My first bad review

It finally happened. That moment every writer dreads. THE.BAD.REVIEW.

This is the first time, so it stung a little. I read it with my heart in my throat and a cold, sickening dread in the pit of my stomach. She didn’t like my book… how could she not like my book? *sob*

Initial reaction: Ask Bad reviewer if she’s ever written a book. Spent hours and days and months slaving over this labour of love, which you then send out into the universe, like your first born child. In my head, I dressed her down, making her see the error of her ways. In my head, this conversation ended with her on her knees, begging for my forgiveness. BEST.DREAM.EVER (oh, except for that one I had about Ian Somerhalder)

It is important to note that at this point a message popped up from Goodreads saying:

Ok, you got a bad review. Deep breath. It happens to every author eventually. Keep in mind that one negative review will not impact your book’s sales. In fact, studies have shown that negative reviews can actually help book sales, as they legitimize the positive reviews on your book’s page.
We really, really (really!) don’t think you should comment on this review, even to thank the reviewer. If you think this review is against our Review Guidelines, please flag it to bring it to our attention. Keep in mind that if this is a review of the book, even one including factual errors, we generally will not remove it.
For more on how to interact with readers, please see our Author Guidelines.
If you still feel you must leave a comment, click “Accept and Continue” below to proceed (but again, we don’t recommend it).

At this I realised that Goodreads is comprised of bona fide Ninja’s. They know. They know what you are going to do before you even do it. Well played, Goodreads, well played.

So, I did what every writer in my shoes would do instead. I STALKED her. And here’s what I discovered:

* My Bad Reviewer likes horror stories. Okay, my book is a romance, so not really her cup of earl grey.

* My Bad Reviewer has an average rating of 3 stars (out of 5) – she gave me a 2, (translation: It was okay)

She said she didn’t even finish. DNF. I couldn’t believe it. My poor little e-book, just dumped out with the trash. Worse than that time I accidentally flushed 3 of my goldfish out with the water when cleaning their bowl.

Deep down I needed something. Something to make my heart hurt just a little bit less. So I went searching for 1 star reviews other (famous) authors have endured. And I read a bunch. Here are some excerpts of my favourites (I have edited out the names of the books to protect the innocent)

#1 Review on New York Times Bestseller, that I LOVED

Holy hell.
Thankfully I took a day before writing this review otherwise I would be having a vitriolic rant about the questionable judgement of many readers on GR. I am a wee bit horrified by the taste level I’m coming across. But I digress.So what was wrong with TITLE? It would be easier to tell you what was right with it: nothing.
Monotonous, repetitive, predictable, unoriginal, mindless, cliche…these are just a few of the words that come to mind.The writing is simply not good. It is monotonous and absolutely lacked a descriptive quality. When there were descriptions they were vague. And don’t get me started on how the author chose to treat sexual relations in the book. Every instance of sex was approached in a prudish manner which was just ridiculous.
NAME’s biological clock was fucking annoying…..

(OMG she dropped the F-bomb!!)

#2: Review on one of the Greatest authors of our time:

Wow, truly, truly awful! This is a book I really wish I had never read. Admittedly, it is clearly written to appeal to the fairer sex, but even taking that into account, it’s just really, really bad. The plot is flimsy, the characters are weak and 2-dimensional, the writing is trite and sophomoric. There are all of these thrown-in sex scenes that are just so out of place and ugly and tacky and gross. And then, the epilogue happened, and … wow! That truly was the coup de grace. What a waste of my time. I can honestly say, I hated this book. It’s the worst book I have read in a very long time. So, reminder for myself – never again read a book by this author. His writing is definitely not for me.

Okay, I admit, after laughing my ass off, I had to look up the word “sophomoric” – it means pretentious or juvenile. Just in case you were wondering!

Then there was the reviewer who added a book to the following shelves:

Shelves: dropped-in-the-toilet, the-hate-it-burns, buddy-or-group-read, fat-kitty-judges-you, dafuq-did-i-just-read, is-it-just-me-goddammit, whiny-bitches, kill-it-with-fire, reviewed-2011, authors-i-want-to-stab, lust-at-first-sight, mary-sue, lit-for-the-chicks, romance-contemp, well-arent-you-mister-popularity, facepalm, blame-the-darksiders

I’ve gotta say, I admire the creativity. Makes my shelves: “Read”, “To Read” & “Currently Reading” look pretty dull by comparison!

Feeling slightly better, I decided maybe I should call off the P.I and scrap my meagre attempt at a voodoo doll. And then, I saw it. I heard an angel choir singing and the light of a thousand candles filled my room:

* My Bad Reviewer once gave James Patterson a 1 star review.

At this point I cracked open the champagne. I mean, how many authors can say they’re better than James Patterson 😉

Happy Wednesday Y’all!



One Comment

  • Tibby Burger

    You know what, we all have our own opinions and who is to say who is right and who is wrong? What appeals to one need not appeal to another so take heart in this. Being a bit of a romantic myself, I am loving the different characters portrayed in Rainfall. If the ‘bad reviewer’ gave you a rating of 2 without having finished the book, I personally would not stress about it as this means nothing. Not sure why one would read a romance novel if you enjoy horror? Rather then stick to the horrors like ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Dracula’. If the shoe fits, wear it!!

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