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L.Jones
10-01-2008, 12:34 AM
It's been a while since I really let a review get to me, or even really READ one. And this time is dopey because, well, it's a category romance and it's RT, which means zip to anyone, most of all sales numbers but...

It just has taken all the shine off the penny for me.

I went out to look for my book on shelves today and came home holding back tear because I just didn't want to go in the store and look for the book. I honestly felt like people would laugh at me and that I was a failure. It felt like someone had slung mud on something I had worked my butt off to create.

Like I said, it wasn't even that bad of a review, but I feel like I must be one of the worse writers out there.

Anyone ever have a review or remark do this to you? Have you let someone's opinion dampen the fire for a WIP or make you feel like you just don't know what you're doing and everyone else knows it?

or is it just me?

annie jones
http://www.amazon.com/Somebodys-Santa-Love-Inspired-463/dp/0373874995/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222805470&sr=8-1

L.Jones
10-01-2008, 12:34 AM
It's been a while since I really let a review get to me, or even really READ one. And this time is dopey because, well, it's a category romance and it's RT, which means zip to anyone, most of all sales numbers but...

It just has taken all the shine off the penny for me.

I went out to look for my book on shelves today and came home holding back the tears because I just didn't want to go in the store and look for the book. I honestly felt like people would laugh at me and that I was a failure. It felt like someone had slung mud on something I had worked my butt off to create.

Like I said, it wasn't even that bad of a review, but I feel like I must be one of the worst writers out there.

Anyone ever have a review or remark do this to you? Have you let someone's opinion dampen the fire for a WIP or make you feel like you just don't know what you're doing and everyone else knows it?

or is it just me?

annie jones
http://www.amazon.com/Somebodys-Santa-Love-Inspired-463/dp/0373874995/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222805470&sr=8-1

veinglory
10-01-2008, 12:39 AM
My approach is to enjoy good review, and when there is a really bad one just internally call the reviewer a bitch and move on. ;) I keep any nastiness to myself and it helps the ego...

Peachnuts
10-01-2008, 05:22 AM
I once read a string of blogs that 'aired their dirty laundry' and posted their worst reviews for the whole world to see on their own blogs. They found it liberating and I loved that they did that. I was inspired and thought one day I would do the same.
I think every author out there has their fans and their hecklers.
It is what happens when you step out into the spotlight.
Please don't let it keep you from shining.

Karen Duvall
10-01-2008, 05:37 AM
I just read the review in the October RT of your book and it's lovely! I don't understand why you're upset. Quote: Somebody's Santa by Annie Jones is a warm and sweet, if unsensational, story. This is a nice book to read as the holiday season approaches. It was rated 3 stars, which isn't shabby. Is it the unsensational part that bothers you? Pffft. Sensationalism is hogswallop. Hyperbole. At least your book is real. I'm sorry you feel bad, but there are readers out there looking for inspy holiday romances, and yours will likely end up on their list.

Jersey Chick
10-01-2008, 05:42 AM
I stumbled across a review on someone's blog and this person tore me apart - she hated my heroine, made fun of my hero, said parts made her laugh that she was sure I hadn't meant to be funny - you name it, she tore it apart.

At first, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut, but then I got mad. Once I ranted and raved in my office, I felt better. It took a little while, but I got back at the keyboard and basically said eff you, to her. ;)

It happens to the best of us - try not to let it get you down. It is, after all, only one person's opinion. :)

L.Jones
10-01-2008, 07:05 AM
Thanks y'all. In more than a decade of being pubbed I've gotten some downright nasty remarks (once upon a time in the days when there were a gazillion online review sites a reviewer actually made a webpage to point out that she didn't think it was right I kept getting published -- and one of the biggest complains was the covers, which I had nothing to do with!) and good ones. Awards and no attention at all.
Eh. That's the biz.

Yes, it was the unsensational, which I don't really aspire to - sensationalism - but it just bugs me since they tend to be gushy about Love Inspireds, which I am new to writing, so it felt like 'oh, yeah, here's this old shoe, too'. It doesn't necessarily make sense, just the way it got to me.

That's what I'm wondering, ever just have something not just strike you wrong but stick and effect your whole attitude?

I'm not a delicate flower, this just got under my skin.

annie jones

JeanneTGC
10-01-2008, 09:03 AM
I found my first negative review a couple of weeks ago -- based on my LOG LINES. Since my books aren't even published yet, it was kind of a shock.

But I'm glad. I went through all the hurt feelings and the deisre to rant online, and then I got over it. I'll never experience the "first" nasty review ever again, and besides, Hollywood liked my log lines enough to come calling (though we aren't dating even close to seriously yet ;)), so what does that reviewer know?

