My worst fear was that when I published I would wake up one day and be inundated with 1-star reviews declaring me the William Hung of self-publishers.
As yet, it hasn’t happened.
But I did receive my first 1-star review yesterday, on the short story One Final Night (which has now been downloaded 23k+ times).
My heart skipped a beat and I groaned when I saw it. I really didn’t even want to read the criticism, but I soldiered on.
The reason for the 1-star rating was given as this:
The problem is the story is depressing and discouraging and unlike other reviewers the ending was not enough to save it for me. Too little to late!
While it’s hard to see a 1-star pop up, I understand that it’s a tough story where the most common reaction is profuse tears and hugs and kisses for your loved ones. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be thought-provoking. As Lisa Vaughn (@thegiftedones) said on Twitter – not every story can have a happy ending. It’s a bummer, but it’s just the way it is. Stories not only do – but need to – represent all facets of life.
Ironically, I tend to avoid tear-jerker, sad stories myself. I watched Message in a Bottle in the theaters and refuse to watch another Nicholas Sparks offering. I can’t stand such a sustained level of raw emotion. But I give him 5 stars for the work because it did exactly what it should – made me bawl my ever-loving eyes out.
But, I digress…
It was quite a long review and several other nuggets do jump out:
The problem is not that the author can’t write, because she certainly can!
…books that have unhappy endings just do not appeal to me, I hope the author takes that into account in future offerings because she is a good story teller who I would read again if her stories are more positive and uplifting in some way!
Those were some nice compliments, hidden in the paragraph, and I hope they stand out to others who read her review in the future. Honestly, if this review helps other people who dislike hard endings stay away, maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing. I want people to enjoy the writing and if, for some people, the quality can never overcome the ending then there is nothing I can do about that. But I’m glad to see the quality acknowledged, even under the 1-star heading.
Read the full review here.
This officially scuttled my plans for a post about review jitters, inspired by this post I saw linked on Facebook yesterday. I’m still a bit jittery without much chatter on Come the Shadows (and who wouldn’t prefer everyone to LOVE what you write) but I am just taking this a sign it’s time to get to work on that thick skin that’s been on my to-do list for, oh, 20-25 years.
PS: As for the suggestion in the review that all the 4- and 5-star reviews are all just people I know… Nope!
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