April 29th, 2008
One Star Reviews

Why am I displaying my bad reviews from Amazon.com in this blog? Well, it started over here where John Scalzi posts snippets of his one star reviews from Amazon, then issues a challenge to other authors to do the same. Rachel Caine took it up. See? So, I thought, HEY!, all the cool kids are doing it and it’s not like I don’t have some one star reviews to choose from. Heh.

Bad reviews are part of the writing life. It’s not like I expect everyone who picks up my books to like them. People come to their reading with different perspectives, different life experiences. All that stuff colors their reading of the book. Reviews are opinions, nothing more and nothing less. Everyone is entitled to theirs.

I’m very self-critical, (I’m MUCH harder on myself than anyone else is), so if a negative review is well thought out I almost always find a place to agree with the reviewer. I try to learn from those particular negative reviews and make my next book free of the errors the reviewer has said I’ve made. (However, being human, I probably just make different errors.) A good review will make me smile broadly for two hours. A bad review will make me depressed for two days, but I try to use them as a learning tool.

In the end, bad reviews make the good ones all the sweeter. And luckily I have far more good reviews than bad.

So, with no further ado, here are some of my all time greatest hits from Amazon.com. I didn’t have a whole lot of one star reviews, so I took the two stars too.

Witch Fire

One star — “Not romance, not erotica, basically porn – what little plot there is exists to connect the sex scenes, note I didn’t say love making scenes. Altogether distasteful and I won’t waste money on this author again.”

Two star — “The writing was rather…Blah. Not awful, but sort of boring.”

Two star — “I was disappointed in this novel. I found it difficult to get into and kept putting it down.”

And Lady Makes Three

One star: “I was gullible enough to follow an Amazon recommendation on this one; it turned out to be on of my biggest mistakes. I wish I could give less than a star.”

Blood of the Raven

Two stars — “I would have given this book a 1 except it did have a plot. I like my books a little “steamy” but this is a little hard core for me.”

Seasons of Pleasure: Summer and Autumn

Two stars — “I am a big fan of fantasy and romance. My favorite thing about both these genres is the nice escape from everyday life they usually provide. This book did more to annoy me than relax me. The prose style is belabored and switches between “fantasy” and modern style intermittently. Characters are hollow despite the repetition of supposedly meaningful backstory. The author uses the same expressions over and over again, especially during sex scenes. Dialogue feels inauthentic and is ultimately unconvincing. A very unsatisfying read.”

Seasons of Pleasure: Winter & Spring

One Star — Style hasn’t improved from the first in the series. “I am a big fan of fantasy and romance. My favorite thing about both these genres is the nice escape from everyday life they usually provide. This book did more to annoy me than relax me. The prose style is belabored and switches between “fantasy” and modern style intermittently. Characters are hollow despite the repetition of supposedly meaningful backstory. The author uses the same expressions over and over again, especially during sex scenes. Dialogue feels inauthentic and is ultimately unconvincing. A very unsatisfying read.”

Anya says — same reviewer as the one above it, obviously. She read the books in the wrong order.

I own these bad reviews. I revel in them. If I could I would turn them into sudsy soap bubbles and take a bath in them. (Er? Did I just say that out loud?) Point is they are part of the glorious trip of being a writer. If you can’t suck it up and accept your bad reviews as part of your journey, then you should get out of this business.

Okay, I’m challenging authors too. Bring out the baddies! Let your Bad Flag fly! I want to see all your one/two star reviews. Own them, babies. Embrace the failure and make it yours.

One comment to “One Star Reviews”

  1. Yay Anya!!