I’m not gonna’ lie, when my book received a 1 star rating, I was crushed. I could not help but read the review to find out why the reader felt it deserved such a poor rating. One of her reasons included, “I found Brogen to be selfish and incredibly rude.” The defensiveness came out and I found myself saying, “aren’t most 17 year olds selfish?” A five star review for the SAME book said this, “Rarity touched me way more than I ever thought it would when I read the summary.” Polar opposites on the review spectrum. And for some reason, Rarity has that effect on readers. It seems you will either fall head over heels for the story or hate it – there’s no in between.
So here’s what I learned about reviews:
-Bad reviews that offer constructive criticism can be a learning opportunity. I learned that readers of Rarity wished it was longer. They also wished it showed a bit more of the male MC’s point of view. These were two important criticisms that I was careful to be mindful of when writing my next book.
-Using a chocolate chip cookie analogy…You can make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, even win awards for the recipe – but there will still be people that hate chocolate chip cookies.
-Shouldn’t I comment and correct the reviewer? In my opinion, no. If the reviewer has a history of bad-mouthing and trashing people in reviews, report them. But arguing with someone’s review will more than likely not get them to change their review and it’s tacky.