It's been about a week since BAND GEEK received that not-so-great review from a reader. And you know what? It still stings.
One of my friends asked how I can be so calm about getting negative reviews. "I'd probably burst into tears anytime someone said something bad about my work," she admitted. I can stay (relatively) calm because I'm somewhat used to getting feedback on my work. When I was searching for an agent, I received plenty of rejection notices and some were pretty nasty. The first couple of times rejections came my way, I DID break down in tears but I couldn't fall apart every time I received any criticism. So I've tried to take rejections and negative reviews in stride. If I didn't, I'd be a complete basket case.
That's not to say that I'm indifferent to bad reviews. THEY SUCK! This one in particular really hurt because the reader just didn't like my story. I've had other reviewers comment on particular aspects of my novel that they disliked, but my entire book seemed to rub this person the wrong way. Truthfully, there was a moment there where I doubted myself, but I read through all of my positive reviews and was reminded of how many people liked my book. I then went and read a bunch of one-star reviews that best sellers and classic books have received. I find it hard to believe that someone could give Catcher In The Rye only one star, but there are over 300 readers on Amazon who have done just that! One even called the narrator, Holden, "whiny and creepy." Yikes! We're talking about one of the great American novels here.
Every author has to deal with bad reviews and bad press, and I'm trying to develop a thick skin. It's never pleasant when someone says that he or she just doesn't care for your work, but what ultimately matters is that you like what you've written. All I can do is my best and if I do that, then I've succeeded.
Please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.