Monday, August 20, 2012

A Bad Review Doesn't Mean The Reviewer Was Wrong

We all want success with everything we do. We all like to be told what we did was the best thing every. I think we can all agree to this one. However, there are times when we don't hear what we wanted to hear and our reaction is sort of interesting.

When writers send out their projects for review, we all know what they want! We want to see those 4 and 5 star reviews. We want to be told this project was the best dang thing out there and no one has ever or will ever read anything like this. Now here is the interesting twist. When authors get those comments, they run around and tell everyone. We want to brag about those critiques! That's fine! I have no problem with that.

But what happens when the book tanks. You get a bad review. Heck, maybe you get several reviews that are less than favorable. The response is often far different. Instead of reflecting on the quality of the book like you did with the great review, the focus shifts from the author and the book to the reviewer. Clearly the reviewer was wrong. Clearly the reviewer was out of touch from reality and didn't know their butt from a hot rock.

While this does make us feel better, there is something to consider here. Maybe that person was right. In other words, a bad review isn't always wrong, just because it wasn't what we wanted to hear. Publishing is a very public business and success of the authors depends on people liking their books. There will be times when your stories just aren't right. So, instead of playing the "blame game" listen for a moment. That negative comment may just be right on the money.

I want to also note that this idea can also extend to authors submitting projects ot editors and agents. Getting a rejection doesn't mean that editor or agent was wrong. If one editor or agent likes a project and the other doesn't, we cannot automatically make the statement that the rejecting editor or agent was off the mark.

I know this is tough to consider and digest, but I think we have to force ourselves to accept this reality. Besides, if we can learn to listen to those less than favorable comments, just maybe we can improve as a writer.


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