Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What do you do with a bad review?

Three months after the publication of Cairo and with several outstanding reviews later, I'm hit with two fairly bad ones. They arrived on Amazon a day apart and I, for the most part, took them in stride.

Here’s what I plan to do with them:

1. I will not let them paralyze me. One of the reviews complained it had too many mentions of God and should have been labeled CHRISTIAN FICTION. Hello – it pretty clearly is. He also complained the reader couldn’t solve the mysteries. They weren’t supposed to. And as my BFF said – “Most mysteries have surprise endings.  And for clues....sorry he didn't see any.”

2.  The other reviewer thought my main character, Liz, was wishy-washy and the cousin, Donnie was weird. Yes, they sort of are. Not that I view it disturbing they came off that way – they are after all human or human in my mind. But – I’ll take it under advisement for the next thing I write.

3.  Like all things, your reading choices are subjective. You read what you like or what you’re interested in and whether or not you like what you’ve read depends up to the way you see things. I certainly have read books I can’t stand, but I don’t review them. I want to give positive feedback to the writer and if I can’t do that, then I don’t. No need to slam the writer, the publisher or the editor. There is always some good in everything written, although sometimes it takes time to flush it out. And just in case you’d like my reviewing stats: From Amazon: Top Reviewer Ranking: 29,550 Helpful Votes: 81.  I review in several other places including right here.

Doing a little research on several BIG not to be mentioned authors, I’m in very good company. So….I take the not so good reviews and try to grow from them.

From Wikipedia:  An author is broadly defined as "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.


I accept that responsibility and realize I cannot please everyone and the most important person I need to please is myself.

11 comments:

Mary L. Ball said...

I totally agree Victoria. I have a few bad reviews also, but as my senior Pastor used to say, "you can't please everyone." So as writers we must go on.

I'm also of the belief that if you can't say something positive don't say anything. Author pour thier heart and soul out into books they write, Not perfect-just writers who enjoy creating tales.

Victoria Pitts-Caine said...

Thank you, Mary! We can all encourage each other. In fact, my husband said the same thing about pleasing everyone.

Penelope Marzec said...

I'm reading Cairo. I'm sure I'll be pleased with it when I'm finished because so far it's excellent. :-)

I've received bad reviews, too. It's just part of the process.

Linda Carroll-Bradd said...

I agree with and support the premise that an author can't please all readers. In order for us to write with passion, we have to forget about those who may not "get" our story.

Kim McMahill said...

Everyone's taste in books, music, art, etc. is different. Personally, I enjoyed Cairo very much.

Victoria Pitts-Caine said...

Thanks for the the feedback, ladies. It's wonderful to have all your wonderful support. As Kim says, everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

Bonnie McCune said...

You go, girl! Can't please everyone, and I'm finding I learn sooooo much through my writing about writing better. My friends say the point of a journey is the journey, and we're trotting along.

CH said...

If you read enough reviews, you'll see it all! One that I recently ran across actually began with these words: "I haven't read this book, but..." Another one complained about "too much drama"--in an adventure story! Then there was an absolutely GLOWING narrative that said what a great story, wonderful characters, yada yada yada. Oh, and was accompanied by ONE star. Hmm.

Kevin Mark Smith said...

Love your books! Writers should write for their audience not for the critics. By definition critics will criticize, expecting perfection even though they lack the creative seed it takes to write good stories. Sure, stuff like telling not showing and messed up POVs are legitimate, but the rest is taste.

Victoria Pitts-Caine said...

Thanks, Carlene, Bonnie and Kevin! I appreciate your support and comments.

Jacqueline D. Hopper said...

Being an artist (yes, writing is a form of art) takes a certain kind of independence and strength of character. If you have a passion and gift for writing, you can't listen to the negative voices because there will always be the few in the crowd who will try to trip you up. Sometimes it helps to take a moment and consider why they're trying to trip you in the first place: is it jealousy? Are you competition? Is it because you've found your individual writing voice and they don't have the mental ability to adapt?