Same with yours. One person's "unsensational" is another person's favorite book ever. So, chin up, and don't let the reviewer turkeys get you down!

Gillhoughly
10-01-2008, 08:12 PM
Reviews, good or bad, are little more than an egoboo or bust in the long run for the professional writer.

Do not waste more time on this. Poking at the bruise to see if it still hurts won't make it better, I promise.

The IMPORTANT thing is you got published--that means you beat the odds. Way to go and high five! So what if not everyone adores your baby, there's plenty of others--your buyers--who do.

How to deal with this? Write the nastiest letter possible to the reviewer. DON'T send it. Just get the poison out of the bite, print it out, then burn the letter. I used to do that. It helps.

One of my friends collects her bad reviews together once a year and makes hilarious comments on them on her blog.

We ALL get bad reviews. It's part of the job. Even the best chef has plates sent back to the kitchen.

Speaking of meals, I had a review saying I should go back into the food services industry, since I was such a bad writer.

That was rather specific, and I figured out it came from a disgruntled writer who was unhappy with a panel talk I had given the previous weekend. The food services line was one of my own, thrown back at me! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif I was able to shrug off the review, knowing that the originator was that hopeless (and possibly mental) loser from the front row who kept scowling creepily at me during my talk.

Another scathing review on a collaborative series attacked my co-writer instead of the book. It seems that reviewer was less than successful at getting into my co-writer's pants, so she went after him with all the impotent rage of any jilted stalker. (I got that one deleted from Amazon after a couple tries, since it hardly mentioned the book at all.)

But the best way to deal with ANY review good or bad is don't read them. The good ones can give you a big head, the bad ones make you insecure. (The good ones can ALSO make you insecure in their own way!)

Read your royalty statements instead and keep writing.

For a real laugh, see how these NYT bestsellers deal with their bad reviews (http://www.prestonchild.com/rogues/index.html).

My fav quote from that page:

Brendan Behan: "Critics are like eunuchs in a harem: they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves."

But this is the BEST one. Author Brad Meltzer slams his OWN book in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svvoh66s2F0). (Beverage alert.)

Using humor and being a class act will always put you ahead of the pack. Look to other pros on how to deal with the hurt. The best ones crack wise and move on.

How to Deal with a Bad Book Review. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/3378/how_to_deal_with_a_bad_book_review.html?cat=38)

I understand that a contemporary review of Romeo and Juliet slammed the play something nasty.

No one remembers the reviewer, but the writer is still popular.

triceretops
10-01-2008, 08:47 PM
Uh, it's a really legit publisher--offset--and appears in bookstores. And, that was a great review.

What's not to like?

Wanna trade?

Tri

Dara
10-02-2008, 09:40 PM
I've never been published and so have never had a review-good or bad. Someday when I do get bad ones though I know I'll be crushed. I'm way too thin skinned. If I'm lucky enough to get a nuetral review I'll be happy. I agree with the above comments about trying to laugh it off. Easier said than done I'm sure.

JoNightshade
10-02-2008, 10:13 PM
Just remember this: Whatever else they may say, clearly your book was good enough to get them to read the whole thing.

L.Jones
10-03-2008, 02:28 AM
Just remember this: Whatever else they may say, clearly your book was good enough to get them to read the whole thing.


LOL - been reviewed way too many times to believe that reviewers actually read whole books :)

Feeling better today - still haven't seen it on shelves yet though

annie

rugcat
10-03-2008, 02:52 AM
But the best way to deal with ANY review good or bad is don't read them. The good ones can give you a big head, the bad ones make you insecure. (The good ones can ALSO make you insecure in their own way!)I think that's good advice, and I know quite a few writers who follow it, but I'm not able to.

Outrageous slams don't affect me at all. One blogger/critic announced he threw my book against the wall after reading twenty pages and wanted his money back. A bit of a cheapskate, I thought, considering it's a mmpb.

But to give critics their due, I've also read a couple of reviews of my own book that had valid criticisms, (or at least caveats) things I actually agreed with. Of course, it's easier to accept a criticism if the rest of the review is positive.

The only thing that ever pisses me off is when someone claims to know what I had in mind, when they don't have a clue. Saying, for instance, that a particular scene was obviously written to set up the next book in the series, when in fact when I wrote it I hadn't a ghost of an idea as to what the next book was going to be about.

And I don't let glowing reviews go to my head -- I know better. I'm just glad someone enjoyed the book.

Jersey Chick
10-03-2008, 03:17 AM
The thing that really bugged me about the person who hated everything about one of my books, was that her biggest pet peeve came about from her own misunderstanding. Either she skipped this particular page, or just read bits and pieces of the book because if she had paid closer attention, her confusion never would have come into play. And it wasn't a case of her thinking I meant this instead of that, it was a plot point that was spelled out as clear as anything.

