YESTERDAY WAS A LANDMARK occasion in my author adventure.
After 71 combined book reviews across Amazon and Goodreads I received my very first 1-star. Yay!
It isn’t all roses and rainbows once your book goes live. There are always critics – some valid, others…well – perhaps a little misguided in their assertions. Nevertheless, the great ‘democracy’ that is Amazon, empowering every member with a vote, ensures your voice will be heard. That is, of course, a good thing.
I’ve always been honest and open, trying to keep it ‘real’ for aspiring authors, and perhaps encouraging readers to set aside their Lee Child or Harlan Coben thrillers to take a punt on those, like me, who are trying to come at you with an angle that perhaps doesn’t fit a certain mainstream mould.
There can be a lot of cloak and dagger stuff in the indie publishing world. I’ve been trying to demystify some of the process and as part of that, want to display the good and the bad that comes with the territory.
I must confess. Receiving a one-star shook my confidence. If you want to give an indie author insomnia, I’d highly recommend taking that approach. I discovered it late last night and for a moment it made me question the story (SIGIL), my skill (or lack thereof) and my own writing ambitions.
To help put a positive spin on it and put it into perspective, I decided to look at some negative reader reviews against some timeless classics I’ve enjoyed in the past.
Here are a few books and a selection of one-stars that stand out:
- War and Peace – ‘way to long and boring‘.
- Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – ‘Lacks magic…very disappointing…writing is average…‘.
- 1984 – ‘it put me to sleep…I’ve wasted 10 bucks on this incredibly boring book‘.
- The Lord of the Rings – ‘Aweful…this series is horrible beyond all conception…Tolkien overbloats EVERYTHING to the point where it’s absolutely ridiculous, and I loose tract of the plot amidst unimportant details. Quite frankly my only thought is I DON’T CARE WHO EVERYONE’S FATHER IS, IF YOU WANT ME TO KNOW THEN WRITE A PREQUEL, JUST TELL THE STORY IT IDIOTIC BRIT! I don’t know how someone who wrote something as good as “The Hobbit” could produce this junk.‘
- Don Quixote – ‘What an awful book. An old madman cruising the countryside and dragging his poor servant with him. Just an awful book‘.
- Matilda – ‘I am nine years old and I read this book for school. This book is about giants eating people and I thought it was realy gross. It talks about the giants crunching on people’s bones and stealing kids out of their beds. It is AWFUL. I would not recommend this book to ANYBODY!!!’.
- Wuthering Heights – ‘Why is this a classic?! Dense, boring, overbaked, farfetched, unlikable, humorless.‘
Now I’m all for injecting a bit of realism into reviews but in my opinion, a one-star would be something filled with spelling mistakes, zero plot with no structured story or compelling characters. None of which I find in the shortlist above where they are widely considered to be classics.
I have no delusions of grandeur when it comes to my own work, but it just goes to show-
You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time
- If you have read Sigil and have been affected by the content, please call our special hotline at 01-800-LetsTalk. Agents are standing by to take your call.