Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When Bad Reviews Become Good Fun (for Some)

Literally as I was writing this post, I ran across a random reviewer posting his reading status of one of my books. I’m usually pretty happy to see those. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by kind and, hopefully, fair reviewers who are generally happy to read one of my books.

But this reader, man, he was out for blood. Goodreads has this bar where they tell you a reader’s progress, and 20% in this guy was already discounting the science, and by 39% in he was openly snarking on my clothing choices for certain characters.

At first I was hurt, then I was embarrassed, a tad ashamed, but after awhile his comments, reactions and outright vitriol became… amusing. This was clearly sport for him; blood sport, apparently, and the more vicious and gleeful he got the less meaningful his review became.

He was no longer reviewing the book, I felt, but the anger he was experiencing while reading the book. It happens. One kindly blogger once explained to me that a really bad review simply means you’re producing a strong reaction in readers.

I get that; and that’s all good. Of course, I’d prefer to get a positive strong reaction. I don’t set out to write bad books, and I don’t enjoy getting bad reviews; even ones that are so overblown and self-important that they become a certain form of entertainment in themselves.

Still, it was a good lesson in my ongoing education of dealing with bad reviews. I just hope most of you can avoid learning it for yourself for as long as possible!

Yours in YA,



E.J. Wesley said...

Man, that stinks Rusty. I like your attitude, though. You're 100% right; people are going to have opinions, and they don't always consider what they sound like (or they look like) by voicing them.

I do believe some people simply make a game of being mean Online.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, E. J. I try to be objective and turn the other cheek, but it's getting increasingly hard. For all its bells and whistles and great opportunities it provides authors, a site like Goodreads can create a very unhealthy client when you have just a few random, meanspirited people being spiteful just for fun. it's not just there, it happens everywhere: Amazon,, wherever you can post content at will the internet meanies will show up. I appreciate your thoughtful comment and thanks again for stoppig by!!!