That First Bad Review

May 5th, 2005 · 6 Comments
by Jill Monroe

Ugh. The agony. The kids were in bed, the dh had ordered us a movie and I’d just typed my name in the google search engine. Then I found it. A tiny blurb that didn’t look like a glowing rec for my book. I had to click. Dh very selfishly didn’t want to hear me rant about getting a bad review, and kept calling “come on, the movie is starting” from the front room. So, I waited until the movie was over, and headed back to the computer to read the review.

There it was – in all its easy to read font and googled with ease glory. Unglory.

There are stages of grieving, and getting a bad review is quite similar. Denial and Anger are first and on the heels of each other. Then comes the forwarding of the bad review to all your friends and critique partners. A round of blasting e-mails, usually with the subject header of “They’re Wrong” and “They Totally Missed It” floods your inbox.

Next comes the stage involving chocolate and diet cherry cokes from Sonic (I celebrate with these items, too). The last stage is acceptance. This stage only comes after I have rewritten the review. This is my favorite part, and easy to do. I remove all the words I don’t like. For instance, the new review became:

Never Naughty Enough is… entertaining and unexpected.

Really – all those words were there. Booksquare, being the Hollywood type, should appreciate my creative blurbing.

The fact of the matter is this is a a business. Reviewers aren’t there to be my friend, and I’m not there to be theirs. If they like my book, they are wise, savvy, hip and intelligent. If they don’t like my book, they’re obviously having a very bad day.

Back in December, Daniel suggested I post my reviews. To read a good review, go here.

And no, I don’t play equal opportunity with the bad ones.

File Under: Jill's First Blog

6 responses so far ↓

  • Rinda // May 5, 2005 at 12:58 pm

    Jill, I’m creating stockpiles of wine in preparation for future bad reviews. Just kidding. Maybe there is something to this Sonic thing…

    I didn’t see the review, but I’ll tell you a statement I have running across my screensavor. Different People, Different Perspectives… Some will never get it so… er… fly them. Yeah, fly them. That’s what it says.

    Hugs. Ignore the bad review. I read the good ones above and saw that there are only five left at Amazon (more on the way) so obviously, you have more positive perspectives.


  • gena showalter // May 6, 2005 at 6:15 am

    I got a review once that said something along of the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Good writing couldn’t save this piece of crap.”

    I think I’ll rework that to my satisfaction:

    Gena Showalter offers…”Good writing.”

  • Booksquare // May 6, 2005 at 7:23 am

    Excellent job, Gena. It’s like I taught you myself! Seems to me there’s a second career in rewriting reviews to meet your personal needs.

  • Susan Gable // May 6, 2005 at 1:32 pm

    LOL – Gena! Well done on the rewrite! Excellence use of lifting the correct words from it.

  • gena showalter // May 7, 2005 at 7:16 am

    I owe it all to Jill and Booksquare. They are beating…uh, training me well.

  • Samantha Hunter // Jun 1, 2005 at 6:19 am

    Oh! I love excerpting the bad review! I can’t wait to try that. What a great idea. I’ve only had one really bad one, from the evil AAR site, but I just ignored it, generally. I don’t make any secret of what I think of people who write about our books that way, tho: BAH.

    I mean, let’s face it, no matter how they try to hide behind the “we have to share our honest opinion in service to our readers” crapola, romance reviewers are not usually paid professionals, they have no background in literary crit, they haven’t reviewed for the Post or the Times (or even RT) and the industry really doesn’t hold them to any standard because their views don’t affect sales or editor decisions.

    So what service are they extending, actually, unless they are helping to promote our books, to support the romance industry, or to clue readers in to a good read? — none of which is served by a bad review, which serves the reviewers ego, but that’s about it.

    Jill, you are wonderful and brilliant, and so are your books, and if anyone says otherwise, how sad for them.