Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dawne Prochilo On the Bad Book Review - Career-Deflator or Just Another Bump in the Writing Life?

Welcome, Dawne Prochilo! Dawne is sharing her insight into dealing with a bad reviews with us today.   
 We, as authors, have all been there. We painstakingly put our heart and souls into a book, create the characters' lives, bring forth their connection and after weeks and months -- the acceptance. Then we move onto editing and galleys, and our book is now out there to buy, read and review.

The review can be a moment of celebration, a moment of backbone building or the forced rant. Good reviews are cause for celebration. Mediocre reviews build character (no, not your hero or antagonist) and bad reviews campaign a rant, some sign language and quite possibly, the need to re-evaluate our career choice as an author.

How do potential fans and readers view negative reviews? It can go either way honestly. If a book has all four and five star reviews, the reader may think it to be unrealistic. Add in a mediocre, or even a bad, review and the reader may take note and wonder why one, or more, bad reviews are there with all those good ones.

On the flip side, another reader may see one or two bad reviews and consider it a warning.

So what is the defining line? There is no graph, chart, survey or known reason.

I had twelve books published before I received my first not-so-good review. All the others were positive and raved about my writing style, the characters and their connection and the love for the premise of the stories. So why the negative one? I did some investigating into the reviewer. 
This book was classified as a contemporary romance with a touch of young adult. It even stated that in the 'tags'.

The reviewers main genre of reviews was paranormal. He/she said they found my story/plot unbelievable. But yet, she finds werewolves, vampires, etc believable. Personal choice? The need to download a free book and criticize even though it wasn't his or her normal reading choice? So should reviewers do that? Be competent to review books that aren't categorize in their natural genre? Not sure.

I checked further into the reviewers past reviews. All contemporary romance without a paranormal twist were free downloads and also received negative reviews. Belief is in the eye of the beholder here.

I didn't invest too much time into this aspect of my review. I spent maybe ten minutes, took the review with a grain of salt and moved on. Did I rant online? No. Did I respond to the reviewer? No. What did I do? I moved on. One negative review is NOT going to make me stop writing. One bad review is NOT going to make me crumble in the fetal position and sob.

 More of Dawne's Books
Crape Myrtle- June 2009
On Her Own- July 2009

Sex Sells- Feb 2011

Room 11- Feb 2011



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  2. Thank you for having me today Jean- negative reviews can make you take stock in writing but it will not stop me from living my dream.I have a fan base and I know where I belong

  3. It's what I learned about reviewers. I, at first, questioned why, then I realized that there a people who are just like that. Great post.