How to (not)Handle a Review

Truth be told, got a bad review last night, well, more like a rating. No comments, just a punchy 1-star. Bad reviews come with the job. People will have their opinions, everyone is not going to feel the same way about your novel. The difference in my mind comes down to a spectrum of readers.

The White:

These are people who have a penchant for reading, love all books and will generally give a 5-star to anything the sun touches. Mostly, these people will be family and close friends. A few new authors will remain in this category to not rock the boat and greatly upset the reads from other authors they take under their wing.

The Broad Spectrum:

This is where most people fall. They will go from their gut, rate it as the felt it while reading, and give some honest words. These people will range things between the 2 & 5-star areas. If you have gotten a 2-star review, they are horrid. It’s kinda like someone poisoned the tines of a fork and stabbed you. They are usually your audience and missed the mark in their opinion (you just hope they don’t influence too many other opinions in the process). Most of these people will give you their honest feedback as long as it’s anonymous, as far as the Internet is concerned.

The Dark:

Here we go. The trolls, the elitists, the high-brows and the jealous. Most of these people are out for very limited reasons and none of them are artistic, helpful or worthwhile. Generally, they will try and get under your skin, get a smidgen of your spotlight, feel jealous of your success, or want to flex some sort of superiority. Not all of these people will give you 1-stars, but you know them once you see them. They spout and boast their opinions in paragraphs, not sentences. Usually, your efforts are made to feel stale, ridiculous, labor-some, boring or a slew of other identifiers.

To note, I love opinions. I look for them everyday and even if they aren’t great, I appreciate the forwardness of admitting the lack of enjoyment my work may have brought someone. In other words, constructive criticism is always welcome. I’m not doing this to pout cause of one bad review or another.

And the rating, granted, it didn’t have a review with it. Just a lone 1-star out there, tarnishing the others. No big whoop, laugh that one off is how it generally goes. Yet, the fact that I knew the person made me go WTF? Okay, well, still hoping for some opinion, time passes and then I get this:

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Hmm, well… That about does it. Stranger – glad you had your fun, ignore and go about my day. Acquaintance – that’s nice, well, when you publish your own book, let me know how well that guide treated you. Oh, and here was my recommendation back:

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Go out there, be better than me… after you stop laughing 😉



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