have been on that site seen people attack those nae sayers of the movie like they did those girls on the Good Reads site.
Were their opinions not just as valid?
my daughter happen to be the ex of one of the girls, nevertheless, does this make the opinion void? Doesn’t she have the right to a review opinion as well?
Here in lies the double standard of the industry.
You can review my book, but I can review neither you, your review, nor your behavior; because I am the spiteful author out to persecute you, because you don’t like my work.
    There is much recidivism in this profession, on who should really have the manners. People assume that because you are in the spotlight, you should be gracious, always smiling, and giving them attention; because after all, if it weren’t for them, you would be nothing. 
I find that statement very manipulative.
It is more of a “You had better do, say and act the way I want, or you’ll be sorry!”
I also find it completely insane that authors have to be silent!
If they aren’t what they say is taken out of context, seen as an attack mode, and they’re made to feel like they did something wrong. I have been on threads where I have asked a legitimate question, because I’m new to this business, and people took it as an attack from an author. I had to write out in the simplest language I could think of to explain myself, and even then after the explanation there was still some hostility.
Why is this so?
Why does it go against the grain, for an author to question, or answer a review? Who said this was law, and why is this acceptable?
These are all questions I have asked, and gotten attacked myself for asking them. Yet, why are my questions not seen as valid, or seen as an attack on a reviewer?
This has boggled my mind since I started in the business.
For the readers out there, if you have the time please take a moment and respond to this, because I truly wish to know.
I have received a few low stars, but they have never affected me like the Gr crap. I always just figured that I’d hit the mark next time, and if they didn’t like my book in this genre, maybe they would like it in the next. I have plenty of fans who don’t like my historical, but love my paranormals. I know you can’t please everyone.
When reviews don't go our way, or our editor says drop back 50 pages, then delete the next 30 I need more from you; it makes us sometimes what to scream, but this is what we do.
If only the reviewer understood this as well. Like any field where there is criticism, there is bound to be hurt feelings. I most often ignore reviews that are harsh. Equally, although painful I never respond to reviews where the reviewer is speaking about me the person, because they can always be spotted for what they are.
 I tend to concentrate on the ones where the reader is actually explaining to me what they saw wrong with the book.
Nevertheless, at the same time, this too needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I remember I had one reviewer ask me to change the entire plot; she didn’t like my description of the character, and thought I should just scratch intermingling. I was a bit shocked that she would ask me that, and I felt if I did it would change the book entirely, so I ignored her. 
Unfortunately, we authors can’t live without reviews, both good and bad.
Albeit it, I will say that everyday I’m getting better and better at acceptance. Before I became a teacher and had to learn to hold my tongue, I might have done a bit of what Amber did when they began calling her names.
That God the old Alie has been transformed!
Asi mi uta!

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