Reviews are a critical element in an author’s career — especially if that author’s last name isn’t Rowling or King or Grisham or Patterson. They’re important in many ways — for discoverability, sales, marketing and more.

They can also be scary. Every author thinks his or her book is terrific (or we wouldn’t be writing them). But it’s inevitable that some readers will be disappointed by your book, while others just won’t “get it,” others won’t connect with the characters, and some will just outright hate your book. And there’s no use complaining about the bad reviews — they come with the territory.

Sometimes, though, you get a review that makes you smile. That was the case for me and my free novella “The Blood King.” It got a new review on the site Goodreads (a reading-specific site owned by Amazon). The reviewer had so many good things to say about it, and I was glad it touched him.

Writing is a tough field, especially for those of us who go the self-publishing route. Very few authors make a living this way, and it’s a lot of work for seemingly little reward (although the writing itself should be the reward, if you’re doing it right). So little bits of encouragement, like a good review, are welcomed.