Thursday, December 15, 2016

The World of Writing: Good and Bad Reviews

Once a writer makes the transition to an author, i.e., being published, it opens up the world of reviews and reader feedback. Even bestselling authors get one-star reviews, and the most acclaimed works get panned by some readers and reviewers. Why?  Because people have varying likes and dislikes, and no one author can appeal to everyone.

Over my ten years as an author, I’ve experienced the extremes of good and bad comments. Here are a few of the negative reviews:

“The fog level must be pretty lows so I think fourth or fifth graders would like it.” My response—I will endeavor for more sophisticated, pedantic, pedagogic obscurity.

“The author peppered his story with crude, distasteful language.” What the hell?

“Much to do about nothing.” I will work on something.

“So dull you’ll wish your memory reset every few pages.” Yawn.

On the positive side, here are some of my favorite reviews and emails from readers:

A review that speaks of my protagonist Paul Jacobson and his granddaughter, Jennifer: “It’s hard to beat a team that includes a wise-cracking old fart and as straight-talking young sprout.”

“The story’s endearing zaniness keeps boredom at bay.”

“I have read all your books and enjoyed them immensely, but even more fun was listening to my husband read them. He snorted, chuckled and guffawed his way through then. And the idea of geezer lit tickled the bejabbers out of him.”

“Thank you for the joy you gave me in reading your book. Paul Jacobson is my new hero. Whilst I am traveling towards the twilight zone myself, this book makes me feel so good about myself that I can rest easy in the knowledge that all is not lost.”

So, I suck it up when some readers react negatively to my work but also realize I provide entertainment and laughs for other readers.

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