I felt really horrible when I received my first bad review on Amazon.com for my book. I knew that this was bound to happen. It's all part of the business right? Well what is it with some reviews "bashing" you even as a person? I read somewhere that it could be other competitors bashing your work. I know my work is not for everyone, but I have enough confidence from people approaching me and telling me how good my book was or contacting me via e-mail. It can't be that bad. So why the harsh comments? Sometimes from someone who has only done one or two reviews? And do you think this is a professional act of a real reviewer?
You certainly need a thick skin if you are going to put your writing out there. My first review was awful. What made it worse was that the reviewer made some good points about the editorial quality. That spurred me to fix things up and improve the quality to where it should have been in the first place.
As to the personal nature of the comments, I remember years ago reading something in the New Yorker written by a serious author. He said what surprised him in the reviews was the venomous quality of some of them. He pointed out that it's not as if he was in a park molesting nuns. He was writing a book, for Heaven's sake, so why all the venom?
Bottom line, it comes with the territory. The way I look at it, those hurtful comments reveal very little about you or your book, but they speak volumes about your so-called critic.
I had the same problem on Amazon. I rated a very popular book a one star on amazon and a person was trying to get me to re-read the book and shooting down all my reasons why the book didn't work for me. I replied back which added more fuel to the fire, and she sent me a total of six paragraphs on her opinion on the book. After her second reply, I've just ignored her actions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the best thing to do is ignore it and move on. If they continue to bash you, maybe you can report them on the Amazon website.
"If you don't have any critics, you probably don't have any success either."---read that on twitter
It comes with the territory, but as long as you are happy with your work, that is all that matters. I know we want people to adore our work. I mean, we are so proud of the stuff we write! It hurts like hell when others don't appreciate and enjoy our work. But we just have to let the positive comments outweigh the bad.
What would I do to get through it? Easy. I would just decide that it was a author who is envious of my work. Problem solved. lol
Seriously though, keep your head up! I bet your work is AMAZING! Not everyone likes the same things and that is okay. :)
Thanks everyone! :). All your comments have helped greatly. The few people that gave my book a real bad review, sort of started rallying together because of some of my fans speaking out and I am kind of sad that even my fans have to deal with someone on amazon bashing them for their opinion. I know it comes with the territory for authors, why bully the readers that did like it? And obviously I will learn from all of it, perhaps it is better just to ignore. What comforts me most is that I don't think the people whose opinion matters most to me would be doing things like that, so eh!
I have no idea if these are competitors or real reviewers, but it really hurts. I got two awful reviews this week and these people were just nitpicking on the stupidest things, like the fact that I used Rebecca and Becky interchangeably, or that I missed a comma somewhere. I think some people feel empowered by bringing someone down. Try not to take it to heart and focus on the positive comments. There will always be nasty people who need to voice their opinions. If you are interested in swapping reviews, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we can help each other.
I had a person accuse me of being a gay basher just because one of my villains happened to be gay. It's impossible to please everyone and write in a way that's politically correct. I think people tend to forget that these are works of fiction. They just take them apart. Some guy mentioned that the last book he read (not mine) had 131 typos. Do these people sit there and count mistakes? I think some of these reviewers get a little carried away.