Bad Review

So today I got my second bad review, this one on Goodreads. Reviews are all personal, I know this. And not everyone will love everything you do, but still it can be disheartening. Perhaps because i fear that they are right? Perhaps because I feel like I have let them down? They loved the first book, but not the Seer’s Tower. The Seer’s Tower was harder to write, middle books often are, keeping the plot going, tying up some ends, but not everything, moving things forward, but not too far . . . I was stuck a lot. I fear that it shows. I fear that it’s a bad book, letting down the series, letting down my readers . . .

But then I’m not sure i agree with some of the reviewer’s comments. All right, perhaps there isn’t a lot of personal interaction . . . Not in the same chit chat way as the first book, at least. And I thought Dale was stronger, less stammering, although certainly he is a bit more upset in places, but i don’t blame him. Bad stuff happens. It’s interesting, how the comments target things I hadn’t worried about, and not those that I had. So, am I worrying about the wrong things?

I could go mad, thinking about it, and in the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s one person’s thoughts, and I’m sorry they didn’t enjoy the book, but I’m glad that I still care enough to feel that way, and to worry about it. I would never want to get to the point where any review means nothing to me. I would hate to be that complacent, because, though I write for myself firs, I want people to enjoy what i do and i want to make sure it’s the best that i can. If i stop caring about reviews then i think I might stop caring about the quality of my writing, and that would be a shame.

4 thoughts on “Bad Review

  1. You can drive yourself nuts thinking about these things. So one guy didn’t like it? That’s just one person’s opinion and though it’s harsh, it doesn’t mean everyone will think the same way. Not everyone will like everything you do, but you can’t let it get to you.
    FWIW, I thought it was a rather one-sided review, and hopefully you’ll get a few more to balance it out!

    • Hope so! Bad reviews just get me thinking, that’s all, do they have a point, could i have improved this or that, did i let the reader down? And so on. I’m glad that I care, but still, a part of me wishes i could make everyone happy!

  2. Bad reviews can be upsetting, but, as you say, it is one person’s perspective and most books will attract a variety of responses. Starting off with a bad review is disheartening – if one comes after a couple of positive responses it is easier to just see it as one opinion among many. When good reviews start emerging in their own time, it won’t seem such a big deal.

    Trying to justify yourself to the reviewer in your head is something I can well imagine myself doing, but as you say, that way madness lies. If you do think they had some valid points, the best one can do is learn from them for the future.

    I think you make an interesting point about the importance of caring about reader responses; I know some writers avoid reading reviews of their work but I can’t imagine not being interested in how someone else has interacted with my creations either. Why else share it with the world? I suppose it’s a matter of striking a balance between engagement and derailment.

  3. Well I am sure that well known writers have had some bad reviews in the past – look at it as a learning guide – was he right or was he just bitchy has he got a book out that was plain awful don’t dwell on it too much it isn’t worth it – pick up what you realise are mistakes and correct them in Book 3