How was my writing?

Reviews. Love them or hate them, they’re there to help a customer make a decision on what product to buy, but nothing upsets authors more than a bad review. It’s understandable. You’ve spent hours, weeks, years on your writing and you want everyone to love it. You love it so why should anyone disagree with you? Because people are different. Nobody has the same taste. The world would be a pretty dull place if they did. So why should it be any different when it comes to your book? And yet some authors who get a bad review react like you’ve thrown acid in their face.

Not only do they attack the customer who dared to give them a low star rating, they gather their armies and send them to destroy the reviewer. If you’re an author who’s given the bad review, it could get worse. They could give your books 1* and get their army to do the same, sending your book falling down the rankings faster than a dropped piano, potentially ruining your career. All because you didn’t like their book.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We’ve read a book that has won awards and had praise heaped upon it from everyone who’s read it. It seemed everyone loved that book. Except us. Had we written a review, giving it the 2* we probably would’ve, we wouldn’t have expected a vitriolic backlash for daring to voice our opinions, because it’s something professional people shouldn’t do. Say we wrote a bad review for a microphone we bought on Amazon, we wouldn’t expect the manufacturer to attack us and get the rest of the company to start a vendetta against us, yet some authors believe this is acceptable. It’s not.

Everyone gets bad reviews. Even best-selling authors. We know we’ll get them and though we’re not looking forwards to them, we know they will happen. And we will certainly will not attack the reviewer, or incite our friends to attack them. It’s a form of bullying. Bad reviews are just part of an author’s life. Troll reviews are different. They’re written by people who have the personality of rotting fungus, who can only feel good about themselves by attacking other people.

For example, we know the way we look polarises people. We have people coming up to us in supermarkets (old ladies mostly) telling us how much they love our look. Then we get loud mouthed wankers bellowing at us how much they hate the way we look. We had seven years of being bullied for the way we look. We had two choices – continue to dress the way we do and accept that being attacked for it was just part of life, or dress completely normally and get no backlash. Guess what we did – yes, we continued to dress the way we liked and to hell with what they thought. Because it’s our right to look the way we want to look.

It’s the same with writing. If you want to publish your work and have people read it, accept that you’re going to get bad reviews. If you don’t want bad reviews, don’t publish your work. Do print on demand, give it to your family and friends and live off their adoration. But don’t attack the person who doesn’t like your work. Otherwise there could be a situation where authors are too scared to give another author a bad review, for fear of their own book being sabotaged. And that’s not the game we want to play.

6 Comments

  1. Yep: good or bad, accept what is said and get on with life. Admittedly, I have seen some reviews for authors that are blatantly malicious, or contain such things as ‘I only read the sample, and it was crap’ – but just let these people be happy!

    • the ones that are blatantly malicious for no good reason are just despicable but if someone gives a bad but genuine and fair review, they shouldn’t be attacked for it.

  2. Amen, ladies! I don’t want the play that game either. Too bad we don’t have control over the internet. Maybe once y’all take over the world… 😀

  3. The craziest thing is how inflated indie book reviews are anyway. Some of the finest books ever written have a 3. something average, yet ‘Books I knocked up in no time without any experience’ (*whistles innocently*) get 4. plus. Good books get a huge range of reviews – and it’s a good thing when people are riled up enough to leave a strong review either way. It means you affected them with your writing which is all you can ever hope to do. Just because it wasn’t the way you hoped doesn’t mean the writing is bad (well, unless all your reviews say ‘Child wif crayon did dun dis bewk,’

    I really don’t mind if people don’t like Dead on Demand – go ahead and slate it. I’d appreciate if you do it constructively, but even if you don’t I’m not going to hunt you down and kill you (Though Edwin might get someone to do it for me!). Different hooks get different people – some like dialogue, some like descriptive prose, some like overt action. Few books have an overlap in all those hooks, and even the best work will get 1*s eventually.

    • exactly! Like we don’t like Mills and Boon – we’ve tried but they’re just not our thing. Yet thousands of women love them and they sell really well. We know we’ll get 1* soon enough – someone will take our humour the wrong way, or just won’t find murder as funny as we do, but we’re not going to attack them. We might put them in the next book though… 😀


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