So in other words, instead of reviewing this novel from an open mind, you’re going to demonize it for your own personal beliefs, bash it for something that other people might not care about, but now won’t buy it because of your nasty, jaded, and biased review?
Why are you a book reviewer again?
Oh yeah, that’s been the question on my mind for a few weeks now. And, one I’m learning is on the minds of a lot of authors when it comes to bad reviews….or should I say, bad reviews from people who really shouldn’t be reviewing novels. Not all bad reviews are unjust.
Not too long ago, I came across a vent from an acquaintance about a book review she received. One of the characters in her novel wanted to have a baby. Awe, isn’t that nice. And, believable too, I mean, how many women in this world long to have a baby? TONS. EVERY. DAY. But, this novel was given a 1 star review because…drumroll please…the character was 40 and according to the reviewer women in their 40’s shouldn’t want to have a baby. ?????? WTFlipperoni??? Are you kidding me??
Now, don’t get me wrong, reviewers have a hard job. I mean, surely, they don’t really want to ruin an authors day and reputation. Right? Of course, there probably are a few that don’t really care, maybe even do so with a smile across their face, but I’d like to think that they really don’t like not liking a novel. Who knows, though.
But, back to my point, not only is it not an easy job, but there are novels out there that are legitimately bad. So for that, bravo to the reviewers for calling a spade a spade and being honest. And, of course, there are good reviewers out there. They know the market, know the genre, they know what’s good and what sells over what’s bad and will flop.
But, what about the ones who just don’t get it?
They start spouting off about plot points that don’t exist, or bash the author for not tying up a loose end, when the author actually did, they just missed the point in the novel where the author did because they (the reviewer) is a complete maroon?
And, with that, I’ll even raise you one better, when the reviewer bashes not only your book, but your research, stating you have a historical inaccuracy, and then proceeds to correct you with incorrect facts when all the while you were actually accurate. Oh yeah, that happened to me.
So here we are, as authors, at the mercy of these people. These reviewers who abuse us with their own personal views and brain fart moments about history, and the real awful part is that they put it out there for the world to see and read, and form jaded opinions of their own. They affect our ranking, they affect our sales, they affect everything we hold dear, not only our craft and work, but our families who we are striving to provide for. What’s worse is there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
A long time ago, when I became an adult and really started learning about the whole credit system, my eyes were open to how majorly the system is flawed.
With hundreds, if not thousands of people with the same name born each year in this country how can it not be? I mean, who would have imagined one of my male cousins would have married a girl with my name, giving her my first and maiden name? Or who would have imagined my husband and his brother would have both married girls with the name Angela, giving us the same name aside from our middle.
The odds really aren’t that great, right? WRONG.
Having dealt with my share of credit issues (i.e. their stuff on my credit report) at the hands of people other than myself, I can tell you it’s very easy for your credit to get screwed up at no fault of your own. Very easy. And, yet, knowing this, you would think that maybe credit wouldn’t be so important. Wrong again. It’s our whole lifeline in this world. It determines if we have a roof over our head, a car to drive to work, if we can go to school, and anymore these days, if we can get a job.
If it’s so important you would think it wouldn’t be flawed. And if it was so flawed, you would think it wouldn’t be so important.
And that, to me, is about the perfect example of an authors need for reviews. Who really are these reviewers? What makes them an “expert”? What qualifies them to bash your book publicly? Or, to even give it praise?
In this ever-changing world, I’m starting to see that people are more and more believing they have the right to cast their judgment upon another person. That they are so unbelievably important that they have the authority to inform you and others around you that you are a horrible writer and have written a horrible novel.
Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot you wrote a New York Times Best Seller and are a millionaire. Oh wait, you haven’t written a book? Well then why the heck are you qualified to tell me I wrote my wrong?
Unfortunately, reviews are nothing more than that person’s opinion, however jaded or honest. And, because everyone takes away different things from a novel, I’m just starting to scratch my head at why, as authors, we are biting our nails and losing sleep over someone’s opinion? Why do we live and die by such a flawed system? Shouldn’t we just be happy with how we feel about our own books?