Being a first time author I've decided that all reviews are a good thing, be they positive or negative. The positive ones make you smile and the negative one's make you grow as a writer. I do however feel that some negative reviews go over the top. The worst review I've gotten is from a supposed professional reviewer. First of all, I have my doubts if she truly read it or just scanned the highlights, as when she was doing my review that was FULL of spoilers, she left out many important events that explained the story. I understand that a book will not be for everyone, but to tear it apart because you didn't personally like the outcome of a scene, is just wrong! My goodness, it's just a story!
Reviews are a roll of the dice everytime. I just wish that those who are doing them remember that they don't need to be snarky or spoil it for the next reader by telling the whole story.
Once upon a time, DTB companies sent preview copies of their books to magazines and newspapers around the country and professional reviewers read and reviewed these books. I would say from memory that most of the reviews were good and only a few really negative, no matter the quality of the book. Some were gushing, expecially if the reviewer happened to know the author. But these were basically all the reviews available. Few newspapers or magazines would ever have printed a review from an ordinary reader.
Today is, as the cliche' goes, a whole new ballgame. We have tens of thousands of readers dashing off reviews with the click of a button; many of these readers would never have gotten a review published in a high school paper.
I don't see this necessarily as a bad thing. Many of the reviews are simple, yes, ungrammatical, yes, but honest.
I believe most readers of reviews pick up on this just as they do when they see a dozen positive reviews and then one ugly, scathing review from a poster who has done [i]no other reviews[/i]. When the "[i]only one review[/i]" is teamed up with an absence of the [i]Amazon Verified Purchase[/i] designation, you can be sure that something fishy is going on.
Unless the review is interpreted as abuse by Amazon, it is simply something we, as authors, willl have to live with. However, I do think some of them can be responded to with something like this:
[i]I'm so sorry you found [u]MY TITLE[/u] to be an inferior book. I hope you were able to get a refund from Amazon.
However, I noticed that your's was not an Amazon Verified Purchase so perhaps you read it on someone else's Kindle.
But thank you for choosing [u]MY TITLE[/u] for your only review on Amazon. As we say in the publishing busness, any attention is appreciated.
LOL angelakaelin, I am still alive. Actually, I think you're right and someone does have a bit of jealousy against me. Sadly. I even know who it is and have proof, it's just not strong enough to take action on, even though I have about three other authors who have been watching things and agree.
As for the comment made a few up (right after my earlier comment) that person was talking about me. I started another thread asking why I rarely get reviews. It seems I get them 1/1000 books I sell and I wondered why the number was so rare when I know other people who have sold far less I have and have scores more reviews than I do.
To that person (didn't catch your name), no, I don't want only 5-star reviews. However, I don't enjoy getting having my review rating brought down by a jealous author with a vendetta who sees me as easy prey because though I'm selling better than she is I have far less reviews so if she leaves 1 or 2 bad ones on one of my books it drastically lowers my overall rating. That's why I started that thread.
However, I do think some of them can be
responded to with something like this:
[i]I'm so sorry you found [u]MY TITLE[/u] to be an
inferior book. I hope you were able to get a refund
However, I noticed that your's was not an Amazon
Verified Purchase so perhaps you read it on someone
But thank you for choosing [u]MY TITLE[/u] for your
only review on Amazon. As we say in the publishing
busness, any attention is appreciated.[/i]
I disagree. A subtly snarky reply like that is bound to turn off potential readers. Either be genuinely thankful someone took the time to review your book, however critical, or don't respond at all.
Your book is called "Black Magic for Dark Times". Here is part of your book description:
"Come back and read this book when you can face the truth, when you are filled with self-righteous anger and ready to invoke cosmic justice upon the perpetrators of evil acts with all the forces of Hell!"
Both you and your book are dealing with some pretty heavy energies. You use the world "spiritual" but just because you are doing spiritual things, does not necessarily mean that you are enlightened or are particularly advanced down your own spiritual path.
Your book description is quite provocative indeed. It makes me wonder out loud as to the degree to which you have found peace inside of yourself.
Is there not a spiritual principle which states that you attract to you that which you are?
For it is one thing to use black magic to exact revenge, in an act of judgement. It is an entirely different thing to take a spiritual approach in which in order to perceive changes in your outside world, you do not exact revenge on others, but you do the inner work on yourself. When you have found that peace within, then the outer world takes care of itself.
I am from a shamanic tradition which goes beyond words, goes beyond black magic to much deeper realms of wholeness, where boundaries between self and others dissolve, and it is no longer possible to think in terms of i and thou. (I should also add that the shamanic path is no guarantee of release from the traps of one's ego, and there is a black magic path of sorcerer shamanism, whereby darts are sent through the ether to cause harm to others).
I offer these words as gentle medicine to suggest that maybe you first need to do some reflection as to whether or not you should be promoting confrontational black magic as the ultimate solution to these problems, or maybe whether or not there are deeper paths to be trodden first?
That was me and my post was a response to your post - look in the right corner and you'll see when a person is responding to you.
Haha - I sure am not a "jealous author" and writing you any negative reviews. I do not touch any author's books - ever - no matter what they do on the forums. Maybe the readers didn't like the book? Not everyone likes every book. I have heard stories of authors in a same genre doing exactly what you say though, but I am 100% nonfiction and do not even read much fiction let alone review it. Your statement that I responded to earlier said nothing about it being another author.
If you have some real grounds for your statement that it is a jealous author, then contact Amazon - they will remove the review. They will check the IP address of the reviewer and find out if this is the case. No author in your genre should be reviewing your books anyway - good, bad, or otherwise.
Someone told me that if you "down" vote a review as unhelpful, Amazon will delete it. I have three one-star reviews and I'm positive they are personal attacks. I have been told who it is, but it seems the same person can get different user names. Anyway, these three reviewers have only reviewed one book, mine. One didn't even buy the book. My sales are dropping like a rock too.
I feel your pain. I'd like to see a thread where everyone posted their most negative review so all could see what we have to deal with. Then we could vote on the one that's most hostile. I have a candidate for a possible top prize winner....as do most of us.
I, too, suspect foul play on many single review reviewers but cannot do anything about it. Fortunately, my sales have not been affected in any way.
I would suggest you try your best to put it behind and move forward. Don't let th' bums steal your joy.