Monday, March 14, 2016

The Dreaded One-Star Review

You work your butt off writing, editing, formatting, uploading, connecting, promoting, marketing, advertising...etc...
And finally, this happens

The coveted 5-Star Review

 People actually like your book! 

You're on cloud nine.

 Rejoicing commences.

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Along with their 5 star reviews, some of them write lovely words:

"This was a beautiful love story, but with a twist. Loved every moment of it." 

"...a definite page-turner"

"...loved the characters" 

"...full of excitement and romance"

You might also get several of these

The not too shabby 4-Star Review

And you're like, I can live with that. After all, they include more lovely words:

"This is a really well written book and at times very poetic."

"The story surprised me with the depth of its descriptions."

"...I found this read very enjoyable"

You don't even mind seeing this:

The okay 3-Star review

Especially when they so kindly include this:

"This was actually a sweet love story"

However, finding a couple of these may cause a bit of anxiety:

The unappealing two-star review

One reviewer writes: "Started out good but then became boring. Hero was too uptight and snobby for my taste."
(The complete opposite of the 5-star reviewers above)  

By the way, did you know there are people who (obviously) do not comprehend what a BOOK SERIES is?  For my novel, Ravenswynd Legends, book ONE, a two-star reviewer actually said: 
"...left you without solid closure with the villain of the story. The end was very blaaaa. In fact, when I reached the end, I turned the page expecting (the) story to continue but it didn't, it just ended."
(If they had turned the next page, they would have seen the excerpt for book TWO and realized that the story does, indeed, continue.) If thay had paid attention to the front cover, they would have seen the words: Book One. By this time, I'm really trying not to scream...


I'm quite sure that most people understand what PARANORMAL ROMANCE means. There will be things that are not normally seen in the real world, you know, like vampires, a mind-reader, beings with special "talents", maybe a prophetess who knows the future, time-travel. And there will definitely be romance. (You know, hugging, caressing, kissing, etc.)

Another two-star reviewer complains that the "love scenes dominated the storyline,but were too sickly to read", and "the story line was unbelievable (even for a fantasy)". 

And, You find yourself screaming at the computer screen: "That's what paranormal romance is!" 

But...onward you go...

You publish books two, three, and four! You eventually decide to set book one at the low, low price of $FREE, hoping to get more folks interested in the rest of the series...
       And then... 
             after several thousand                                        downloads...


              this happens:

The dreaded one-star review

And you're crying, "WHAT?! WHY?!" 

Apparently everyone gets them now and then. 

Here's a note I found (on Goodreads) under my one star review:

Ok, you got a bad review. Deep breath. It happens to every author eventually. Keep in mind that one negative review will not impact your book’s sales. In fact, studies have shown that negative reviews can actually help book sales, as they legitimize the positive reviews on your book’s page.

Ummm, okay.

Now don't get me wrong. I appreciate the folks who actually explain WHY they give negative reviews; everyone has their own opinions. You really can't please everyone -right?  But the ones who blast your review page with one lonely star, and give absolutely NO explanation...those people are on my list. (just kidding.) But it is infuriating...and I'll admit I am compelled to check out their other reviews...just to see what kind of books they like or dislike. And when I do that, if I find that this person is in the habit of giving one or two stars with no further explanation, it makes me wonder why they bother reading novels at all, since they (apparently) hate everything their eyes come in contact with. 
For example: 
One of my one-star reviewers also gave a no explanation-one-star-review for 
The Golden Compass, The Hobbit, and Schlinder's List. It seems like they seriously have an insatiable need to voice their low opinions for everything they read, regardless of the popularity of the book, or the genre. 

Enormous Sigh

But here's what helps me get past my negative reviews. (This may help readers understand what we writers go through as well.) 
Spend a little time on Amazon or Goodreads, or wherever people rate/review books. Find a book that you absolutely loved. Check out the reviews. It will surprise you to see the one or two star reviews, and when you read their reasons why, you will be like, 

"WHAT?!  WHY?!"

Happy reading!

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