Seriously, it is okay. I am but one person in a sea of readers. Most of who probably have better taste than I! There is no need to come on over to my review (or anyone's) at Goodreads and tell me how much of an idiot you think I am. It will not change my opinion about the book but it may change someone's opinion about you. A bad review is also never a reason To Start A Petition to force Goodreads to change their TOS to suit you.
I love books, I love authors, I love to read, to review and I love nothing more than to spread the word about books. But I'm not always going to like your book. In fact, I will probably dislike at least one thing about it because I'm a bit of a jerk like that and that's okay too. There are very few books that I think are perfect.The first one that comes to mind is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. It is my comfort read. I have read it numerous times and it always makes me feel magical.
I adore that weird book so much and, whoa, would you look at this!
Holy crap! Not everyone adores it nearly as much as I do. My favorite book in all the land has 1390 one star reviews. Bastards! Some of those one stars are even from my bastard friends who must not be following my review rules!! But I still love them dearly and respect the fact that they despise the best book ever written. We are all different and totally entitled to have our own opinion no matter how contrary or peculiar or inconceivable that opinion may be.
So here's a little reminder because some people out there in bookland seem to have forgotten this:
Negative reviews are NEVER a reason to freak out.
Mediocre reviews are NEVER a reason to freak out.
Five star reviews are NEVER a reason to freak out.
READER REVIEWS ARE NEVER A REASON TO FREAK OUT. PERIOD.
Because some people take this all a little too seriously, I'm going to give you a little insight into a book crazy persons head. Or maybe just a crazy person. It matters naught. Most of time I read reviews after I've finished a book and written my own review because I'm nosy and only really care about the last book I've just read. I'm self-centered like that. I like to see what others thought and how my thoughts match up. I bet many readers do the same. Some folks give reader reviewers way too much power.
I also, as a rule, pretty much only read my friends reviews of books I'm considering buying. I trust no one else. I've been burned too many times and from my example above I noticed even my friends can't totally be trusted! So while reviews are great fun to read I do not think they are the end all, be all, final word on a book, on book sales and on book exposure. Also, one reader review does not have the ability to "ruin" an authors career. That's just someone being dramatic.
These books are classic examples of books people loved but that burned me bad. I was sucked in by the overwhelming positive reviews and the "you've gotta read" comments and wasted both my time and my money listening to people who did not share my taste. One stars. All of them. I don't care what anyone else says! (you can read my crappy reviews by clicking on a cover)
Perhaps there are people who have the time to sit around doing nothing but reading all the reviews written by everyone ever and being all judgy but most of us are not that person. We have books to read. This is what always blows my mind when an author has a meltdown over a reader review. A negative review is not a big deal to me, nor to most other readers. It certainly won't stop me from buying something (though ALL five stars might). We buy based on many factors. Here's some free advice and it's totally worth what you're paying for it, on how to deal with a not-so-great, maybe not-so-nice review: Keep it to yourself! Forget you read it. Walk away. It's highly likely that very few people will even notice it! That's what I'd do were it me. Boohoo about it publicly, leave crappy comments on the review and maybe even threaten the reader with a lawsuit and you can bet we will all be running over to that review to rubberneck that trainwreck and we will remember your name and we won't touch your work with a ten foot pole. Why would anyone do this? But yet they do and it always ends, well, awfully for the offended party.
So I say leave that one star review alone. It can be a good thing! I kid you not. Here are some books I bought because a key word in a review caught my eye and I had to know more! For the record, I ended up five starring all of these books (clicking on cover will bring you to the gushy review).
I Want my $ back" "Too much sex"
Why am I posting this? Well there was a little kerfluffle on Twitter over the weekend that reminded me that a reminder is overdue! An author took up the Anne Rice mantle and wrote up a petition to have GoodReads change their evil ways. Demanding they stop allowing people to write whatever they want to write (no "nasty" comments - who determines the nasty?) and disallowing them the ability to star books without writing reviews amongst other demands. She later backtracked and deleted her #AuthorsRiseUp account as well as the petition. But I saw it and quite a few others did as well. It gave me the shivers! Oh also, here's another reminder that people sometimes forget. Once you post something on the internets, it is out there on the internets forever. Yes, even if you delete it You can read the text of the petition here if you so choose.
And that story about the lawsuit threat? I wish I could say that I made it all up but it's real. Yep, someone did that. Over. A. Reader. Review.
Please remember I might not like your book and that's okay because reader reviews are never a reason to freak out!