My Thoughts on Bad Reviews

I’ve been pretty lucky with That Which Should Not Be that it has not had that many bad reviews. I can count them on both hands at this point. (I’m sure they will increase, but at some point, that’s just a sign that you are successful. Haters, as they say, are gonna hate.) People ask me how I feel about them. It’s a good question. Back in the old unpublished days, I would have thought I would hate them. But in reality, I kinda think they are funny. One of my favorite negative reviews contained the line, “I’m sure that Talley thought he had a brilliant story on his hands, and truly he would have if he had only written it differently.” Ouch. So I’ve learned a few things from negative reviews, and I want to share them with you.

  1. If you are an author, just get ready. They will come, no matter how good your book is. That Which Should Not Be has 45 Five Star reviews and 19 Four Star reviews. It also has a Two Star and a One Star review. It is going to happen. The Great Gatsby has 28033 One Star reviews! And it’s one of the best books ever written! So build a tough skin.
  2. If you are writing a review, quit being such a jerk. Authors, particularly Indie authors, are going to read your reviews. If you don’t like a book, that’s fine. If it has problems, point them out. But remember that in most cases, the authors really did pour themselves into that book. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it on the Internet.
  3. One last thing for reviewers—make your ratings reflect what you write. I know that you think your opinion is really important, but most people are not going to read it. But your ratings may be noticed and certainly will be factored into the overall rating. Don’t be one of those people who either give a book one star or five stars. It shouldn’t be all or nothing.
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