Burned me up something fierce because she ripped me in a quasi-public setting and if I refuted her, I would have ended up looking like a total beeyotch...

Susan Gable
10-03-2008, 06:27 PM
Nah, Annie, it's not just you.

We tend to take the negative things to heart. We can read 10 positive reviews, and 1 negative, and the negative one will be the one we believe the most, the one that we remember the most.

It's a common affliction, I think. I know i have it. :)

So have some chocolate, or some cookies (or some chocolate cookies <G>) and forget that IDIOT reviewer. <G>

Ways to purge negative reviews:

Print it out and shred it.

Print it out and burn it.

Print it out, shred it into tiny little pieces and FLUSH it. <G>

Trust me, it's good for the soul. :)

Susan G.

DeeSoul
10-03-2008, 06:36 PM
I think Susan's right -- we really hold on to the negative reviews -- maybe it's because we're afraid to believe we ARE good.

Years ago I was a Golden Heart finalist, and they sent us the preliminary judges' scores. I got four 9's, which was the highest mark, and one 5.

You guessed it. I was OBSESSED with that 5. LOL

It's a good indicator of how subjective everything is, and now I'm grateful that only one judge felt that way. :) But it definitely hurt, and made me ask a lot of questions that have no real answers.

Just don't let it steal your joy. You've accomplished something wonderful, whether or not the reviewer sees it that way.

Gillhoughly
10-04-2008, 09:29 AM
It's best to ignore them all. Even if someone got things wrong, it is much more professional not to engage any reviewer, whether it's a pro or an Amazon reader.

Some writers have had rather embarrassing public meltdowns--Anne Rice's Amazon rant comes to mind--concerning reviews. There was some romance writer who went on a rampage on Amazon a few months back, actually arguing with readers about this or that detail. That thread was mercifully deleted, though, much to the advantage of her professional career.

I can shrug off a bad review, as you can't please everyone, and so what.

But when I look at a good review these days I tend to flinch, 'cause I think, OMG, how am I going to top THAT book since it was so dam' perfect? I wind up staring at the walls till my eyes bleed, with no words on the screen. D'OH!

Now I turn the books over to my wonderful betas, beg them to tell me how to make 'em better, fix the flaws, and send the results to my editor. If I please myself and that lot, that's all I need.

Stlight
10-04-2008, 09:44 AM
Dang I always miss the Amazon melt downs.

Gillhoughly
10-04-2008, 06:45 PM
Few things ever really vanish from the 'Net.

Rice lashes on Lasher (http://www.amazon.com/review/product/037541200X/ref=cm_cr_pr_link_3?%5Fencoding=UTF8&pageNumber=3), or whatever it was. I stopped reading her stuff after forcing myself to finish Lestat. Now that she's Jesus's Holy Ghost-writer I'm delighted she lives on the other side of the country from me, hopefully in a place that will accommodate that size an ego.

Crazy Screechy Monkey-Poking (http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004739.html) is a baaad idea.

Avoid blogging against the C.S.M. (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html)s.

Cathy C
10-05-2008, 03:35 AM
I'm merging these two threads. Annie's not sure how two of them got posted, so now there won't be!

But I tend to "embrace my inner snark" and let myself laugh at snarky, nasty tempered reviews. My favorite was Mrs. Giggles, who wanted to throw my first heroine "face first into a wood chipper." :roll:

I mean---how can you NOT laugh at that?

At first I was open mouthed at the comment, and then I realized that it was the CHARACTER she didn't like. Not me. And the heroine was intended to be a train wreck. The reviewer just didn't like trains... ;)

Jersey Chick
10-05-2008, 05:09 AM
Crazy screechy monkeys.

Asstard.

Two best things I've heard/read all day. :D

Woodsie
10-05-2008, 05:20 AM
It says it hasn't been reviewed yet. What review are you guys seeing?

pepperlandgirl
10-10-2008, 03:40 AM
The thing that really bugged me about the person who hated everything about one of my books, was that her biggest pet peeve came about from her own misunderstanding. Either she skipped this particular page, or just read bits and pieces of the book because if she had paid closer attention, her confusion never would have come into play. And it wasn't a case of her thinking I meant this instead of that, it was a plot point that was spelled out as clear as anything.

Burned me up something fierce because she ripped me in a quasi-public setting and if I refuted her, I would have ended up looking like a total beeyotch...

