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Having a writing crisis...

2126 Views 20 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  AmsterdamAssassin
So I worked my butt off on my book and it got edited and everything and I got my first bad review. I know it's not a big deal and I shouldn't be upset, but I was already having a bad night and this didn't help. I want to give up...I just need a little writer pick-me-up...
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Sorry to hear that. Sometimes people just aren't suited to the stories we write. I downloaded a sample and read four pages in. I found a spelling error on the second page. Its things like this that can put people off, however from what i read I think you have created a clear picture of your protagonist and your writing is good. (iPhone post)
Hey, don't sweat a bad review and don't even think about giving up. You worked hard to get five books published, which is a great accomplishment for anyone.

The reviewer mentioned an editing error with character names, something that is easily remedied with "CTRL+F". The content complaint seemed knee-jerk and reactionary.

So, fix any errors and move on with your next book.  :)

You guys are so sweet. Thank you!
So, this is either the last meltdown of the year, or the first of next year.

I'm not going to read the review, even though you posted it here. (Which, I should note, is against forum decorum, so you should delete the link before you get tasered.)

You know why I'm not going to read the review? Because it does.not.matter.
Never ignore a review that points out technical flaws such as this describes.  Even though you had it edited, it doesn't mean they did a great job on it.  Have someone else look it over.  You admit you had the wrong name, so it's probable that they're right about the typos and whatnot too.

If you give up over things like this, then you're not cut out for this business.  Toughen up.  They didn't hate your story, all they did was point out your technical flaws.  You should be thrilled they did so so that you can fix them.

You also might want to put a note at the top of your blurb about something like:

This story includes a fictional school shooting.  Although it was written well before the tragic incident in Newtown, CT., it may be disturbing to some readers.

That should head off people that just don't want to go there and keep you from getting any more comments down that road.
Thanks again! I'm going to do that.
Okay it's 50 minutes to midnight. You guys are so amazing. I'm good to go! 2013...bring it on :)
While you're at it, characters have names. Use them, especially the first time you introduce the character.
In all honesty, some 1 star reviews are nonsense and some are earned.  If your work does actually include all of these errors, wrong character names, etc... then it looks like you might have earned this one.

A lot of folks who get bad reviews for this reason seem to post on here looking for encouragement.  Here's my take: don't ignore the review or dismiss the reviewer.  The good news is that this is an ebook and not something that's had 10,000 physical copies printed.  You have time and talent, I presume.  The only solution is editing, re-editing, and another round of re-editing. 
Pro athletes get pummeled, famous singers sing off key sometimes, the Lord of the Rings had some bad reviews, Presidents get booed, rich people go broke, J.K. Rowling was turned down several's new with you?  Cheer up, you are in good company  = )

Oh, BTW, I had a bad review the other day. I sent a message to the person thanking them for bringing to light a weakness on my part. I told her I was going to revise my book over time and asked her if she would be interested in proof reading it when I am done. She was delighted! What she complained about was simple and major things that an amateur author without an editor would author like me. I have already touched up part of my book and I plan on enhancing it further before I send it to someone more qualified than me to edit it. Once that is done, I will send it to the gal that reviewed my book as I promised.  I have already learned a lot in the past week.

Grow, learn, grow some is what I intend to do  = )
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Do you have a dog?  I find walking the dog the best therapy for negative feedback - constructive or otherwise.  If you don't have one, it might be a good investment  ;D
This is one of those reviews that are an opportunity for you. First, an opportunity to fix problems before too many more people buy the book, and second, to show that you as an author care about what your readers think and say (which you handled nicely in your comment, in my opinion.)

Good work!! Keep going. Don't let a few bad reviews get you down. If you're ever tempted to feel sorry for yourself, go read the 1-stars for Stephen King, JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Charles Dickens, or whoever else you admire. Everyone gets them.
Dalya said:
You know why I'm not going to read the review? Because it does.not.matter.

Pick any book on Amazon and you'll find bad reviews. It does not matter. That said, if there is something in the review that can help you as a writer then use it. If there is something in the review that directly addresses an issue with the book then fix it.
Sorry to hear about the bad review. Criticism hurts, pure and simple. Your book is your baby.

Having said that, this sounds like a 'good bad review', where the reader actually said what they disliked. This kind of feedback is valuable, and can help you to improve. Besides, and as others have said, everyone gets stinking reviews sooner or later. Read the reviews of any book - including bestsellers and classics - and you'll find some really damning comments.

This is one of the reasons that writing and publishing is tough. Writers tend to be a sensitive lot on the whole, but when those reviews start to creep in you have to develop the hide of a rhinoceros... :(
Let's stick with small numbers. There are 315 million people in the US. How many are supposed to like the book? With all those tastes and preferences, we should expect all of them to be in play.

Don't read reviews. Have someone else read them and alert you if there's something that needs fixed.
Bad reviews are a drag and can put you into a funk for days.  Try your best to ignore them - a favourable review will come along soon after and will make you forget the negative words.

But but but: Do pay mind to what the negative review said.  Can you learn form it?  If it just spews negativity, then ignore it, but if there is anything constructive in it, from which you can learn, then keep that in mind with your next book.

I read every single review, good and bad. The good ones make me feel great, and the bad one depress the hell out of me, until I get another good one. Then I'm fine again.
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