Award winning and twice Christy-nominated author
Linda Hall has written eighteen novels of mystery and suspense, plus many short stories. She has also worked as a freelance writer, news reporter and feature writer for daily newspaper.
She grew up in New Jersey where her love of the ocean was nurtured. Most of her novels have something to do with the sea. When she's not writing, Linda and her husband enjoy sailing the St. John River system and the coast of Maine. In the summer they basically move aboard their 34' sailboat aptly named - Mystery.
She is currently working on a new mystery series featuring a female boat captain.
Just Say No - or why I choose not to read my Amazon reviews
By Linda Hall
That’s right. I don’t read my Amazon reviews - or any reviews for that matter. This was a practice I began a long time ago when reviews were something professional people known as “reviewers” did for newspapers or magazines. After a couple of times of being on the floor because of a bad review, or basking in superiority when I got a good one, I decided that neither was a place I wanted to be.
And now with places like Amazon and Goodreads and personal blogs, everyone can be a reviewer. Book blogs abound. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I often go to them when I’m looking for something to read. I just don’t read my own reviews.
And you don’t have to either.
I like what John Locke says in his How I Sold 5 Million eBooks in Five Months. If you get a poor review, (and everyone does) all it means is that someone from outside your target audience read your book. William P. Young who wrote the bestseller The Shack says essentially the same thing when he writes in his foreword, that if you don’t get anything out of this book, it wasn’t meant for you.
I like that. And since we’re now into a new year, it might be time for a few writerly resolutions. Maybe not reading reviews, or obsessing over stars or lack thereof might be a good one. I just know that this year I want to focus more on my writing, not on what people are saying about it.
This year I also plan to re-study some of my books on the craft of writing. I have shelves of them, books I haven’t looked at in years - Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, Writing the Breakout Novel, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers...I’ve got them all. This year, I’ve decided to go back to them and read and study a chapter a day.
I will continue to be ‘out there’ in terms of Twitter and Facebook, but my main focus will be writing.
A few years ago I was at a writing conference, and one of the agents there had these parting words: “Get off the internet and write better books.”
That’s something I would like to do in 2012.