Thursday, August 1, 2013


It takes some real thick skin to be a writer.

My skin is not really that thick, so when I read something negative that directly impacts me, I want to go crawl in a corner and die. I try not to let it bother me. I even say it out loud, hoping it will even force me to believe it. Yet, all I am doing is lying to myself.

As I sit, these negative statements come to my mind and they make me wonder.

I wonder why?

Why did they target me?

It isn't as if I know these people. Or maybe I do. I couldn't really tell if I do if they hide behind the tag anonymous.
anonymous, hiding behind the computer screen

I have been thinking about this for the better part of a week when I came across a negative review for my book on Amazon. I took it with a grain of salt. They said it was depressing. I guess that is partially what happens when your intention is to make people cry. (And the only reason that was one of my goals was because I wanted people to feel the emotion.)

Does this look like a romance novel?
It doesn't even come close. So if that is
what you are looking for, look
somewhere else!
The first bad review made me realize people were coming to my book thinking it was going to be Harlequin Romance. Now I am not really sure why people are confusing it for romance. It is actually more of a drama with a few romantic parts possibly tossed in for good health.

Yet the part that bugs me is actually the anonymous part.

Are you to afraid to stand behind your words?

Signing something as anonymous is the cowards way of leaving a review. In fact, if you can't verify who you are, you have no right to even leave a review. I finally got over it, convincing myself that this person is entitled to hide behind their computer screen, especially since a positive review had already trumped the negative one meaning it wasn't the first thing people saw.

Call it weird, but the major reason I was concerned about the bad review was because it was the first thing everyone else would see.

Well, today, my husband messaged me. He had finally finished my book. (While he had an idea what was going on, he never read the completed version.) He even said it made him cry and he left a glowing review. (To clarify, I didn't ask him to leave a review because I thought he would be unfair. After all, his wife wrote it so chances of a bad review were slim. But he left one anyway.)

When I went to read his review, I saw another negative review.


This one, while at least they didn't leave an anonymous review, was just as bad. It was a personal attack, calling me "special."

So, why is it that the majority of people who leave reviews are always so negative? Why are they trying to cut down an author who has obviously put themselves out there?

At this point, it doesn't matter. I reported their feedback as inappropriate. After all, the comment they left seemed more like a personal attack and that should not be tolerated.

I swear, as a writer, a person needs thick skin.


  1. Stacy, There will always be people out there that have to bash something. And there will always be readers of books that just aren't going to like what you wrote for one reason or another. It's not nice and it's nice easy, but you will be able to tuck these reviews away as part of the writing process and say "well some people didn't like my book but others did, so I'm going to keep writing and doing my thing and to hell with those that don't like it". I have to say that anyone with the courage to put their art out there in any form is a very brave person. Specially in this day and age when people can write a comment practically on demand and say whatever they want to say. Of course reading negative reviews are going to hurt, but I think you have a thicker skin than you think. You aren't hiding in a corner crying, you are bitching about it and that my friend is sometimes the best therapy there is! You go on and write another book and do what you love and to hell with anyone who doesn't like it!!

  2. You can't please everyone and you'd be crazy to try. I'd look at it this way: they bought the book, they are entitled to their opinion. Same would go if they went to a restaurant and didn't like it but everyone else in the place loved the food. So what if your book isn't their cup of tea?! I think we've all read books that we wished we hadn't wasted money and time on.

    You can either take their reviews as in insult (and the reader that called you 'special' says a lot about themselves in that comment) or use it as motivation to do even better next time. Think of it like this - ask yourself "Do they have a point?" "is the summary of my story accurate so that everyone will know what they're getting into?" "What about my story is so depressing and is that what I wanted to get across?"

    You are a braver soul than most for putting yourself out there. And at the end of the day, no matter if they liked it or not, they bought your book and you are a couple more dollars richer. ;)

  3. Hang in there, that is the way people are. This world sucks sometimes and the online world is even worse. Just keep plugging way ( i know easier said then done). The good reviews will come I know it!

  4. Stacy - Anonymous posters do so either because they're afraid of retaliation, a friend that doesn't want to hurt, or just plain scardy cats. It could even be a past boyfriend that has stalked you without your knowledge and is trying to get to you this way. Hell, it might even be a publisher to see if you've got the grit to handle a little negative press. Look at it this way ... people are reading your book! Whether they like it or not is beyond your control, but they're reading it! As long as they buy a copy and you profit from it, what the hell? You can't please everybody, so don't try. Keep a smile, enjoy the good reviews, and fly the bird high in the air for those that don't! lol Hang in there!

  5. First of all, it takes amazing courage to "put yourself out there" - I just did that last night with my artwork and dear god, I hope some reviewer doesn't come along and publish some scathing review in the newspaper, lol. What what if it happened? Well...
    Second, anonymity gives people courage they might not otherwise have. It's cowardice at best, and insidious at worst.
    It's in those moments though that you have to realize two things (alas, this is what I tell myself when I find that I'm not seen in the best of light): negative reviews actually generate publicity, even if that publicity isn't quite what we envisioned. Second, whoever those people are, they are in their own reality with their own perspectives and biases and we have no control over that. We only have control over our emotions and you have to ask yourself: is it worth your time to think about those twits? Don't let them take away from your happiness. You have accomplished something they have not and it takes a strong person to do that. I haven't had a chance to read your book, yet, but I don't have to read it to tell you that I already know it's good: I know your writing and I know how hard you worked on this.
    Now, go out, enjoy your family and revel in the fact that you're a published author whose book has generated TONS of good reviews, with more good ones to come!
    Keep on keepin' on cuz you rock, yo. :)

  6. Yeah you need a thick skin, but ultimately you need to realize that these people don’t matter. There will always be people trying to tear you down. Because they can’t do what you do. It’s not a valid assessment of who you are or what you do. It’s just a part of the journey.


    Hell, if it were easy, we’d all be doing it. And you will never please everybody anyway; there isn’t a book on Amazon with a perfect review. So just ignore the noise and keep going. You have written a freaking novel godammit. You’re awesome!


Virtual Mirror