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Discussion Starter #1
I've been really happy about the reviews that my book has been getting on Amazon.com. With 18 five-star reviews and 3 four-star reviews, my average is 4.9 stars! The comments have been very encouraging. Here's my book's page:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sound-Many-Waters-ebook/dp/B009BT4336/

On the other hand, I just happened to see that I got my first review on Amazon.co.uk, and it was a 1-star review! So, my average there is, well, 1-star. What a bummer. Here's that page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sound-Many-Waters-ebook/dp/B009BT4336/

The reviewer wrote "This book jumped from era to era and character to character. The language was not good and the story did not flow. I did not complete the book."

Gosh, 1 star?

Yes, the book does go from era to era, but that's clearly stated in the book's description, and it doesn't do so haphazardly. I guess I can't argue with the language not being "good," although I don't believe that to be true, nor do my other reviewers on this side of the pond. I know that we can't please everyone, but it's my only review on Amazon UK, so it just looks terrible. Who's going to buy a 1-star book?

I admit that it took the wind out of my sails a little bit. Should I just let it be and try to forgot about it? Should I try to contact the reviewer and beg him or her to give the book another chance (given they did not complete it)? That seems a little stalker-ish. I probably have no choice but to suck it up, but I guess I just needed to vent to the few people in the world who understand. :)
 

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On the positive side anyone who reads the review will not take it seriously. It might also prompt some readers to come to your defence.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
C.P.D.Harris said:
On the positive side anyone who reads the review will not take it seriously. It might also prompt some readers to come to your defence.
Oh my gosh, I saw you spelled "defense" with a "c" and was afraid you might be from the UK like my reviewer, but I see you're Canadian. Phew. I can talk to you. :)

I realize that people on this board are probably tired of whiny review posts like this one, but maybe such ranting is all just part of our healing process. I will try to quit being a baby about it and just try to forget it.

That is, until the next time I hear someone with an English accent. Look out.
 

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I recommend the recent Portlandia skit where the feminist bookstore receives an unflattering 1-star Yelp review and gets obsessed, tracking down the reviewer at her favorite bar.

It's good to laugh!
 

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Yeah, it hurts. I remember getting my first one-star and laying down on the floor of my office in quiet contemplation for a few hours afterward (I wasn't crying, I swear). I'd love to be so cavalier as to say they don't sting as much when you take as many of them as I have now, but they still do hurt (the especially vicious and - in our opinions - unfounded ones the most) and that doesn't change, it just lessens as time goes by. Maybe when you achieve epic, legendary status it gets better?

Probably not, you just get too busy to read them.
 

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I feel ya, Sean.

This week I got a 1-Star on my memoir that stated it was 'Utter Garbage'. It's not my first 1-Star review, but it was truly a really nasty review and I was in a tailspin all day yesterday after I'd read it. I fully support that readers should be able to post their opinion, but we are only human and of course it isn't easy to shake off immediately.

I got over it after I went to a few favorite books and read their one-star reviews. We all get them. And knowing that helps soothe the wounds. :-[
 

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Many Waters said:
Oh my gosh, I saw you spelled "defense" with a "c" and was afraid you might be from the UK like my reviewer, but I see you're Canadian. Phew. I can talk to you. :)

I realize that people on this board are probably tired of whiny review posts like this one, but maybe such ranting is all just part of our healing process. I will try to quit being a baby about it and just try to forget it.

That is, until the next time I hear someone with an English accent. Look out.
I'm from the UK but it's okay, I don't have an English accent. :)

Have you taken a look at the reviewer's other reviews? All very short and either a difficult person to please or someone who doesn't choose their reading material very well. Wouldn't waste another moment worrying about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dalya said:
I recommend the recent Portlandia skit where the feminist bookstore receives an unflattering 1-star Yelp review and gets obsessed, tracking down the reviewer at her favorite bar.

It's good to laugh!
Thanks, Dalya. I love Portlandia. In fact, my New Year's Eve this year consisted of watching a Portlandia marathon with my wife. I love the feminist bookstore skits but haven't seen that one... I'll look for it.

RobertJCrane said:
Yeah, it hurts. I remember getting my first one-star and laying down on the floor of my office in quiet contemplation for a few hours afterward (I wasn't crying, I swear). I'd love to be so cavalier as to say they don't sting as much when you take as many of them as I have now, but they still do hurt (the especially vicious and - in our opinions - unfounded ones the most) and that doesn't change, it just lessens as time goes by. Maybe when you achieve epic, legendary status it gets better?

