Those Bad News Book Reviews

1 star

If you have sensitive eyes cover your ears now….

Today I was reading a post on FB from a friend of mine who wrote a book review on Amazon. Her review was honest as one would hope for with a book review whether from a friend, family member and a total stranger. The review was negative and the book likely deserved such a negative response. It was negative not attacking just negative. I say this because I know this reviewer well; it takes A LOT for her to go back and forth between 1 star and 2 star reviews.

As an author I have issues with many 1 star reviews since many of them are the most idiotic things I have ever read. They are usually pointless ramblings and offer nothing constructive and the reviewer is doing nothing but coming off as a smarmy little window licking asshole. Sometimes however, some books do deserve 1 star or 2 star reviews If they are just really that bad. In truth most people I know who frequently review books really don’t like giving anything below a 3 star…it hurts our little writer/reviewer souls. Many professional reviewers won’t even post a review on a book if it doesn’t garner at least a 3 star rating.

1 star

I think if someone paid for the book they might have more of a bitch if the book was really that bad. When we pay for anything and its bad we get a little pissed or a lot in the case of prostitutes and cars. If the book was free then go about your merry fucking life, you got the book for free stop whining. Don’t give me those whole “my time” excuses because your time isn’t worth that much if you’re trolling Amazon or Smashwords for free books because you are too cheap to actually pay for a book.

If a book is perma free it’s probably not that good and there is a reason its perma free; think about that a little.

If its perma free I am inclined to think the writer doesn’t really give a shit and then neither should you. Temporary free days on Amazon as a marketing promotion are a different thing (even though they don’t work well anymore) but it is why it’s a “promotion” when it’s done the book goes back to a normal price. If an author doesn’t respect themselves and their work enough to charge at least .99 for their book (and time spent writing it) then why do you even want it? Would you trust food at a grocery store that was free all the time? No you wouldn’t because it will make you sick. Permanently free books make you sick…unless you are a communist.

As a writer 1 star or 2 star reviews happen, I’ve gotten my own and no I don’t like them. In fact it makes my butt pucker up tight but its part of the game we are in. SUCK IT UP OR GET OUT if you are that hypersensitive, sulk about it in private (not in public) where it’s supposed to be done and call your mom so she can tell you how great you are for the millionth time. The reviewer I talked about above got blasted by the author’s minions and it was just really childish and lame….over protective nerds going insane I guess.


What not to do.

The biggest mistake in this new world of publishing and easily available internet we are in is to attack reviewers of books especially the books we write. I see this happen a lot on and I hear about it in writer groups and Twitter even more. It’s in the book of top 10 rules authors should never break. If someone writes a shit review, constructive or not SUCK IT UP. Don’t attack them, don’t post about it on FB or Twitter don’t start a stink and hire a hit (yes it’s happened). Don’t say shit, say nothing…do nothing.

Most authors and novelists WISH we got a review for every single book of ours someone bought whether free or $20.00. So don’t bitch when you get a 4 star, 3 star or 2 stars. You really should be happy you got anything at all. If you wrote a book that someone thought was only worth 1 star and was a piece of shit then use that as fuel for the next one, keep it in mind when you are writing the next book. Don’t write another piece of shit #NoMorePOSBoos.


But if you really feel like you have to speak up about a really bad review and feel you MUST acknowledge its existence or any review don’t be a little bitch about it. Tell them thank you for at least taking the time to read your book, thank them for their thoughts and incite if they gave any (regardless of whether you agree or not). I am an asshole sometimes but even I realize how big of a difference a little gratitude and appreciation can make especially with a book reviewer and people in the book business. I have commented on bad reviews and good reviews but I do it very sparingly, and never do it in a negative way even when I want to. If you don’t believe me then go look up my book Running Northwest. Even as a grown ass man and a writer sometimes I do remember things my mom taught me growing up, “If you don’t have something nice don’t say it all.”

Have you ever EVER seen a big time A list author (or their friends) respond in a negative manner on Amazon or wherever about a bad book review? Have you ever seen Stephen King, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, JK Rowling, Jesus the Christ or that Twilight woman attack reviewers opinions on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble?

No you haven’t


Get your head out of your ass. Don’t go and call up your internet posse and have them attack a reviewer and their review just because they called your book crap and slapped a 1 star on it. That kind of thing is trashy, childish and pathetic. Trust me I fully understand how much they (bad reviews) hurt and I totally get what kind of labor of love writing a novel is. If you got a bad review…well it was likely deserved. Learn from it and move on. Don’t get in a pissing match about it on social media. It makes you indie…

Indie writers, myself included are all on the bottom of the hill looking up and seeing how high it is and all the rocks and BS in the way. If we want to even have a chance at being an A list author (or even B list), respected for the great talents we possess or at least sort of appreciated we all have to stop being such little shits about the smallest things and start acting like starters on the varsity team. Stop acting like jealous 3rd stringers standing on the sidelines or the little bitches in the stands. And that means not letting little insignificant things get to you. (Sorry about the sports analogy I’m listening to the Michigan versus Notre Dame game while I’m writing this. #GoIrish


NOW, before you go all, “this guy don’t know what he is talking about”. Below is a screen shot of an actual response of how I handled a “bad review” ( 3 stars on Amazon) for my 1st novel Running Northwest. This review was based on the 2nd edition of the book which I admit never should have been published or read by anyone.


review rnw





6 thoughts on “Those Bad News Book Reviews

  1. It’s always hard to get a bad review, but I haven’t gotten a bad review I didn’t think had at least some value. Even the one that complained my novel’s heroine used the word “ain’t” too much.

    1. I would agree with that Nigel. I think all of my bad reviews for the most part were a mix of positive and negative and I learned a little something as well. I see nothing wrong with using the word “aint”. I mean damn I hear it everyday

  2. Yeah, what he said!

    I enjoyed and agreed with your thoughts in this post. I give myself a similar speech every time I hit the submit button and prepare for responses.

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