Remember me? It’s been such a long time since I posted anything of my own. I’ve been posting a lot of cover reveals, new releases, and reviews, and that’s it. I’ve been swamped with writing. I am in the final edits of my upcoming book Caching In (which you can preorder here: http://amzn.to/1t965e8), published a short story for Halloween called The Right Equation (grab that one here: http://amzn.to/1zjwNnO), writing another short story for Thanksgiving, working on another one for a Valentine’s Day anthology, and prepping for NaNoWriMo next month. Whew! Got all that?
One word in the paragraph above brings me to this post I had to write. REVIEWS. As an author, reviews are our lifeline. We work so hard to write a book we hope people love, and hope even more people will review and spread the word of our work to other readers. A review takes a few minutes to write, and can be something as quick and easy as “I loved this book and can’t wait to read more by the author!” Look how simple it was!
Then, there are the bad reviews. Those SUCK. Yes, they do, and they happen. Every author is guaranteed a bad review at some point. Seriously. Go find your favorite author on Amazon. Click on the one-star reviews. ALL AUTHORS GET THEM. AND ALL AUTHORS SHOULD EXPECT THEM. Yes, I’m yelling. Why? Because from what I have been experiencing in the online world over the past week, some people don’t get it.
I’m not going to post the events that have occurred over the past week. Those that follow authors and bloggers know the story of the author who hunted down a reviewer after a bad review. Now we’re learning of the author who attacked someone after a bad review. Yes. ATTACKED. This behavior is totally uncalled for. When I read these things were happening, I couldn’t stop shaking my head. Is this what we have come to, authors? I know you’re better than this.
WE ARE. Most of us. Those of us who have put books out into the world wait for reviews, and we pray they are wonderful, but we accept that bad ones will come. With the good, comes the bad. My very first book, The Jealousy Game, was received …. well …. it had great reviews, good reviews, and HORRIBLE reviews. My first bad review, I cried. I literally sat in my room and cried. Did I hunt down the writer of the review and punch that person in the face? Hell, no! I took to heart what was said and I worked THAT MUCH HARDER on my next book.
When I wrote The Jealousy Game, I had no idea what a beta reader even was. I wrote it years and years ago, published it, took it down, revamped it, and published it again. Not once did I send it to a beta reader, or have anyone proofread it. Reviews pointed this out. Over and over and over again. After I wrote Pieces of it All and neared publication, I made a decision to take The Jealousy Game off the market. Why? The reviews were 100% right. Yes, I think it was a great book. However, it was a poor execution. You can have great ideas, but if they aren’t delivered well, they just don’t work. The book is out there – during a free period I had over 2K downloads – so some more bad reviews may come in. But, The Jealousy Game was NOT my best work. After writing Pieces of it All, I had seven beta readers. I rewrote a lot of it after that. Then, my critique partner read it again, and I had a proofreader. This book is 1000x more put together than my first book. I didn’t rush it. I took my time. My first book wasn’t what I wanted to represent me.
I TOOK MY NEGATIVE REVIEWS INTO CONSIDERATION.
Now, I know bullies do exist in the world, and there are plenty of them out there that give poor reviews just to give poor reviews. If that’s the case, there are steps to take (such as reporting such behavior to Goodreads or Amazon for investigation), to remove them. But, authors, please understand not everyone will like your book! And that’s okay! For every 10 people that read your book, 1 won’t like it. For every 100 that read it, 10 won’t like it. For every 1000, well, you get the picture. Do you like every book you read? Do you enjoy every movie you sit through? No, you don’t.
Being an author is a difficult job. We write things we pour our hearts into and it is painful when someone rips it apart. It happens. My suggestion? Either don’t read your reviews, or have a friend you can vent to about it for about one minute when it happens, and MOVE ON. Don’t focus all your time and energy on the negative review. Maybe that person made some valid points, and utilize what you learned from their review to make your next book THAT MUCH BETTER. Maybe your anger toward these reviews is because they pointed out something about your book you know to be true.
Let’s stop the pettiness and attacks. Reviews are important. We, as authors, need them to get the word out there about our books. The reviews are put out there for other readers. Book bloggers are such an important and vital part of our world. Let’s not be childish, or even worse, damn near criminal because we don’t like their OPINION. Let’s do what we all came here to do – WRITE.