Probably not, you just get too busy to read them.
Thanks for sharing, Robert. Glad I'm not alone. You've had such awesome success with self-publishing, so obviously you're getting it right. I'm realizing that we authors, despite our often sensitive nature, probably need to develop a thicker skin when it comes to self-publishing, because by overseeing everything with the roll-out of our books, we are very much emotionally-connected to our work. It's not easy -- I'm definitely sensitive, too... perhaps to a fault.

You mentioned wondering if it gets better when we achieve epic, legendary status... my guess is that it's probably worse. I'll take my scathing anonymous 1-star review from the UK over a scathing NYT review any day!

Next time you get a bad review, just remember: they've got nothing on you, because you'll always be a Mustang. Haha. (After corresponding here a few weeks ago, Robert and I realized that we went to the same high school, even though we now live far apart).

KayBratt said:
I feel ya, Sean.

This week I got a 1-Star on my memoir that stated it was 'Utter Garbage'. It's not my first 1-Star review, but it was truly a really nasty review and I was in a tailspin all day yesterday after I'd read it. I fully support that readers should be able to post their opinion, but we are only human and of course it isn't easy to shake off immediately.

I got over after I went to a few favorite books and read their one-star reviews. We all get them. And knowing that helps soothe the wounds. :-[
Well, Kay, if even YOU got a horrible review, then I know it's not us, it's them! Look at all your awesome reviews; the positives are obviously the majority. I honestly think sometimes people are just having a grumpy day when they write a nasty review and they're eager to take it out on someone they see as completely anonymous. They don't realize that there are real authors, who happen to be real people, reading those reviews on the other end.

I often ask myself: why can't people just be nice?

Or, why can't everyone be more like the people in Writer's Cafe? :)

There's no reason to break someone's heart by calling their hard work "utter garbage," besides wanting to inflict pain on someone else. More than anything, I feel bad for those people... they probably don't have very happy lives.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sam Kates said:
I'm from the UK but it's okay, I don't have an English accent. :)

Have you taken a look at the reviewer's other reviews? All very short and either a difficult person to please or someone who doesn't choose their reading material very well. Wouldn't waste another moment worrying about it.
Well, to be honest, I don't know if my reviewer has an English accent either, although I imagine it to be something like Hannibal Lecter's.

But no hard feelings, Sam. I've spent quite a bit of time in the UK, Ireland and Australia, and I lived in New Zealand for two years, so I'm practically one of the queen's royal subjects myself.
 
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Well I am English and have a very 'English' accent (a bit like Lecter, just more female  :)), so you can stop reading now if you like.  If you are still with me, I say leave it alone too.

I got a 2 star review the other day.  I was gutted about it, but knew it was coming (my early review copies went out with typing errors which I spotted after my first print run - thanks editor!).  I did leave a comment on the review, thanking the reviewer for their time, and just letting them know that the typing errors in the first edition had been rectified.  But I certainly didn't broach the subject of changing the review or removing it.  Once we put our work out there, we just have to let people say what they will.  People will leave other, better reviews, and it will balance out.  It's a bummer that it's the first (mine was too) but it'll pick up. Just stay positive.  Writing is all about the long haul, and no one bad review will limit your overall achievement.
 

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My first 1-star review, in its entirety, received just a couple weeks ago:

"I thought this might have a good sequencing, just enough to get a person to buy the next installment. But I was rather put off with the first 2 chapters. I'm sure it sold to those who liked the San.e two chapters."

Readers are savvy enough to dig around. If your blurb looks interesting and your sample is clean and compelling, that 1-star review will have little or no impact at all. In fact, my best seller last month (second best this month) had a 2-star average until a couple weeks ago. One or two ratings don't carry much weight, especially if they contain little to substantiate them.
 

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Don't worry about it. Your US reviews will show up to any UK buyers as well, just in a different place on the page.

EDIT: Took a screenshot to show you what I mean.

 

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It really does get easier.  No matter how good the book, no book has everyone on the planet as its target audience. 
 

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Haters gonna hate.

The majority of people who have read your book love it.  Who cares if one person didn't?  No one has yet managed to write a book that every single reader loves.  You won't be the first to accomplish that feat.  :)

Oh, and just so you know you're not alone in receiving bad reviews...one of my worst says something along the lines of "No wonder this was self-published...who would ever publish this crap?"  On the day I read that review, I had a good laugh and wrote an extra thousand words in my next book.  That's the only sensible way to deal with a negative review!
 

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This too shall pass. Trust me. My first and only review on UK was a two star for about six months. Eventually other readers found their way to give me a little praise.
 

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I don't read reviews below four stars, as a rule. When I did read them, I found them mostly petty and insulting. Who needs that kind of [email protected] Besides, if I want to feel bad, all I have to do is look at my book returns  :)
 
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