Over the weekend, I visited Amazon and GoodReads to catch up on the latest reader reviews of Indianapolis. Some writers, artists, actors, and musicians say they never read reviews. I actually try to read every review—especially reader reviews—because I consider it quality control. What do readers like? What turns them off? These questions are important to me. In fact, I’ve never quite understood writers who say, in essence, “I write for myself and I don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
Reading new reviews this weekend got me thinking about my two all-time favorite reader reviews, one good and one bad. First, the bad review. After reading Same Kind of Different As Me, my 2006 book with Ron Hall and Denver Moore, an Amazon reviewer wrote that the only way she could have hated the book more was if she’d gotten a paper cut every time she turned a page. When I read that, I almost fell over laughing! Such honesty. I love it.
My favorite good review also came from an Amazon reviewer who had gifted her 82-year-old dad, who apparently is quite a character, with a copy of Indianapolis. Her dad loved the book so much, the reviewer wrote, that he said he was looking forward to getting old-age dementia so that he could forget the whole book and read it again afresh!
Gawd, I love people.