Sunday, July 05, 2009

Why you shouldn't get upset by a review

Every now and then some idiot makes a scene about a bad review of their book. It doesn't happen very often, but someone last week took it to a new high by voicing her complaint via some not very nice tweets, and siccing her fans onto the reviewer and publishing his phone number. Big fuss, public apology had to be made, and so on. The surprising thing was that this was a well established author, not a novice.

So for anyone out there who is already - or hopes to be one day - published and reviewed, let me tell you one very good reason why you should NEVER take too much notice of any particular review, good or bad:

It really doesn't mean much because you will never be able to please everyone.

And here is the proof:

I once had a single star review from a reader on the Barnes & Noble USA online site. The book was The Aware, and the heading was "An Unpleasant Read".

It was ages ago and I can't access that particular review any longer, but from memory the reviewer went on to say something along the lines of her "idea of an entertaining story was not one where the plot seemed to consist of people getting caught and escaping ad infinitum".

There might have been more, but I can't recall. Definitely an unhappy reviewer. The review was about as bad as you can get, and I've remembered it particularly because she never did say why she used the word "unpleasant" and I have been curious ever since.

And then there is this review, also on the Barnes & Noble site. Same book, different reviewer, four years later.

"...this series has to much to offer. It had wonderful satire, selfless decisions, curious characters, original plot, and completely valid for teaching in schools. The themes of this book series were amazing, and her writing style is smooth and fresh. Blaze Halfbreed is a strong and cunning character whose past is heart-breaking yet it's amazing to see her still alive and thriving. This book will be one I re-read, and there aren't a lot I actually do re-read. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants something with substance and something that is original and actually does not have much in the way of cliches. The way it goes, one may think one thing, but a completely opposite event happens. The twists and turns and ties all bring this series to be my absolute favorite of every book I've read."

In fact, you can't get a better reader review than that.

Same book.

'Nuff said.



1 comment:

Jo said...

What a difference and what a great review. If I was any good at reviewing, I would write something similar.