I don’t respond to reviews for the most part. I will like or share one I particularly enjoyed. I will thank a reviewer or let her/him know I’m glad they had fun with my work. But I don’t address actual things in the reviews. I will answer questions in email when I occasionally get them. I truly feel reviews are for readers not authors. However, I’m also smart enough to realize that in digital publishing especially, reviews are pretty important. They are how I find new books to read myself. I am first and foremost, a reader. So as an author, I do hope to interest enough reviewers into giving my books a try. (I’m ridiculously shy about approaching them, though.)
The thing is, sometimes I want to respond to reviews. Maybe answer questions, show how I found a particular researched item, that sort of thing. And sometimes, though it sounds crazy, I actually want to agree with some of the harder reviews of my work. Not all of them–some I kind of wish I’d never seen. LOL. But again, I don’t respond. You never know when something can be misunderstood and backfire and there seems to be a lot of dissension in the reviewer/author world that I have trouble understanding. We all love books. Authors write books. Reviewers read books… you’d think everyone would all get along more. (BTW, I won’t answer here which reviews I had trouble with–that’s just for me. I get over my hurt and move on just like every other author I know. And it doesn’t matter if we’re told we shouldn’t take it personally. That’s a lot harder to do than say. :) )
I’m sure I’m not the only author who feels this way, but yes, I do sometimes wish I could go back and change a few things in some of my earlier books and novellas.
For instance, Kithra.
I wrote Kithra for fun along with a few personal reasons. The fun–I wanted the challenge of writing an erotic novella with a little more emotion and plot. I went through an erotic novella phase and kept getting disappointed that there didn’t seem to be a story or emotional connection in a lot of them. So, I wrote Kithra and gave it to a few friends and my agent. I got such positive feedback, I decided to publish it along with two more–Replicant and After the Crux. At the time, I’d planned to just do a bunch of novellas, but the Kithran story kept growing for me. So did the world of Crux Survivors. I quickly realized I wanted these to be longer, more plot-rich books.
So came Catalyst and Sole Survivors.
Now, in less than two weeks, the fourth Kithran Regenesis book comes out and yes, it’s a book. I feel I hit my stride with Origin, so I hope that readers who “kind of” liked Kithra but wished it was longer, will keep going and give Origin a chance. I think they might enjoy these stories more now that I’m really diving into the worlds. If not, that’s okay, too. These are niche-heavy stories. Menage, space opera, post-apocalyptic, erotic… (LOL, I do plan to do a few more more traditional erotic series.) But, I also love these niche-heavy little worlds I’ve created and I want to stick around in them a bit longer.
I also love the characters from my shorter pieces and that’s one reason they continue to show up in the books and sometimes in the occasional free short story when I’m missing them.
Like Mutiny with Lux, Kol and Egan from Kithra.