In the arena of literature, we are blessed to live in a very democratic age.
Not only is it easier than in decades past to self-publish a book in print or in e-book version, but readers have a louder voice than ever before. Blogs, Facebook pages, Goodreads, and Amazon reviews allow everyone to express an opinion, not just the elites paid to do so (as I once was) by newspapers, magazines, and review services.
As an author, I appreciate all reviews. Even negative ones are a compliment that the reader cared enough to express an opinion. I have to admit, however, that I am much more likely to share the positive ones. Such a review of my short story, "The Adventures of the Magic Umbrella," was posted on Amazon with five stars late last month by someone I don't know:
I didn't like that fact that Holmes' name was on this until I read it and it is very much in his style. Fun reading and fast. I liked it very much. Okay it's in that period so don't compare it with newer mysteries that would be a mistake. Take it for what it is and you will have a good read.They review was rather short, but so was the story. Most of the other seven reviewers also liked the story and gave it four or five stars for a four-star average. One writer -- a frequent reviewer who "adores" my Sebastian McCabe - Jeff Cody mysteries -- was disappointed and only gave it two stars.
If you've read any of my work, whether you liked it or not, please post a review on Amazon, Goodreads,etc. if you haven't done so. Although I don't respond in writing to reviews because that seems to me unprofessional, I do try to respond to valid critiques by adjusting my writing accordingly in subsequent work.