So, I received my first one-star customer review the other day. Reviews are popping up on book seller sites as well as reader sites. On this particular site, I have eleven reviews. Ten people loved FATED and gave it either four or five stars – mostly five. One person hated it with the passion of a hundred suns.
They tell you not to read the customer reviews. People get ticked over prices, over covers, over stuff the writer has no control over…and then rant about it in a review.
I read the review. It was hilarious. She hated the book. Not the cover, or the price or anything like that…the actual book. She took great pleasure in deleting FATED for all time from her e-reader. The review made me laugh. I mean that sincerely and not with sarcasm. While this woman went into great detail about how much she hated the book, she was kind of…well, funny. Great sense of humor. And the things she disliked were the very things other people loved.
I’m tempted to send her CLAIMED when it comes out just to see if she hates it as much. I’m not going to, of course. You don’t send free books to people who hate your writing. That’s just dumb. But, I am curious.
There’s an expression in this business that I dislike. “Nobody likes hearing your baby is ugly.” Here’s the thing. I have two babies and if someone calls them ugly, we’re heading outside. This is my book. Not my baby. Some people aren’t going to like it. I’ve always known that. But I truly didn’t expect to enjoy the scathing remarks.
I guess if I had a bunch of one-starred reviews, I wouldn’t be so tickled. Or maybe if the attack was on me and not the actual book, I’d be upset. But this gal kept to the story and explained her position, using some pretty good humor.
Everyone says writers need a thick skin. I don’t have one. Really. I’m rather sensitive. But I am able to put things into perspective. One person’s opinion is only that. An opinion. The other people who’ve left reviews so far love the book. I love it. My agent, my editor and my critique partner love it. Publisher’s Weekly recommended it. Yet, this woman with her sense of humor didn’t. That’s okay.
Perspective is crucial in this business. If your first form rejection from an agent destroys you…then find another creative outlet. Because that’s only the beginning. I find that a sense of humor helps as well. See the humor. We need it.