Tuesday, June 4, 2013


As a published author I'm used to receiving reviews about my work. Usually I take any negative comments with a grain of salt. I don't get that many, but I know not everyone is going to like what I write. I try to take something away from them, and whether it's a good review or bad, I make every effort to respond to everyone. I don't take reviewers for granted.

Once in a while I receive a review that really bothers me, like over the weekend. And I had a headache which didn't help. Did I go off on the reviewer? Maybe a little bit. After I politely, and professionally thanked her for taking the time to read my book, I went on to explain, or defend myself if you want to look at it that way, some of her comments. 

Here is what the reviewer wrote about Up in Flames: This whole story was full of conveniences the author wrote for herself that simply aren't reasonable. There were lots of vulgar details given, but didn't connect the reader to the characters some how. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, hot story with no plot or connection to the characters.

Here is what I wrote: Hi, thank you for reading and reviewing my book. I appreciate your comments and normally take reviews with a grain of salt, but I wanted to cover a few things. 

Vulgar? It's erotica so what were you expecting? No plot? It's a short, office romance between a boss and his secretary. No connection to the characters? Again, he's the boss, she's the secretary. She's worked for him for three years. And lastly, full of conveniences that aren't reasonable? It's fiction! 

Ever been in a broken down elevator? It's not fun. Ever been attracted to someone you work with? I have. Know anyone who is claustrophobic? Meet Tory Richards. Ever known someone rich enough to have an apartment attached to his office? I knew a man who had the whole penthouse. 

I'm sorry you didn't like my story, but thank you for pointing out that it's a quick, hot story.

I was surprised that I actually heard back from her. It was a long note, and she went into detail explaining what she meant by her comments. I actually felt better after reading it. I was able to understand some of the points she made, and are considering them. You're never too old to learn something new, right? And if it improves my writing, well, that's a no brainer.

I'm not writing this post for validation that Up in Flames is a good story. Some people like it, some don't. I get it, and I'm okay with that. I originally wrote Up in Flames with these thoughts in mind. I wanted to keep it short and hot, a kind of teaser that would entice readers into checking out my other books, or not. I was kind of testing the waters. How it was received, as a self-published work, would help me decide if I would continue to self-publish. The 33-page erotic office romance has done pretty good.
Thank you all for helping to make it a success.


Libby from Western Australia said...

Excellent comeback Tory. And I love your books!
;) Libby

Tory Richards said...

Thank you for your loyalty, Libby! I always enjoy hearing from readers who love my books:)

Nancy Bristow said...

Debbie aka Tory...You're so adult:) Readers, not reviewers, will determine whether or not they connect with your books. I make my own decisions on that and a negative review doesn't hold much sway one way or another...especially if I already know the author's work. If I don't know, I would check out more than one source. Still, kudos to you for an open mind and constantly striving for improvement. We could all benefit from those two things. ~Nancy :) P.S. You may also recall I rarely read reviews BEFORE buying a known author to me.

Leni said...

I love how both of you were able to go back and forth and each take some thing from the communication. I've had this book in my library, but haven't read it yet.
Now I know what my next read will be.

Tory Richards said...

LOL, Nancy, I don't know what I'd do without your wit, friendship, and support my friend!

And, I'm not as adult, or should I say grown-up, as you may think. You should see me with my grandchildren! LOL

Tory Richards said...

Thanks Leni, the key is not looking at it as a personal attack. And the person in question has already purchased another one of my books. We'll see. I told them if they don't like this one we'll just agree that they don't like my writing style:)