Saturday, August 29, 2009

When ignorance is bliss

Bad reviews.

We've all read them for other books and cringed.
We've all had them as authors and just ignored them.

Many prolific, fabulous authors have advised me their books that tanked in reviews usually topped sales, some even winning RITAs!

But bad reviews still suck.
Especially when you think it's the best book you've ever written and the book has received rave reviews from everyone else who's read it.

Interesting how one person's POV can be so different from everyone else.

I look for the positive, in everything.
So here's the snippet I'm going to use from a prolific site's review:
"I was interested in some of the sites Tamara and Ethan visited in India, and the descriptions of Indian food made my mouth water. The Palace on Wheels, the luxury train they took through India, fascinated me."

So how do you cope with bad reviews?
Ignore them? Chocolate? Alcohol? Print and tear? Please share :)

11 comments:

Joanne Cleary said...

Oh gosh, that must be really difficult. I think I'd be tempted to give it a ritual burning, particularly because everyone else loves it. I haven't read it yet but it's in my tbr pile.

Oooh, I know, let your boys get good and muddy in their wellies and then let them stamp all over it!

Kate Hardy said...

Hugs, Nic. Been there myself, and it's never easy.

This is when you need to take a step back (fortified by chocolate and a hug - real or cyber - from a writer friend who understands).

And then you think about it (from your point of DISTANCE) and you realise:

a) just as you don't enjoy all the books you read (and you might rave over a book a friend loathes, and vice versa), reviewers don't like all books they read. You were just unlucky and didn't connect with that particular reviewer this time. Maybe they had a bad day before they read it and that influenced their view; or maybe you included something that's one of their personal hot buttons. (I can't read books involving breast cancer anywhere near my mum's birthday or the anniversary of her death, and they'd get a thumbs down from me in that timeframe whereas I might be fine with it outside that timeframe.)

b) readers use review sites in different ways - whether it's film or books. If you know that particular reviewer doesn't share your taste because they've panned books/films you've enjoyed, that means when you see something they've panned you're more likely to pick it up because you know you're probably going to enjoy it.

Well done for picking the positive out, and hang on in there!

Lacey Devlin said...

I'm with Kate I think that somebody was having a bad day. I love that you took the positive I don't know if I would have managed that I'd probably still be trying to increase my bum size on the sofa with a pile of chocolates beside me (and I do mean a pile). HUGE HUGS! Ignore them we love you!

Lois said...

That's why I couldn't be an author, I couldn't handle it. LOL I think I would probably just avoid all reviews if I could, but I guess one still gets email. . . at the end of the day, there is a difference between something that just didn't click with a reader. We all have books that just don't; even with authors that we love, there will be a book or two that are ugh. So, while those types of bad reviews still get to you, they are vastly better than the utterly hateful people that won't ever like anything and can't find something good out of something. Here, it definitely sounds like they liked something, so at least you can hold on to that. :)

Lois

Caroline Storer said...

As an unpub I haven't had that joy (!) yet. But I think I would be okay with it - I have a thick skin - and the alcohol would dull the senses of course, thereby forgetting all about the voodoo dolls I bought and used. Bitter and twisted about bad reviews? - Moi? Nah... oh well maybe a teensy weensy bit..... Take care. Caroline x

Kimberly Lang said...

Kate is a wise woman -- listen to her. And you're right to pull the positive out. :-)

The only other option is to eat lots of cupcakes...

Nicola Marsh said...

Thanks for all your wise words :)

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