Friday, July 8, 2011

Giving Perspective To Reviews/Ratings

Finally, I have created T. R. Graves’ Facebook Fan Page. It took a lot of work, but it's published and ready for people to 'LIKE'.  After you 'LIKE' the page, you will automatically be directed to the profile page…unless you specifically click on My Site or Wix Site under the profile picture. Even though the interactive tool is the default for non-FANS, Facebook will not let the page become the default for FANS.  Oh well!

For months, I’ve persevered and sent a friend request to every person adding Warriors of the Cross as ‘to-read’ on Goodreads.  My goal was to see if the book was good enough to make it through an unfiltered review system.  Even with the toughest critics, Warriors of the Cross has held its own (50+ reviews with an average 4+ rating).  For that I’m proud.

I’ve shared a few of the positive reviews bestowed upon Warriors of the Cross by fans/followers of the series.  I’m still humbled every time I get one.  Perplexing to me is the less than positive ratings the book has received.  I know…I know…every person who has ever published a word has had their share of critics.  Believe it or not, I’m not one of those psychotic authors insisting everyone in the world must love my writing.  Instead, I’m trying to understand what about the book requires improving.

I began my research by reaching out to a woman who rated Warriors of the Cross with one star.  Basically, she said ‘the genre was not one which interested her.’  With her response, I began researching the ratings of other books as assigned by the very readers giving Warriors of the Cross three, two, and (GASP!) one stars.

After some aggressive investigation, I found these people definitely have favorite genres…and - not surprisingly - Warriors of the Cross did not fall within their preferred.  Even more interesting, I found these same individuals rated some of the best books of all time with one, two, and three stars.  Hm?

The readers who rated Warriors of the Cross with one star also rated the following books with one star:  Catcher in the Rye, Breaking Dawn, and Witch and Wizard.  One of these reviewers rated the entire Twilight Series with two stars (The Twilight Series…two stars...REALLY!).

The booklovers who rated Warriors of the Cross with two stars also rated the following books with two stars:  Lovely Bones, 1984, Da Vinci Code, The Hours, The Accidental Tourist, Eat, Pray, Love, Untamed, The Great Gatsby, Gone with the Wind, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  These same people rated most of the House of the Nights Series and the Wicked Lovely Series with three stars (How could that be!).  Actually, several of the people obviously favored steampunk and erotica.  To that, I can honestly say ‘Warriors of the Cross will never meet the needs or expectations of anyone whose passions are those two genres.’

The people who rated Warriors of the Cross with three stars also rated the following books with three stars:  Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Wuthering Heights, Time Traveler’s Wife, Frostbite, Blue Moon, City of Bones (What the heck?), Evermore, The Host, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbitt, I Am Number Four, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Golden Compass, Mockingjay, and Pride and Prejudice.

After analyzing these ratings and finding Warriors of the Cross in such GREAT company, I found some perspective.  Suddenly, these reviews were palatable (if that was possible).  It also proved the importance of knowing yourself…understanding your reading references…and sticking to them.  If something doesn’t appear to be your ‘cup of tea’ , you should keep searching.  There are thousands of books and authors available from every genre imaginable, which means there’s something for everyone. 
Here are my new Goodreads fans:  Nina, Jenn, Dana, M., Ms L, Misty, Gloria, ElisandraTarra, and Amber.  I would like to thank my Goodreads friends for their five (*****) star reviews: Erna, Gloria, and Deborakb,....and my Goodreads friends, CathlinJknick, and Tara, for their four (****) star ratings.   

Last but not least, I want to thank my latest 'virtual' angel and Facebook friend, Taneesha C. Freidus (who is also a Goodreads Librarian).  She helped me get the Guardians of the Cross page created.  Take a look and let me know what you think.