Sometimes bad things happen.

Yesterday Deeper got two new reviews.  They were awful.  It helped a little that the readers who dished them couldn’t spell, but still…

Here they are.

“could not get into this book, to strange for me. Someone else might think it’s just find, all depends on what you like to read..”

“This was an Okay story with very limited dialogue. I found the first few chapters confusing but it straightened up later on in the book. Slightly interesting. Not one that I would read a second time”

I thought lots of philosophical things.  Like, even JK Rowling gets bad reviews.  Hey, Proust STILL doesn’t sell (and I don’t like him either btw).  Not EVERYBODY has to like your shit.  Tastes differ.  That kind of thing.

The other half of me considered giving up writing for ever.

Then again, they were right, in a way.  I am kind of strange and confusing.

Ha!  Grow some ovaries, sister!

What do other people do when they get bad reviews?  Here’s what one author did! http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/mar/30/jacqueline-howett-bad-review


  1. Please don’t give up writing! Not because of a bad review or two…not for any reason, really!
    I can imagine that it hurts, although like you yourself mentioned, there’s nothing wrong with being strange and confusing. On the contrary, i’d say. There’s far too many people about copying others instead of being creative themselves.

  2. I was left a couple of reviews that confirm, once and for all, that reading is a matter of taste. The first read ‘I think that there is too much dialogue in this book…’
    The second gently praised my book, coulminating with; ‘… and the dialogue was the crowning glory, lifting the narrative as the characters chatted and exchanged banter.’
    Go figure…

  3. Ouch. Sorry to hear that. I try to remember that it happens to everyone (literally- I know my favourite books all have a few bad reviews), but I don’t know if I’ll be so philosophical about it when it’s my turn to get them! Jeez, I get critiques and consider giving up. Sign me up if you find some place selling mail-order ovaries, will you? (And seriously, never give up. I’m looking forward to reading Deeper as soon as I get a Kindle!)

    That author removed all of her comments from that review. I wonder if anyone has screen shots…

    1. I don’t know. But I figure, if you put yourself out there for people to read and review, some are going to honestly not like you. Fair enough! (I’m working on the anthrax packets as we speak).

    1. Funny you should say that – yes I do. It is a strange book (but then I’m a strange person). And I can be confusing because I often leave things unsaid, assuming people will follow me (and they don’t).

  4. Don’t ever give up! Not every book is for everybody. Plus, there are some jerks out there who don’t care about anyone else but themselves and simply want to cause pain. Don’t let a couple of bad or mediocre reviews get you down.

  5. When out their in public, you got to take the bad with the good …. thus don’t let it discourage you … press on!

  6. The two-star review seems unfair. If it’s not your type of book, don’t read it and don’t give it a negative review. If that reviewer loved mermaid stories and thought yours sucked, than a two star review would be fair. The three star review is at least a little bit more credible and I wouldn’t worry about it. Lousy reviews, as long as there aren’t too many of them, give the rest of your reviews credibility. You’re doing fine.

    1. Thanks Misha, and you’re right. Ironically, the bad reviews were from people who entered and won the giveaway – clearly they sort of took potluck on a free book, and then found they didn’t like it. Next stop, ebay?

  7. DON’T give up writing! As has been mentioned above, reading is subjective.
    Why are there so many companies and models of automobile? Because of taste and choice.
    Why are there so many kinds of restaurants? Type and colour of furniture? And so on.

    I know an unpleasant review is cringe-worthy, Weigh the positive ones in the other column and take heart. I’ve had horrible critiques at the same time as glowing ones and I feel your pain. Look at the positive column.

  8. There are so many books that I have disliked, and I mean really disliked, but others have loved. Not every book reads the same to every reader. It is very hard to have to look at them as your book is so personal to you but that is their opinion not everyones.
    I feel your pain, but never give up.

  9. Know how it feels! Writing and putting ourselves out there is not for the faint at heart. That you’ve blogged this shows you’ve the strength to hang in there and continue to do your art. And, if you ever seriously feel like not writing or putting it out there again, I hope to all that watches over us you come chat with me. A writer writes. What others think and say about that writing doesn’t define us or our work. You have much heartfelt wish that you receive much success and satisfying feedback from your readers. Love, Paulette

  10. Criticism can be viewed like a 360 degree review I guess where someone othr than our close knit circles review us, as in business and HR sometimes. Its up to us what we want to do with it. You know you can’t please everybody, right? But if any of their points resonate with you you may consider them. I am not a big reader but I know most writers have their own style, some are hard to follow some just take some getting used to. It never stops writers from writing. In the end, if your heart is on you should do it, learn everyday and enjoy your work. See. I can’t type either!

