Derailed & Disappointed? Maybe not.

amazon boxI briefly mentioned overcoming the one star bandit reviews in my last post. But having noticed a few anxious, confused and disgruntled Facebook posts from authors recently, I thought a little cheering up was in order. It’s not all bad news.

Reviews such as ‘Difficult reading made no sence!’ (note the spelling) and other gut-wrenchers like ‘Don’t waste your money’ ‘Absolutely hated it,’ might seem a little extreme in contrast to the many five star reviews present on every author’s book page. So my question is this. While some of these critical reviewers don’t like your book, others might just not get your book.

Most of us may think we have skin like a rhino, but when faced with criticism we become derailed and disappointed ― a temporary interruption from writing the next 1000 words. We research the reviewer, study the books they read, wonder what on earth possessed them to buy something they hated when the first 15% is available in the Look Inside feature on Amazon – if only to determine the writing style.

My motto is: If the first page doesn’t hook, then don’t buy the book.

RevivalFor some authors it may come as a surprise and a comfort to learn that there are a few bestsellers out there who also have one star reviews. Depending on format and edition, here are some of their stats on Amazon:

Stephen King: Revival: A novel

Number of 1 star ratings: 325 out of 1,737 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: In the trash can as I write

Ann Rice: Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles

Number of 1 star ratings: 148 out of 502 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: Flat, Uninspired, Completely Devoid of Plot

Dean Koontz: Ashely Bell: A Novel

Number of 1 star ratings: 102 out of 392 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: Worst. Koontz. Ever. (sorry…)

the-other-boleyn-girl-by-philippa-gregoryPhilippa Gregory: The Other Boleyn Girl

Number of 1 star ratings: 90 out of 234 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: This book should be burnt

E L James: Fifty Shades of Grey

Number of 1 star ratings: 9,028 out of 17,014 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: Fifty shades of dysfunction.

George R. R. Martin: Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice And Fire Book 1

Number of 1 star ratings: 326 out of 953 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: A Game of Yawns

 

You can see for yourself (just click on the hyperlink) and take a look at a few more while you’re at it.

Author Anne Rice told the Guardian: “They’ve worked their way into the Amazon system as parasites, posting largely under pseudonyms, lecturing, bullying, seeking to discipline authors whom they see as their special prey . . .  They’re all about power. They clearly organise, use multiple identities and brag about their ability to down vote an author’s works if the author doesn’t ‘behave’ as they dictate.”

Award-winning author P.D. James has had a few herself.

Amazon bad reviewsIf authors feel they have truly received a malicious one star review, or been down voted (as Rice puts it) the rule of thumb is not to engage. For anyone wanting to buy that book a 20-comment bashing thread might be a turn-off. Leave it alone and that one star review becomes an outlier compared to dozens of good ones.

The presence of the bad lends validity to the good.

Now… does anyone feel a little better?

I think I do.

Amazon happy box

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Derailed & Disappointed? Maybe not.

  1. we all get one star reviews and our sensitive little egos retire bruised and bleeding to a dark place. We need to grow a pair! What annoys me far more are those writers who have 400 5 star reviews and nothing else. Looks highly suspicious. I prefer a spread of reviews, then you can see the book generates different responses.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s