Friday, September 26, 2008

Good Reviews, Bad Reviews...ouch.

When you become a writer, you put your work out there for public scrutiny and you have to expect that not everyone will love it.

More often than not, reviews are positive. There are always a few bad reviews, though, and I do have to say it feels a bit like a slap in the face. Or a massive kick in the gut, depending on the tactlessness of the reviewer. You know, though, as a writer who aims for publication, you have to expect that you're opening yourself up for criticism and when people plunk down their hard-earned cash, they have a right to totally blast your baby to the nether regions of space.

So why is it that an author can get a gajillion good reviews, feel pretty good about things, and then get a few bad ones and feel absolutely horrible? Why is the bad stuff so much more powerful, so much easier to believe? Maybe it's the Eeyore in me coming out. It's a good thing I married a Tigger.

Well, when it's all said and done, I have this sage advice for new writers who are facing the harsh barbs of non-fans. Shake it off, read the good reviews, eat a pint of Hagen Daas, (throw it back up, depending on your level of guilt), and then get back to work.

In the excellent words of Judith McNaught (or perhaps I'll just paraphrase since I can't find the actual quote), you can't please all of the people all of the time, and you definitely cannot please those who don't want to be pleased. Some people don't want to be pleased by your work, and it's really ok. That's the beauty of multiple authors, multiple readers, multiple genres.

But a word to those who review- take a page from Jennie Hansen, reviewer extraordinaire for Meridian. You can be honest and still be kind.

My skin thanks you.

1 comment:

Stephanie Black said...

Nancy, perfect timing on your blog topic--I just barely read a lousy review of one of my books posted at GoodReads. Ouch. Like you said, you can't please everyone, and I'll try to remind myself of all the people who DID love the book (but still . . . ouch!).