I was on amazon, checking out a few books I wanted to buy for my Kindle. I heard good things about them, so I wanted to see for myself. I had every intention of buying them and supporting my fellow authors. BUT, before I download anything, I always look at the reviews first. I want to see what other people thought about it before I make the commitment to purchase. If the reviews look great, I move onto downloading the sample and go from there.
I'm the kind of reader that goes straight for the 3 star, 2 star, and 1 star reviews and read them first. I tend to find those reviews to be honest and forthright (if nothing else, entertaining). But holy moly! I didn't expect downright mean reviews. Wow. It opened my eyes and scared the CRAP out of me as a soon to-be published author (I'm a shaking in my boots, I tell ya).
Now, I do realize that not everyone is going to like every book. I get that. Some books just aren't some readers cup of tea. That's why we have various genres and a whole lot of authors. I also know that when my book comes out I won't be able to please everyone and I'm preparing myself for negative reviews by seeing a shrink on a daily basis who provides me with little white pills.
But some of those reviews I read terrified me. Take a peek at this one (I'll not post the name of the books these reviews came from. I don't want to embarrass anyone):
Oh my god, where to begin. What a freaking fart bomb this book was. It is another reminder why I don't read a lot of horror. It seems like some of the worst writers in the world run this genre. When I was finished I was pissed that it cost me a buck.
Or this one:
I have mixed feelings about this book. I honestly thought that this was written by a teenager in high school. As I finished the last page I thought, that wasn't too bad for high school level. Next thing I know, I'm looking at a picture of a 40-something-year-old woman.
What about this:
I can not handle the tease of a good story line that slowly starts to wind itself around my windpipe over and over with the same plot till I choke. I want to pound my kindle on my head and say GET ON WITH IT!
It says a lot about my reaction to this book that I (deliberately) left it at my hotel in Greece.
How about this one:
No, really. Don't read this if you have a brain. Else it'll hurt later. (That's what happened to me! Such a headache after reading this drivel.)
Ahh, yeah. I'm a little terrified. I don't want to be a freakin' fart bomb. The closer I get to publishing my first book the more my knees begin to quake. It's pretty scary out there. I know I have said it before, writing a book and putting it out there to be read and reviewed is equivalent to standing naked in the middle of Times Square. Either there will be whistles or rotten tomatoes. My fingers are crossed in the hopes of a few whistles, because boy those tomatoes will sting something awful.
For those of you who are authors, how do you handle negative reviews? Read them? Ignore them? And for those of you who are readers, what makes a book bad?