I’m lucky in the sense that I have a regular correspondence with a lot of my readers, especially because I write in a genre known for its discretion.
The fact that most readers don’t leave reviews or comments in public because they read erotica or erotic romance discreetly doesn’t always mean they don’t sometimes contact authors. I have a huge file set up just for e-mails readers have sent me over the years. And sometimes they ask the most interesting questions.
This one came earlier today. I would never disclose the name or identity of the reader because that would be about as unethical as it gets. But I asked if I could print the question in a blog post and the reader said it was fine.
What is the most unusual review you’ve ever had?
The most unusual review I’ve ever had was about my book prices. I once had a review on Amazon where a reader left one star, without buying or reading the book, and then left a comment in the review section complaining about the price of the book. If I recall correctly, the publisher was running a sale that week and the book was cheaper there than on Amazon. I know that sucks. But authors don’t have any control over how their books are priced…anywhere. It’s not like I can dictate to a publisher how my books should be priced. So I thought it was unusual that someone would leave a comment like that, either assuming I did have control over pricing, or not caring about the fact that I had no control over pricing. Either way, it had nothing to do with the book, the story, or the quality of the book.
There’s nothing wrong with an unusual review. I’m sure that one unusual review that’s going to really floor me has yet to even happen. And I’m sure there will be another after that as well. So I don’t mind unusual reviews in the least. While I don’t learn much from them because most don’t make sense, I’m not surprised when I see them. And because I plan to be around writing the same books I’ve been writing for the past twenty years for the next twenty years, I’m sure there are more unusual reviews on the way.
A good friend of mine once said this: career writers aren’t like hobby writers. Career writers don’t retire, they expire.