A few days ago I got my first bad review. Two stars. Not so bad–there are a hell of a lot of one star reviews being thrown at authors on a similar level. But this was my first experience of a response markedly negative. It came from a R4R reviewer, and they laid it out straight.
I’m not going to name names or quote anything from it, so if you’re really interested then you can find it on the retailer sites. But they pretty much hinted that they might never read-for-review again, because their experience was so bad.
I expected to feel hurt, wounded, downhearted.
I was surprised to feel nothing but excitement, almost elation. I had finally annoyed somebody! It wasn’t apathy or a lackluster four-star–I had written something that somebody has gone away and read on their own time, and they didn’t enjoy it. Yet still they took the time to write their review, and get their opinions out there.
For me, that’s a mark of success. I feel I’ve really arrived as an author now.
Getting positive reviews is dandy, but come on. No book appeals to everybody. Look up any great work of genius online and you’ll find a host of scathing reviews. Any book worth its salt has its haters.
I’m not quite at the haters stage (the review wasn’t impolite or angry, just negative), but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
(By the way, this isn’t a nudge for anybody to send me negative reviews. Good reviews are always welcome…)