The Guide to Handling a Bad Review

One of the things I hear a lot about or get asked about are reviews.

Let me begin by saying this: as a new author I fell into this trap and it’s a very ugly trap to be in.

Reviews are never going to be 5 star across the board. In fact, having some bad reviews mixed into the gushing and glowing reviews is a good thing. It gives you and your book credibility. If a reader sees nothing but five stars they believe the reviewers are your friends and family.

So rule number one? Embrace the negative reviews.

Embrace them? Absolutely.

Every well thought out review has validity to it. Read it. Process it. Do better. The end.

Rule number two: Do. Not. Respond.

A lot of bad reviewers are also great “trollers”. Don’t get caught up in the fodder storm. You’ll end up wearing shit even if you “win” … which you won’t. It only makes you look bad in the end.

Rule number three: see rule number one, rinse, repeat.

Trust me, I know the temptation to chime in and set people straight. Let’s pick one of my own and put it out there.

I had a “duo” pick up a free copy of my book and review it. A review which seemed to be done in Facebook messenger then copied and pasted on their “review site”.

Reading the review was torture. It felt like a text-based, Mean Girls episode. It was incredibly juvenile but the worst part was when they said I needed serious edits when they themselves could not spell. Including “LOL” in a review is the first clue to run. Anyone who uses “OMG” and “LOL” in a review meant to be taken seriously isn’t worth my time of being upset, let alone a response. And believe me, I value my time.

You’re sending out a piece of art. Art is subjective. Not everyone gets your art and not everyone should. You’re not writing a how-to book so don’t expect everyone to understand your idea.

However, if your negatives outweigh the positives it might be something you need to consider. Take it as a learning experience and move forward. If you’re too busy reading and lamenting over a review you’re not writing and working towards something new. Your readers who enjoy your work are waiting. Get over it, dust your shoulders off, dry your tears, and get to work.

If you allow a nasty reviewer to keep you from doing what you love you’re not meant to be an author. This industry is cut-throat and you are supposed to be the expert. Get back to it or get into your cage. There’s no room for weak spines in horror.

Have you received a bad review? How did you handle it? Want to share a bad review and let us critique it for a good laugh? Leave it in comments!

Remember this one important fact: You write because you love to. Who cares if a couple people don’t like it? Are they so important it’s worth you losing your passion? Let me help you with the answer. No. No they aren’t.

And if you’re a reviewer who likes being nasty and rude for kicks? Go get a hug. Internet trolls are so 1997. It’s time to grow up. And get spellcheck “LOL”.

The Immortal Sols: A work in progress

When Darkness is infiltrated by a light it is up to Ladon, the Lord of the Dragons to seek out the source and destroy it. He soon learns that any attempt to damage the source becomes an attack on himself. The King tries to keep it a secret as the law states that any sovereign in a weakened state may be challenged in a match to the death.

Will Ladon learn how to destroy the source?
Or will his brethren learn of his secret and destroy him first?

Welcome to the Reign of the De Sols

Family Tree
https://www.wattpad.com/story/74573941-the-immortal-sols

Authors and the Readers: The Bond

Authors have a very personal relationship with readers. It’s intimate in the way a love song can produce children whoare conceived to a verse drifting in and out between a couple lulled into a moment bursting with romance (okay-okay, usually angst filled and passionate). It can bring a person to rock bottom, or bring them higher than the clouds. Same with writing, and the person behind the ink.  Their words can change a life, invoke a movement, inspire, and at the same time they can reach a silent piece of your soul the reader thought no one could ever find. 

For those reasons alone, readers feel a connection and cling to this invisible bond. So why is it that many “big” authors are so elusive? 

I can think of a few reasons.  Writers are introverted a lot of the times.  Socially awkward. Have the luxury of anonymity. Our they’ve been scared emotionally by a scene where, in Stephen King’s novel MISERY, the author is kidnapped, tortured, and forced to write a story the way a fan insists it should be written.  I admit the last reason is pretty compelling. 

However, indie authors have no other way to gain support unless they have a large sum of money to advertise. They do author take overs, they do guest blogs, they run their own author pages, etc.

You may think I’m complaining but actually I’m excited about this.  I mean if the Queen of the Vampires, Anne Rice,  can be on her own Facebook page engaging loving fans then I see no reason that every author cannot, or will not, do the same.

If you’re in bed with your reader, (doesn’t everyone read in bed? ) you can at least chat with them when they come in contact with you.  In this digital age of accessibility, anyone not establishing a bond with a fan/reader is missing an opportunity. Not only to create loyalty…but in creating friendship and a source of support.

Gone are the days of being aloof, and elusive. Here are the days of being genuine and inviting.  Get to know your readers. They are your primary investors,  and occupy chairs on your board.  If you lose your readers, you might as well hang up your quill.

Calling All Reviewers!

So for the last two months I’ve been diligently scouring different websites and blogs for reviewers. You guys are in high demand, I get that! But holy unicorn, Batman! Every reviewer I pursue is either not taking reviews at this time, or..charges? I’m all for making a living folks. But we’re facing a catch .22 here. Readers do not respect reviews from paid resources. I’m definitely with you..make some money! But there’s got to be a formula that works for us both.

Right now, because I’ve spent so much time pounding the web’s yellow brick road, I’m sending out a beacon. Wanna review my book? Just contact me!

Here’s a link to the book:

It’s a hybrid! Horror and Dark Fantasy. My next book is due out early next year so I’m looking to boost exposure. I’m also trying to use the first book to help with my own volunteer project to help the homeless here in my community. I’m a volunteer for Crisis Text Line, and a contributing writer for GoGetItLife. I’m also the founder of the Houston chapter for the Horror Writers Association, as well as their Publisher Liaison.

Thanks for heeding the call! I look forward to hearing from you!

Book Two Arrives!

The Unsaintly Chronicles: The Anti-God

Though she was born to a noble family, Isabel Augustus had shown a love for piety, humility and servitude at a very young age. In a world of darkness, her light far outshone those around her, attracting the attention of both Heaven and Hell. When Isabel’s simple actions as a mortal catch the eye of God, who showers her in his blessings and attentions, Lucifer’s jealousy rears its ugly head once more.

The age old contention between father and son results in a tug-of-war over her very soul when Lucifer begins to show her his own attention. They will soon find out that there is another who seeks out the soul of their precious Isabel. Will Isabel’s faith be enough to save her and those she loves? Or will she give up her immortal soul to keep the end of the world at bay?