I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has just put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or banana split.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
Well it happened- I received a scathing review. A one star rant about just how terrible the reviewer felt GT was! I can't say it didn't sting – it did. ‘Take it down’ H said especially when you are sending Bittersweet to publishers. – I laughed- 1) I don’t know if you can do this 2) Why would I? She paid her money – she took the time to read it she deserves to give her opinion. And 3) what is the point of reviews if you are selective- it makes reviews pointless.
In a way I am relieved with the bad review- I mean it was only a matter of time. At first I thought 1) Arghhh should I just delete the book from existence and bury it deep? 2) is this the start of things to come? I hope not. 3) should I give up on writing?
Is this what celebs feel when they see a horrible story in the papers about them – did Posh Spice feel like this when she was slated about her singing. Of course it is not on the same scale but I can now see their hurt. I suppose this is why they say don’t tweet something to a celeb you wouldn't say to their faces- it’s true.
Perhaps its my fault for looking at the reviews!
But after I have had time to mull it all over I compose myself. Of course I am not going to stop writing. After all it has received 15 good reviews and only 1 bad 2) White Tiger (my fave book of all time) has some bad reviews- reviews I was shocked to read- I was thinking how can someone criticize this book when it is absolutely amazing 3) I have always believed it is better to try and fail than not try at all- in my eyes GT is a success due to the number of copies sold so even if its all doom and gloom from this point on- At least I gave it a go. 4) I now feel I can call myself an author- is this my way of making myself feel better? Sour grapes and all that - if that is the right expression. I don’t know but surely if you have had praise and criticism it is a good thing… it makes you well rounded…. You have earned the title of author. However, this doesn’t really make sense because your writing may be amazing and you may never get a bad review in your life- you are still worthy (more than worthy of being called an author) –again maybe its just be being bitter!
Anyway rant over – I am currently reading Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah and it is amazing – Always in awe of her writing– when I know I will never be as good as her I wonder whether it’s all worth it- so I guess the timing of the review was another little jab when I was doubting my writing.
Head up and carry on I say. And a final note- I do not (totally) believe in the quote I have attached. I was looking for a quote (ironically it was the first on the page- I thought perhaps it was a sign so I put it up!!!!)
I remember reading an article recently about what to do if you get a bad review – I’ll share just in case you are in the same boat as me. Apparently some authors try and contact the reviewer find out what they didn't like…give them their money back (we are so soft – us authors- aren't we?) well apparently and I am sure you know this it is a no-no- never engage in dialogue and never react - if you do some people quite like this and will criticize you even more – so as this is the first bad review I thought I would share - after all I have shared the highs- time to share the lows – I wont be writing about any more bad reviews though taking heed on the above piece of advice I have just regurgitated! – Just move on – which is what I’ll be doing!
So self-pubbers out there- be warned this is a pitfall of writing without a publishing house/agent behind you – you will feel crappy and wonder why you bothered and seriously doubt your writing when you get a bad review but you have to put it behind you (remember you cant please everyone) !!!!!!!! Persistence…….