My Skin is Thick
Disappointingly predictable and uninteresting plot, completely unbelievable or cliched scenarios….. this book is full of them.
Q: How do you deal with negative reviews?
A: Negative reviews are something no writer wants to deal with and every writer has to deal with. I believe this is one of the main reasons so many people want to be a writer but so few actually become writers. Only the brave will put their work out there for others to read and comment on. And sooner or later someone will read your book, find it worse than a malodorous pile of horse manure, and feel the need to go on Amazon.com and tell the world about it.
Here’s the long and short of it: writers must have thick skin. If not, their days as a writer will be few.
But I haven’t answered the question yet. How do I deal with negative reviews?
The first thing I do with a negative review (and I’ve gotten a few) is categorize it. As I see it, there are three types and they go something like this:
Category 1: “This book was okay—bleh—but just not for me.”
Category 2: “This author shows a lot of potential but the characters were shallow and made of cardboard, the plot had holes in it, and the climax was just unbelievable.”
Category 3: “This book was just awful. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than read anything by this hack again. If he knew what was good for him and the paying public he’d take a sledge hammer to his computer, break all his fingers, and go live in the middle of the Sahara.”
Okay, reviews in categories 1 and 2 don’t bother me. In fact, I can learn from them. The reviewer is being honest and critical without taking any cheap shots or looking to inflict psychological harm. Category 3 reviews (and believe me, they’re out there) deserve nothing more than to be ignored. Those are the ones that bounce off an author’s thick skin. The reviewer is obviously hacked off that he put down $14 for a book he didn’t enjoy and now wants to take it out on the author. And all he does is wind up sounding like some blowhard with a chip on his shoulder. Poo-poo on him.
The bottom line is that I’m going to write the story that is in my head and on my heart and not worry about what reviewers say. Like in life, you’ll never satisfy all the people all the time. You do your best and get a good night’s sleep.
And let people say what they’ll say.