Friday, March 29, 2013

Goodreads Badreads

Amazon has purchased Goodreads, that could be a good thing. Then again, it could be a bad thing, it depends on the reader. All of my books have received a handful of reviews, almost all of them have been positive. The people who hate me, really, really hate me.

My last book, Lawyer Geisha Pink, received a "truly terrible" review from  Caitlin Richards. All the other book reviews were positive five and four stars, but Caitlin didn't just think I was terrible, I was truly terrible. That's it, two words.

In an earlier book, Crater County, someone named Cindy wrote that my boo Crater County was awful. "It seemed appealing - a murder mystery set in our own New Mexico by a NM author. But it was terrible. Nonsensical characters, undeveloped, gaping plot explanation holes, and strange regional tidbits (there is no winery in Los Alamos). And to make matters worse the publishing was godawful."

Cindy hoped that I never wrote a book again.

Seriously. I don't know if Cindy wrote another review again.

Do I send her the national awards I've received on the five books since then? Does it matter? I'd be lying if I said I didn't.

I don't know who Caitlin Richards is, and I know a lot of Cindys. If I win any national awards, I will certainly think of them.

I have to take the good reads with the bad I suppose.


  1. Bad reviews suck, but you know what? They're a blessing in disguise. These are real people telling you the flaws of your manuscript. They're not going to sugarcoat their reviews, and why would they? They just spend an appreciable amount of time reading something THEY DID NOT LIKE.

    Although bad reviews/low star ratings eat at me on the inside, I muster up all of my willpower to NOT mention my (initially) negative feelings about them on my blogs or social media outlets because I don't want to discourage people from leaving honest reviews. Your post, for example, has discouraged me from fully reviewing my download of Rattlesnake Lawyer. I don't want my 2.5/3-star review to end up on your blog like those two did up there.

    Side note: The best thing that ever happened to me as a self-published author was that I received a one-star review (which absolutely ripped my novel and main character apart). After I got over myself, that review opened my eyes and let me know that HEY, I REALLY DID NOT ACCOMPLISH WHAT I SET OUT TO ACCOMPLISH. I had self-published too young and too soon, meaning that if I wanted to do my characters justice, I needed to pull that thing off the market and ensure that the ideas in my head translated to the page.

    That one-star review did more and meant more to me than any five-star review ever will.

    1. If all reviews are negative that's one thing. If someone says the book is poorly edited or plotted that is also within the bounds. However, when someone writes something that clearly seems vindictive, that's when I have a problem. I remember the petty politics of high school writing classes, where people would turn on each other based on high school issues.