My first one-star review appeared on Amazon today. The author, called “tealover,” took exception to many things. You can read the review easily on Amazon, so I won’t repost it here.
The point to me is, I’m now OFFICIALLY AN AUTHOR because somebody hates me, hates my work, can’t understand why I ever got published in the first place, and has taken the time to try and find really insightful ways of saying so.
Which means I have Made It. In with the bricks, me. I am someone other people actually care to spend their time trying to grab by the ankles and pull down.
Seriously, of course it’s annoying when people don’t get you, and it sucks when people really write bad reviews to try and take the wind out of a new author’s sales (check out tealover’s other reviews and you might see a pattern emerging) but c’est la modern vie. We can say what we think–or what we want other people to think–and take no responsibility for it. And bless his/her heart, maybe it’s making tealover feel better about life. I hope so.
Besides, in these modern times a bad review means you can prove you aren’t paying anyone to write good reviews for you, or writing them yourself as a “sock puppet.” If you don’t know about the recently-exposed scandal then Google sock puppet reviews, but in a nutshell authors sometimes create fake accounts and diss rivals’ books or five-star their own works. Yeah, it’s as ugly as it sounds, and unfortunately rather rampant. Sock puppets are part of the side effect of a review’s power on Amazon. One of the nicest things that can happen to a new author is to get a lot of reviews right after a book’s published. It means people are noticing you–for good or ill.
Remember that old chestnut that there is no such thing as bad publicity? Yeah, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but it’s true.
So, like the first grey hair; the first flight of a child from the nest; the first realization that, dammit, yes you do need bifocals, the one-star review notifies neophyte authors that we have Arrived. Or, more accurately perhaps, Launched.
Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride. :]