  11. If you give up writing the world will be a worse place. AND guess what I have never read your work. Don’t stop reading, I have a point for being mildly cruel. All your first thoughts are correct. Tastes do differ, everybody likes to read different things. It is also my firm belief that even if one person reads your books and takes something positive from them makes all the hours of writing and bad reviews worth it.
    I feel very much that writing is something uniquely personal for both the author AND the reader. Each author puts something of him/herself into their work and in so doing criticism is ALWAYS personal whether the person criticising wants it to be or not. The reader, having come from different backgrounds and experiences, draws completely different conclusions for exactly the same words.
    Take a sunset. Could be seen as a beautiful image, a divine creation, the end of yet another day, the beginning of a terrible time, an opportunity for creativity and so on and so forth.
    In short… bugger bad reviews!! Keep writing!!

    1. I agree, David. When I do reviews, even if I don’t like the book, I tend to consider the hours put into it and try to find the positives (there always are some). Mind you, I’m probably not so careful with big name authors cause I think the paycheck means they can put up with more straightforwardness.

      1. Yeah, I can’t imagine myself being very carefully with big name authors either. But like the cliché says, if u ain’t got nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

      2. That would be my preference, yes. But then, how would people know that it wasn’t worth reading? (supposing they needed to know that)


  12. As Mark said, bad reviews help give a book credibility. That doesn’t necessarily make them easier to swallow, but even best-selling novels have bad reviews. JK Rowling’s new one, The Cuckoo’s Calling, has 96 one-star reviews on Amazon (just looked it up). I’m reading that book now and really enjoying it. Obviously a number of people didn’t. Personally, I’m a bit wary of a book that only has four- and five-star reviews. So wear your two-star review with pride. It means you’ve made it. 🙂

      1. Ohhh. Yes we have them but I don’t read (is that the word?) cartoons much because I don’t understand them. Watching me and cartoons is like watching a dog with a phone, it’s sort of ‘what? what?”. But now I know!

    1. Well, thank you. Although, you know – and this isn’t by way of ‘scratch my authorly back and I’ll scratch yours’ – you should consider putting your stuff out there, it’s honestly one of the best blogs I’ve ever read. You have something as a writer which is hard to define but really unique and heartfelt.

  13. What matters is that you finished the book. Some people might like it, some not. But you accomplished something in your life that not too many people are able to do. You should be proud of yourself no matter what anyone thinks.

  14. The way I handle it is this: If it’s definite trolling I ignore it; if it’s from a person who can actually spell and write a coherant sentence I take the criticism on board and try to learn from it. The reviews you mention here, I wouldn’t take at all seriously – they look as though they were written by 15 year old Twilight fans!

    Incidentally, I read the teaser and bought the book for my Kindle. I think I’m going to love it 🙂

    1. Very sensible as always. I think the reviews were from people who got the book expecting something different – so perhaps that’s a lesson to me to write the blurb differently. Blurbs are so HARD! But I really hope you do enjoy it!


      1. If I’m grabbed by the first couple of chapters (and I was – you’re so descriptive concerning the physical appearance of the mers) then I know it’s a decent read waiting to happen 🙂

      2. Well, I do hope so. If not, say nothing – don’t pour hot oil on my wounded heart! (Or, at least, you can – but tell me what you think is wrong with it, then I can make the next one better!).


      3. Hey, at least you know I’ll be constructive and not mean if I have any quibbles 🙂

  15. The first review is just odd. Not sure what they were expecting but clearly they’ve just failed to get it at all.

    The second one, well, it’s a matter of taste. Someone has already made the point that “weaker” reviews actually add credibility, and I rather agree. You know what I think of the book, only 5 stars do it justice, but the occasional less fulsome review make it seem somehow more authentic.

  16. I hope you don’t let these bad reviews affect you. You can’t please everyone. Bad reviews from strangers are actually good because of their honesty; you can’t depend on good reviews from family and friends.

  17. Keep that resilience, Rose. At least you’re getting reviews!!

    You’ve written it, you’ve put it out there, and now it’s out there and living. Not everything will be perfect.

    I read on Missus Tribble’s post she’s LOVING it. Up to chapter 4, I think, when I saw that comment. 🙂

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