An Open Plea: Save Hidden Things from Harriet

Hi guys.

As most of you are aware, the Hidden Things ARC has been out for awhile, and the book has been earning reviews from many legitimate, intelligent people and institutions, including the Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and a number of independent reviewers with good reputations. The most recent review that came in is by Bill Capossere at; I like it especially because it is a truly nuanced evaluation of the book — he doesn’t think it’s perfect, and his critiques are fair and make total sense to me — and despite a hitch here and there, he gives it a solid 4 out of 5 stars and recommends it to his readers.

Now I’ll be honest: with all the reviews popping up on independent sites and on Goodreads (a site I’m still trying to get a handle on), I hadn’t paid much attention to Amazon. After all, these reviews have been coming from ARCs, prior to release, so there’s only been a two- or three-day window in which regular readers could post anything there.

Hidden Things has a single review on Amazon, right now. It’s four stars, and it’s from a “professional reviewer” who works the new release pages of Amazon. That’s a nice way of saying they basically shill for whatever books get dropped on their desk for review.

And I use the term ‘review’ advisedly — you can tell they didn’t actually read the book — it’s pretty much just a reprint of the back cover copy. I don’t know why this person reviewed Hidden Things — I certainly didn’t ask them too, and I very much doubt the professionals I’ve been working with at HarperCollins would do so.

I said before that Hidden Things has earned reviews; I chose that word very specifically, because that is what I feel has happened, up to this point. The story has to immediately grab a potential reader, get them to stick around, reward them and encourage them as they read, and finish with the reader — if not crying tears of joy — at least satisfied that it was time well spent.

The five-star reviews. The two-star reviews. I have seen them all, read them all, and every single one of them has taught me something about Hidden Things that I didn’t know.

Except that one on Amazon.

Guys, I need your help.

If you’ve read Hidden Things, be it the ARC or the just-released book, go on Amazon and review it. Tell people what you thought. Be honest. I don’t care how many stars you tick off, or what you say, as long as what you say is the truth that’s in your head, and in your heart.

Bury this stupid, vapid, unearned review.

That’s all I want.


3 Replies to “An Open Plea: Save Hidden Things from Harriet”

  1. Does it help, though, if you’ve never reviewed anything else, or are people just going to assume they’re shills for your book?

  2. It always helps. Especially if it’s honest. Doesn’t have to be some kind of fancy essay. “I read it. Didn’t hate it. My sister liked it a lot.” will do wonders. After all, I’m not asking for shills — I’m as happy with someone reading this and leaving a 2 star review on Amazon as I am with someone leaving five. It’s the truth, after all — I only have to look at Goodreads to know that. (And boy I wish there was a way to port all those Goodreads reviews (good and bad) to Amazon.

    Bottom line, people will see what they want to see in an unknown reviewer. With a ‘pro’ reviewer, they know.

  3. Doyce,
    Just finished your novel. As you may know, I have never been too keen on fantasy/fiction, but I ordered your novel because, well, it was YOUR novel and I had to give it a read. I have to admit, I was taken in from the beginning. I LOVED it. I am telling everyone I know to get a copy and enjoy. You did good :)

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