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Goodreads Badreviews

I’m a pretty thick skinned individual. I’ll admit it. When people talk about me in a negative way, I shrug it off pretty easily. One thing that I will not tolerate is when someone speaks ill of my kids or the person that I love. I get all snarly and growly when that happens. Being thick skinned is a pretty handy trait if one decides to become an author. It can be a pretty cruel world. It seems like for every BAD review you get, It takes a hundred GREAT reviews before you stop questioning your desire to continue being an author.

I’ve had a few bad reviews. I usually shrug them off as, “Well, you just can’t please EVERYBODY.” Individuals have different tastes. It’s what makes us human and I’ve always respected that. Take Stephanie Meyer for a prime example. She’s sold like 52 bajillion copies of the Twilight Saga. Have you ever heard anyone say, “It was okay.” No. The twilight books are a love/hate relationship. You either love it or you hate it. I personally don’t care for sparkly vampires with bushy eyebrows, but again, that is my opinion. To each his own.

I’ve been noticing a trend lately and I don’t mean with just me. I’m friends with a TON of authors out there on both Facebook and the Twitter. It feels like lately people are just going around posting horrible reviews  for the sake of being different, just to be negative, or even out of fun. It’s been happening a LOT lately. A friend of mine on FB who is REALLY selling a LOT of books, had one person from Germany just flat out say the book is garbage don’t buy it. My friend had Amazon do a little inspection of the review and as it turns out, the person never even bought the book. Um…okay?

I don’t claim to be the world’s most best or most exciting writer. I like to think I tell an exciting, enjoyable, funny, scary story. My first book Origins was released just over a year ago and has been on Goodreads the entire time. It’s been reviewed by a BUNCH of great folks give me some even greater reviews. It made me really proud. Up until today it’s received 31- 5 star ratings, 10- 4 star ratings, 1- 3 star rating, and 1- 2 star rating with a total of 23 reviews that made me sooooo proud. A couple of months ago I did a giveaway on the site. I gave away 3 signed copies. Today one of the people who won posted a 2 star rating and a review that shoved a dull rusty spoon through my heart.

I won this book through Goodreads first reads giveaway.
I felt like the book dragged on and on and it took me months to read it. I just got really bored with the characters. It had the potential to be really great but Ashley was so childish and the way her character was written seemed poorly executed. It picked up a bit towards the end but I was still rather unimpressed. I think it spent too much time in Ashley’s head with her rather droll and unintelligent sounding monologue rather than focusing on an exciting world of vampires and other supernatural creatures

Yeah. Ouch.

What killed me about the review is it was the COMPLETE opposite of what everyone who’s ever read it told me what they loved MOST about the book. The character’s in Origins were fun and funny. They loved the dialog between the MC and her partner. Etc, etc, etc.  Maybe this reviewer either just had her own opinion, which I completely respect. Maybe she just likes posting negative reviews. I know for certain I’ll probably never know. I’m good with that. One thing I do wish though, if you ARE going to post a negative review of my work, PLEASE, at least get the main character’s name right. I might feel you actually read the book.

  1. lindamac1
    March 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Really mean and ungrateful to post bad review when winning book in givaway. If they don’t like it, say nothing. Of course inflated reviews do not serve the reader well, but unfair criticism is extremely hurtful – and as you say, it takes a lot of good reviews to balance one bad one. My novel Meeting Lydia has just been completely panned by someone who bought the book expecting it to be about a particular village. Some of his criticism was completely invalid – which made the valid points less effective. I think some reviewers feel it is clever to be critical (taking the lead from the press, no doubt). Fairness is all I ask – as both author and reader.

    • March 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Ah, the joys of being a writer, eh?

  2. Candy
    March 30, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I told her for you that it is Ashlyn not Ashley LOL

  3. March 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I have a question. What is the purpose of a bad review?

    I have recently started posting reviews on Goodreads (then to my blog) of the books I’m currently reading. But if I cant find something nice to say about it, if its not at least a 3/5. I won’t review it. I’ll just stay mute. If I don’t like someone’s work.. like you said, everyone has their own taste. But this post has me wondering again… what IS the purpose of a negative review of a published work?

