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Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Dreadful Feeback (Part 2)

A few months ago, I wrote a little blog post titled The Dreadful Feedback. I had recently received my first review, which was merely decent, and felt like blogging. I didn't address the reviewer directly or complain about it. In fact, I think I handled it very well. However, that was for a decent review. How will I handle a terrible review? Let's find out!

My first terrible review arrived on my latest book, Tales From Under The Bed Vol. 3. Right off the bat, the review is titled "God Awful." So, you can probably guess, the reviewer thought my book was god awful, right? Well, the reviewer actually didn't read the book. In fact, she read the first story, then quit. Why? Well, there were two minor spelling errors. That's it. Two spelling errors equals a one-star review. Now, I'm not saying it's okay to have errors in your books, but a one-star review for two errors? Really?

I was surprised by the review, honestly. I personally review movies on my free time, and I would never (NEVER) review a film without finishing it. I've written hundreds of reviews on my other website and on (where I am a Top 5000 reviewer with over 80% helpfulness), and I've never done that. It leaves too many unanswered questions. What if there are redeeming qualities in the latter half of the book/movie?

I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that the entire first story of my book is available for free as a sample. This reader could have simply read the sample to determine the quality and her interest. Now that I think of it, this reviewer actually reviewed the sample of my book. If you're a reader and you want to spend your hard-earned cash or spare time reading a book, why wouldn't you read the sample or use the "Look Inside" feature of Amazon? And, if you didn't finish the book and you found minimal errors (only two in over 2000 words by the end of the first story!), why would you review the book? It's a baffling conundrum.

Furthermore, what about the content? Okay, there are two spelling errors. I understand that, I can fix that for future readers. But, what about the content? Was the story good? Was it an effective horror story? Would you like to see more of this type of horror? That's another thing: this one-star review only covers two spelling errors. That's like watching Transformers and giving it a 10/10 because the special effects are fantastic with complete disregard to the actual narrative.

Maybe I'm sounding a little bitter, and that's not what I mean to convey. I was saddened when I first saw the review, I gasped so loud my neighbor could hear it, but I wasn't bitter. In fact, as I sit here writing this blog post, I feel a lot better. I was feeling discouraged, but I've become motivated to do better. Not to the credit of this seemingly bitter reviewer, simply to the credit of the readers who haven't voiced their opinions (yet). I've actually received positive feedback on Reddit, email, and twitter. So, if you're enjoying the books, please show a little more support and leave an honest review when you have the time.

Anyway, that's it. I'm done venting. I think I handled my first terrible review well. This reads off a little aggressive at times, but it's fairly tame -- no cursing or name-calling. If you're a reader/reviewer, maybe you can answer some of the questions I presented? Otherwise, thanks for reading!

Jon Athan

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