December 4, 2013

Dreading One-Star Reviews: ROW80 & #IWSG

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting together this group. I appreciate the opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch and to read how others are doing. 

Last week, I ran my first free KDP promotion. It was amazing. My book, Chasing Memories, hit #36 in the Kindle Free store and #1 in two categories.

Two reviews have come in from new buyers since then--a five and a four star review. Although I'm excited to get my book into more readers' hands, I've read too many stories lately about authors who finally get more book visibility only to draw the attention of trolls--reviewers who begin a campaign of scathing one-star reviews.

As a long-time book club member, I quickly learned one truth--no one book will ever be loved or hated by all readers. I would come to book club all excited to discuss a book I loved, only to have half the members hate it with a passion.

My books will get some one-star reviews, and there will be readers who legitimately don't like them. It's not my favorite feeling to see a ★ sitting all by itself, but it's part of the writer's journey.

Still, I don't look forward to ever drawing the attention of some of these trolls. Most of their reviews don't list any pertinent information. In some cases, they are obviously wrong. An author friend of mine had reviews condemning the faeries in her book when there weren't any. I've even heard of authors getting a slew of one-star reviews on GoodReads before their book is even published.

It too often seems to happen to indie authors who finally break through the barrier and begin to see the light of success. How sad--nobody should fear success because it will draw haters.

But what's a writer to do... dread checking on her book and scrolling down to the review area and seeing that first glaring ★? No, I will choose to hold my head up high and focus on people who bring positive energy into my life. Just don't judge me if I eat an entire coconut custard pie when it happens. It's good for the soul.

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by
saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. Aristotle

I'd rather be, and then eat my pie when the time comes.

It's Wednesday, so it's also time for my A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update. On Monday, I declared my new goals for December. Really, the focus is on polishing Chasing Memories 2 to send to my editor and editing another writer's novel. I spent some time on each. But I have a double date with Starbucks and progress on Saturday morning.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sadly, they will come. And trolls go after books that aren't free as well. Sometimes it's just the wrong book for the reader.
Glad your book did so well!

dunmurderin said...

John Scalzi is one of my favorite authors and over at his blog, Whatever, he did a couple posts about receiving one-star reviews. The first post he did is here: -- hope it helps!

Kathy (

Jo Michaels said...

I got a one star review. Didn't make sense so I popped in and left a comment about righting the situation :) Reviewer never responded and it helps when people go look at the review and read what I wrote. Always a professional!!! Hell, I've even been known to apologize and thank two star reviewers for their time. LOL!

Makes you look good when you do that. Congrats on the success of the book so far. I hope it keeps climbing!

Much love. WRITE ON!

Shah Wharton said...

The lowest rating I received didn't come with a review so I couldn't learn about their reasoning. It was two stars on Goodreads. It made me gulp, hold my breath for a few seconds and even tear up. Then I told myself to get over it. Most are four or five stars. Even the few threes came with good reviews. I know (hope) I'll grow a thicker skin for criticism as my career develops. I've no choice... lol! Congrats on an awesome free promo turn out. That's something to concentrate on, not getting one star reviews. :) X

mmshaunakelley said...

I am not sure the bad reviews are something I will ever get used to. I struggle a lot to not let them convince me to stop writing. But at the end, I think you know you're talented and that Chasing Memories is a great book... I would just hold on to that!