    • March 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      It’s funny. Your first gut reaction of a negative review is, “Oh, that’s going to hurt my sales.” What’s truly ironic is that when you have enough of them, people will go buy it just to see if they agree. I’ve seen horribly rated works on amazon selling twenty or thirty TIMES as many books as I sell. As far as I can tell, the only purpose of a bad review is to belittle the author? I don’t know. I’m like you. I’ve NEVER posted a bad review. I’m with Thumper’s Mother. “If you can’t say anything nice…”

      • March 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        OK, then I shall continue as I planned and review only those I truly enjoyed (as a reader). Thank you for the advice, Thumper’s Mother. 😉

  4. Scott
    March 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I think it’s fine to write a negative review, but it takes a certain type of person. For example, I bought an ebook for 99 cents, and I wasn’t expecting a lot, but I was underwhelmed. The guy’s a new author, and I just couldn’t post a bad review of his story. OTOH, I’ve posted more negative reviews of bigger authors, when I have a lot to compare to. (Dean Koontz comes to mind – I put up a less than stellar review of one of his books, being totally honest about what I found lacking.)

    Sean, I posted a review of ORIGINS, for the paperback version (I bought it at the Printers’ Row Fest; are you going this year?) and it doesn’t show up with the e-book reviews. Someone said that there’s a way to “link” the books so that all reviews show up on both versions. As mine was a 5 star review and there are only 2 or 3 on the paperback, you might want them found when someone looks at the e-book and vice versa…

    • March 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks Scott! Yes I will be at Printers Row. Stop by and say hi!

  5. Dori
    March 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    What I look for when I read a bad review is if the person was being honest or just wanted to start controversy. Some people are caught up in their own diatribe, they fail to see the whole purpose of the review. When I review a book (for another blog) I always try to find something positive about the book before I politely say the negative.

    The whole concept of a review is to help the author grow in his writing (In other words constructive criticism) . When a person “slams” a writer with a harsh review, that shows me the reviewer cares less about the writer and more about his own self worth as a critic. These so-called critics can destroy a first time writer who may be on the verge of writing the next great literary piece. I prefer to look at how my words can help the writer in his future endeavors. I also, I place myself in his shoes, how would I feel reading my review? Would my words encourage or discourage the writer? I choose to think of positive ways to aid a writer and I would hope others would do the same.

    • March 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Sadly, we seem to live in a world where speaking harshly about someone often is used to make people feel better about themselves. Thanks Dori!

  6. March 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    That is not a review. It is an attack on another person venting frustration behind their computer screen. The tone smells like it would be the same attack what ever book they read. What they really need to purchase is a 16″ pole with just a little lube. 😛
    Keep writing. xx

  7. March 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Great post! I am bracing myself for my first bad review – because I know it will happen. EVERYONE gets them – even the “big guys”. And you said it – you cant please everyone. I hope I can flick it off – you are right about authors needing to be thick skinned. For sure! Although getting agent rejections never bothered me as I fully expected it as part of the process. I plan to take the advice of some other authors and DO NOTHING, do not respond to it. To put it in a positive light – it makes the book more credible to have a few “eh” reviews (so I will tell myself!). Frankly, some people may read our books who arent drawn to what we write so it wasnt a good fit from the beginning. And people are smart – they can skim through reviews and get a feel for the book if its a good fit for them to make a decision. But really people posting bad reviews just to be mean? Well, those people are irrelevant and miserable people. Be glad you are NOT them! 🙂

  8. March 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Yeah, bad reviews can suck. They occasionally have me wondering if the negative points they make are accurate. Yet at the same time, I’d worry if I only heard the nice stuff. I’ve gotten a bad review on occasion as well. Those are the times I simply tell myself a bad review is better than none at all.

  9. March 31, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Sounds like this reviewer at least read enough of the book to decide it wasn’t the specific, action-packed thrill ride he/she hoped for.

    It’s one of those things we can’t do much about, which makes it all the more frustrating. On the other hand, you have plenty of good reviews,so I don’t think people will pay much attention to the odd poor one.

  10. April 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    sigh…i haven’t come across many books that I don’t or haven’t liked outside of the twilight series but to be fair I bought and read all 4 of them so on my blog when i ranted about them I still talk about the 1 or 2 slivers I did enjoy of the books.

    That said this reviewer didn’t even seem to care about much of anything except trashing your book. I know that sounds a bit on the meanish side to say but if your gonna say you didn’t like this part or piece of a book, then say why and what exactly, also no book it completely bad there is always something done well about a book, like i said i had parts of twilight that i did enjoy they were very far few an in between but they were there. The reviewer said it picked up at the end…but how…

    I am not saying ignore this person but….some people don’t always warrant the attention they get…or want

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