God, I hate when this happens. I can handle when people don't like one of my books. I can even handle a reviewer hating my book. I hate lots of things. It happens. But when a reviewer rips a book apart for something that never happened in the book it drives me batshit. In one recent review, the reviewer spelled a character's name wrong, consistently, and then spent two paragraphs bitching about a pet peeve she has--it's a valid pet peeve, I suppose, but it never happened in my book! Not once!

I couldn't do anything about it but shrug.

Ravenlocks
10-11-2008, 11:05 PM
Even a bad review is publicity, and any publicity is good publicity. I've done very occasional book and movie reviews, and one time several commenters on one of my bad reviews said after reading the review that they were intrigued and were going to pick up the book. So there you go. The writer didn't chime in, but my bad review made him a few more sales.

P.S. I do try not to be snarky and only to point out things I feel are valid criticisms. Of course, there's nothing the writer can do about them at that point...

veinglory
10-11-2008, 11:26 PM
The only thing that really bugs me in reviews is spoilers.

Sonarbabe
10-12-2008, 05:53 AM
Try not to feel too bad about it. :Hug2: I've only had two reviews that boiled my blood. One was some jerk I knew outside of romance writing (this guy has his own thread here in BABC) and has gone out of his insane way to stalk me. I had to have one of his Amazon.com reviews removed since I knew he hadn't read it and he slammed me as a person and as a writer. The other one was from a blog reviewer that gave me a mediocre rating, but couldn't bother to get my hero's name right. That really irritated me.

shameless
10-12-2008, 09:38 PM
My first book comes out in January. I can't imagine how I will handle ANY review, let alone a snarky one. :e2thud:

AllieB
10-28-2008, 05:57 AM
Actually, I don't completely ignore bad reviews. Even though they hurt, sometimes a lot, I also find that often there's something in there that I can learn from. Yeah they're subjective, but they're someone's opinion, which still counts for something even if I don't agree with it. If you can't find anything to take away from a review, then read it, feel lousy, and then move on. For everyone who doesn't like your book, there will be another who absolutely cannot put it down :)

Here are the bad ones (both for my very first novel), in case you were curious:

"The heroine is such an irritating creature. She's stupid, which is bad enough, but she is also very emotionally needy, irrational, and neurotic. She overreacts too often. Maggie is like this black hole that sucks all the joy from the people around her because she demands that they cater to her all the time...Therefore, while I can appreciate many things about One Night In Boston, my failure to appreciate one single thing about the supremely annoying heroine is a huge stumbling block in my appreciation of this story. File this one under "I would love this book to bits if the heroine dies in an explosive car crash by page 16."

AND

I ran into all the cliche roadblocks of Woman’s Fiction and a few from Romance. The alpha hero comes off, most of the time, as having a little too much estrogen in his diet (one of my big pet peeves). Heroine’s big secret, which the reader figures out by the end of the first chapter, is so horribly hooked I wanted to tear my hair out. So many characters with so many individual stories - I almost wanted to say, ‘who is your heroine and your hero?’. The plot gets warped because I am trying to follow so many characters and none of them truly get to make their mark in the tale.

(OK, I have to add here that just in case you think this story totally bombed, it also got 5 Hearts from The Romance Studio and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. So go figure...)

L.Jones
10-28-2008, 05:27 PM
Allie - I laughed, I cringed, I commiserated.

btw - the book is probably being yanked today for the next round of books but it seems to have done pretty well, so...

annie jones

Manat
10-30-2008, 06:36 AM
I sympathize with all the bad review stories. I got one from a woman who counted all the sex scenes, (lord knows why, it's not an erotic) noted how many pages long they were, and then really annoyed me by giving away a major plot point from the second half of the story. WTH??? That's just wrong!!

rugcat
10-30-2008, 06:48 AM
The only thing that really bugs me in reviews is spoilers.How about when your publisher puts a spoiler on the back cover blurb?

Manat
10-30-2008, 04:09 PM
How about when your publisher puts a spoiler on the back cover blurb?

Arghhhh! And you're helpless to do anything about it.

Ameliexx
01-30-2016, 03:54 PM
I'm not published yet, but one of my biggest fears is a bad review. Someone told me that I need to remember they are not attacking me personally and not to take it to heart. I know I'll sit and sob when I get my first bad review though. In the words of Taylor Swift "Shake it off" . I bet your book is awesome :)

Maryn
01-30-2016, 08:04 PM
Psst! Ameliexx! You have "necro-ed" a thread last active in 2008, bringing it back from the dead. While this won't get you in trouble, it's rarely a good idea, since the participants may have left AW or stayed but forgotten what they wrote 8 years ago.

If the topic is of general writerly interest, use the search box in the lower left corner to seek a more recent discussion.

Maryn, pleased to meet you