Posts Tagged ‘bad reviews’

More on Reviews, bad reviews…

Every Wednesday I share some of the things I have found that worked well for me and some that didn’t work so well on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again.  The sort of stuff I wish somebody would have told me back then…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Last week I wrote, How To Get Reviews for your Book

You can read that post here:

I first wrote this post for David Abram’s, The Quivering Pen and this week I wanted to share it with you. The first time my book received a bad review…

There it was; that one yellow star shining like a fiery beacon shot straight out of every author’s private hell. I felt dizzy, nauseous and had trouble focusing on the words that followed that one lonely star. I held my breath and began to read my first-ever one-star review. Star yellow As I read the words, a hard, dry lump formed in my throat and my eyes filled with tears, making it that much harder to read.  It said something to the effect of, I was a psycho and should not be trusted with children, my book was full of grammatical errors and more…ouch and ouch.  What on earth did me being a psycho have to do with my story, anyway?  And of course, I am not a psycho, I hope.  “Grammatical errors, seriously,” I shouted at my computer monitor.  I spent hours upon hours working with an editor and then many more hours with my publisher’s editor and then a conceptual editor.  I knew the book was NOT full of grammatical errors, but still those words stung. My first instinct was to comment on the review, typing in all caps, calling the bully a liar and many other choice words.  I was however, strongly urged to keep my revenge-happy typing fingers to myself. sword pen My writer friends shared their own review horror stories with me, and they all agreed, I must not respond. I hated that advice but they were right. While writing that first book I never thought about people reviewing it, especially the murderers and their families, the ones I wrote about. I did have the dream all authors have of a great New York Times review. New York Times Book Review I had no idea how much weight reviews carried, How many people wrote them and certainly had no idea how much anxiety they caused and how sharply they could attack and damage our sensitive writer egos.

Once I had taken all the good advice to heart, and was ready to put it all behind me and move on, I had to read the words one more time.  Yep, they were still there with that damn one star shining brighter than ever.  I noticed there were comments after the review.  I was filled with anxiety all over again, but as I read those comments, I was overcome with relief and so grateful.  People who actually read the book took the time to come to my defense.

I now read and write reviews for everything from restaurants, toys, cars, doctors and pet products.  If I bought it, used it or read it, chances are I am reviewing.

My marketing rep told me great sales figures will trump any review, good or bad, every time. One day, I would love to say that bad reviews do not bother me but I doubt that will ever be true.  I am human and I am sensitive writer.

I will continue to work at fine-tuning my writing and hope the good reviews will always outnumber the bad ones.

Happy Writing,


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