Review Review – A bit of fun for indie authors.
We know, as tempting as it is, it’s unprofessional to reply to your bad reviews. For anyone who has ever received one you will know how personal this feels, especially if it is a generic review that could be about any book or one that feels highly personal. We like reviews, we like honest feedback, after all this helps us to get better as writers. What we don’t appreciate is highly rude remarks from some keyboard troll on a power trip. Yes we know you didn’t like the book, yes you made it clear but did you need to kick the boot in that low? If you answer no to this then you have been where I am.
Some remarks are uncalled for and can break you temporarily. You can choose to take the genuine criticism, learn and improve or you can give up and never write again. I would suggest the former, you will always be learning and you can always get better. Ignoring the people who abuse the review system is the way to go. Also, it is easy to ignore the good feedback and reviews you’ve had. Unfortunately a bad review shines like a radioactive beacon in your brain and leaves all the good comments in the shadows.
Here are some typical review comments and my review of their reviews.
“Rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish.”
If you haven’t had one, you’ve probably seen one. “Poor dialogue, bad story, rubbish characters, terrible prose etc., etc., etc.” May I ask why this person downloaded this book in the first place? As with many books, you can download a sample; surely from a sample they can deduce if they like the writer’s voice enough to continue. I get very suspicious of reviewers that can’t find a single good thing to say. If the story wasn’t to their liking, was the dialogue so bad or are they just enjoying spreading the negativity?
“Too young for me so I give it 1 star.”
Okay, so the book is a young adult book. The story centres on a teenage boy and the synopsis suggests that it is a young adult story, yet as an adult you downloaded it and read it. It’s not my fault that you download anything you come across without reading the synopsis and then find it’s not to your liking. My review of you is that you need to become more attentive and not coast through everyday life not knowing which direction you are taking, and then – the big then – don’t penalise me for your lack of attentiveness. Again, a review that is not the writers fault.
“I haven’t read it yet.” (1 star as they haven’t read it).
I’ve never had this type of review but I have seen a few. I sympathise with the writer they are reviewing as I know this will pull their overall star rating down. These I feel are the most unfair of all reviews and there is no excuse to ever post this as a review. You have no right to rate a book that you haven’t read and my review of you is too obscene to publish. It involves a lot of insults that start with F’s and B’s. You are the dirt on my shoes; get someone to seal you up in a metal box where your damage to the earth and everyone on it can be limited. You don’t have the intelligence to be a part of everyday society.
“My fourteen year old read it and said their school friends write better stories.”
Do they now? Firstly, I don’t doubt that there are some very good storytellers of a young age and I wouldn’t insult some of them by disagreeing. I would however like to ask why you were encouraging a young teen to read a book aimed at adults that is full of graphic violence, sex and swearing. I don’t think I need say anymore on this point. I think this review would definitely say more about the reviewer.
“Spelling and grammar errors.”
Check your manuscript again. If you spot errors then they are right. This really is a constructive bit of feedback and can help us all to improve our story. My answer to them would be thank you. Unfortunately if you have errors then they are right. You would like to hope that they considered other things in their review like your characterisation, prose and the story but we can only hope.
“I loved it!!!”
And lastly, our favourite type of review; a person who is totally on our level and loved reading our story. I review you as fabulous, I love you. People forget that it’s hard to make money as a writer and the reward is often appreciation. A little bit of appreciation is everything a writer craves and thrives on.
In conclusion, there are many other reviews of reviews I could’ve added here but it would be fab if you added your own below. You might find it therapeutic and I might not feel alone.
Have a lovely day and please remember to think of the good comments you’ve had about your writing. Focus on the good and the constructive. Ignore what you can’t change and don’t feed the trolls.