No matter how good the writing, the editing, the formatting, and the story itself, prepare yourself for the occasional one star review. You will find, as your book begins to pick up sales, that there is a faction of reviewers (and I use that word loosely) that will pounce on your book for the most mundane and nonsensical of reasons. Reviewers who should know, by reading the Amazon description, your book is not their cup of tea will buy it anyhow and then blame you for their bad decision. Or, worse, they might simply hold a grudge against self-published authors. I recently received a one star review of one of my books that never once referenced the book (that's right, a book review not about a book) instead the reviewer slammed me for self-publishing.
Take my word for it, there are angry, bitter, and perhaps envious people out there who see several five and four star reviews and see red. Look at some one star reviews for popular books and you'll see more anger than constructive criticism.
When you receive a one star review consider its source, and hope your potential readers do the same. Honest and incisive one star criticisms are few and far between. Remember that and keep writing.
Thank you Jake 6238 concerning one star reviews, I know the office works program I use is great at pointing out mistakes and I go through checking and rechecking and some times spell checks will want you to change a word to something else that makes no sense at all and you have to ignore it. My wife I don't know how many times has pointed out in some of the best sellers spelling errors, and grammar errors. Some times you just miss a few or spell check screws you over. But if I'm made aware of mistakes I do my best to go back in and make corrections and republish as soon possible. And young adult books are steered towards young adults, and as you say if fiction horror isn't that reviewers cup of tea so to speak why do they have to read it and then run you down. I love writing I never intended to take anyones thunder. I just love sharing my stories. If I make a little gas money along the way great! As long as someone is enjoying my stories that's what counts to me.
Good post. IMO the entire "Review" system is just a playground for vicious sadists, and it should be eliminated for the harmful garbage it is. Amazon.com encourages controversy but the "Review" system has become so bad, it should be treated like the garbage it is. Anyone who thinks any review really means anything, is a fool.
No matter how good the writing is or how factual the story if nonfiction, there's always going to be someone waiting to pounce on it. I'm not so sure I'd attribute this to any sort of jealousy though.
Oh I would certainly consider the source with such a review. If the book has few reviews such a 1-star will often tank its sales too. For this reason, I spent serious time analyzing a reviewer's connection to me or the story and each time hit paydirt.
It should be noted that my 1 star review on all three of my books was from the same reviewer. You would think the reviewer would at some point realize he doesn't like my writing style and save his money, but yet he buys each book I write not long after they're published.
The strange thing is that his bitter reviews have galvanized my loyal readers and have actually helped to increase sales of my books. That's right, in an odd way the reviewer has done me a favor. My four and five star reviews always pick up, along with sales, not long after he bashes me.
Would I rather not have his 1 star rants on my Amazon sales page? Of course. But if this reviewer's purpose was to keep readers from purchasing my books, he failed.
It's possible Owen, but I kind of doubt it. This individual has 1 starred all three of my books. I found out we grew up together in the same neighborhood and are the same age, so it's possible he's angry about an incident from long ago. Without knowing his real name it's hard to say. In any case, I just released my 4th book and I fully expect another 1 star review from this person at any time. You might ask why, if he dislikes my books so much, he reads them soon after they're published. The obvious answer is this individual doesn't read any of them (one of his reviews never even mentioned or referenced the book). He simply holds a grudge either against me or self-published authors in general. The sad thing is there are others like him out there just waiting to pounce on any authors generating good book reviews.