Tag Archive: bad reviews

It’s been ages since I last posted a regular old blog entry! So here’s a little update on what’s new with me in writing land.

Everything is pretty much set for the June 16 release of Darkness Reigns, book 2 of the Darkness Trilogy. I’ve been dividing my time between writing book 3, Embrace the Darkness, and another YA fantasy novel of a new trilogy.

Book 3 of the Darkness Trilogy is about 5 months behind schedule, which is significant considering it takes me 8 or 9 months to write the first draft of a novel. Here’s my confession: I came really close to giving up on writing, not just on writing book 3, but on writing altogether. I expect the odd bad rating/review, but for some reason there was a rash of them all at once. I decided to stop looking at the ratings, which has definitely helped save my sanity. The worst thing though was all the negative stuff I was hearing from people I know – to my face! They’d lend my book to someone and then tell me later, “They thought it was so-so,” or “They didn’t like this part,” and “They found this part confusing,” etc. It wasn’t constructive and it just made me feel bad. What almost became the final nail in my author coffin was the feedback from one of my beta readers. They pretty much hated everything about book 2 and weren’t sure they could stand to finish reading it. After all the other negative comments, that almost did me in. But two of my other beta readers said they liked book 2 even more than book 1, and initial feedback from the bloggers reviewing my book has been really excellent. So I picked the little pieces of my self-confidence off the floor and started writing again.

This brings me to my “secret project,” which even has its own progress meter at the side of my web page. My husband suggested I try writing something completely different, to get me back in the swing of things. I have tons of ideas floating around in my head, so I wrote the first two chapters of a new fantasy series. The initial reaction to my new stuff has been incredibly positive, so I’ve decided to continue with it. I’ll be dividing my time between the two projects and hopefully maintain my current writing momentum!

I’m surprised it took so long actually, but after six months on the market, my novel finally received its first (and second!) 1-star review. Every book out there with more than a handful of ratings has bad reviews, so I expected this at some point. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a published author, it’s that you can’t please everyone.

The thing that made my first couple of bad reviews particularly painful was that they didn’t come along with a wave of good reviews. There had been a dry spell of no ratings at all for almost a month, so when two ratings finally arrived and they were both terrible, it was a double whammy. My initial instinct was to curl up in a corner and cry. My second idea was to drink a glass (or seven) of wine. Eventually I turned to the Internet to find other authors lamenting their own bad reviews. I read a bunch of other authors’ posts about dealing with bad reviews, but the one that cheered me up was this one. Why? Because they pointed out that every book has 1-star reviews, even classic kids’ books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle!

So if you’re in need of some cheering up after receiving crappy ratings yourself, or if you just want a good laugh, check out these quotes from actual reviews on Goodreads of classic kids’ books. Seriously, people will criticize anything… these reviews are so awful they’re downright funny!

On Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne:
- Had Christopher Robin and his silly old bear been shot in the head at the beginning, it could have been a pretty good book.

On Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown:
- Reading Goodnight Moon is like drowning in a huge bowl of oatmeal (or “mush”, if you must): Bland, stultifying, lukewarm, heavy, soggy, and so sticky that it drags you down into its gross beigeness until you succumb to a clammy death in its depths.

On Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt:
- Bunnies disgust me.
- Why on earth would I want my child to rub her fingers on another man’s sandpaper beard? Worst book ever.

On Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson:
- Hey this kid is a total dick. Someone should tell him to put that goddamn crayon away and that drawing on the walls is a total dick move.

On Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss:
- Even in the womb, when my parents would read it to me, I would pitch a fit.

On Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle:
- Horses aren’t blue, cats aren’t purple. Zero stars.

On If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff:
- Why can’t you just give the mouse the cookie and then say “No, you cannot go to school with me and steal my pencil and use it all up to write the story of your life that no one but you can read because mice can’t write in English. You cannot take up anymore of my time so that I have to run around and find very obscure objects and things for a mouse to want. No, you’re fine with just a cookie, and maybe a glass of milk.” Stand up to the mouse.