After much review, here is my. . . um. . . review.
So, the reviews are in (OK, they have been for a while), and they keep coming in. Overall, 47 Echo is being received pretty well. There have been a few bad ratings (a 1-star and a 2-star over at Goodreads), but mostly, they’ve been 3- and 4-star reviews, which is better than I was expecting. To be quite honest, I’m just tickled that anyone’s reading it.
But then, I’m not your average writer when it comes to reviews.
I’m not too worried about the people who didn’t like it. Expecting everyone to dig what you put out there is human, but it isn’t terribly realistic. No matter what you write, someone’s probably going to hate it, and they’re probably going to register that opinion somewhere where you can see it. And to that I say, “Good!”
See, even the people who hate your work paid their five bucks or whatever. They’re entitled to share their opinion with others, and I see it as my job to listen to them. I’m entirely interested in why someone didn’t like it, because that might inform my writing in the future. Someone who posted a mediocre review actually had a very good point about something I’d missed, and another mediocre review was looking for something in the book that wasn’t there (and wasn’t there by design). I can learn something from both of these reviews, and I do.
But do I let them bother me personally? Nah. Not until the reviewers start saying “this book sucked and I hate the author as a person. He’s short and his mother dresses him funny.” (To which I might actually reply, “well, you paid your five bucks or whatever, so you’re entitled. . .”)
The thrust here is to not let bad reviews get to you. I believe that most reviewers are actually trying to help — listen to them, decide if their concerns have merit to you, and take their suggestions if they do. Just don’t do what Ann Rice did a few years back and go off on the reviewers who didn’t like her stuff.
That’s not gangsta.
What about you, my writer friends? Have you had bad reviews in the past? How do you handle them? How much do they bother you?