one eye half open, other eye closed

That’s how I open goodreads. With the same kind of feeling you have when you find a sealed envelope with your name written in your boss’s handwriting laying on your desk. Half terrified, half nervous, with the tiniest hope that it might be something awesome, but knowing it is way more likely to be something sucky.

I was told (or rather, I heard from lurking on goodreads author threads) that is was of utmost importance to NOT go to the page for your free book until you were either 1-drunk or 2-in a really positive state of mind.  So I stayed away. I lasted 2 days.

When I finally peeked, I was happy to see some nice reviews on my page! Yay! Even the reviewers that gave me 2 stars were nice, and honestly I can’t find any fault in their reviews (they are totally accurate reviews, my story just didn’t “do it” for them) so really I can’t complain about that.

I am pretty happy, because (as I posted here pre-release) I was nervous about the BDSM aspects of my story. I really wanted to write a more accurate portrayal of BDSM as it exists in many real relationships. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea, considering many readers of BDSM want a hard-core fantasy experience, not a real-life playful one. But it was well received, and though some people stated they’d have liked a more intense BDSM element, everyone agreed it worked with the story (whew!! Relief!) It makes me especially happy because I really wrote the kind of story I enjoy reading, so knowing that other people liked it too sort of validated me and my wacky tastes.

BTW, that story is now available for download directly from the mmromance website, where you can snag an ePub, Mobi, or PDF of the file for free 🙂

Anyway, back to reviews…

High from my positive reviews, I read a few other LL stories (some great freebies are up, you should check them out!) But when I looked at the LL story pages, I was shocked at the brutality of the reviews. I was surprised by not only the harsh tone of many reviews, but the commentary that followed them. The virtual “high-five”s reviewers share in comments after one of them posts a particularly scathing critique. The multitude of “likes” on each others one-star reviews. It was disturbing to see, more so since I realize it is only a matter of time before they post those kinds of things on my story’s page.

Suffice to say I am not going back for a while. I’d rather remember the very nice reviews I have now, and pretend that is the way my story’s page will forever stay 🙂

This song could function as an ode to reviewers:

“Your words in my head, knives in my heart. You build me up, and then I fall apart. ‘Cause I’m only human.”

I wonder, when people write mean things about a story, if they even realize there is a real person who is hurt? I’m not advocating false-praise, and I think if a reader has a problem with a story, they should be free to state it, of course. But there is a line between “critical” and “mean.” It is sad to see that line crossed so often. Sadder because I don’t think the people leaving these mean reviews are trying to be hurtful 😦

4 thoughts on “one eye half open, other eye closed

  1. There are some people who truly enjoy being mean. They’ll call it being ‘real’ or accuse you of needing thicker skin, but the truth is they like belittling other people. *shrugs*
    Some people just suck.

    • I just hate it because some of those authors I know and I know the negativity hurts them. It’s sad when you see posts from friends dealing with depression and other issues and then see those kinds of deliberately mean reviews. True, some people just suck.

  2. First, allow me to say that I love the river rocks background!! xD Next, I’m happy you’re content with your range of reviews for your book, great!!! I’ve heard that Goodreads has the lowliest of reviews at times from ill-intended reviewers. I know I had a person criticize my book with only a few sentences and it was not done objectively, either, but cruelly. Yes, I was hurt, but I know that if someone does not like your book, simply, they are NOT your target audience. Really.

    Keep your head up and know that writing is more than just pleasing others and not everyone will be satisfied. Oh well to the naysayers, and HOORAH to your accomplishments of getting yourself out there!

    🙂
    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

    • I feel like I have been so lucky on goodreads. I have a few slightly negative reviews, but none are outright mean or cruel. But you know how it is – I get more upset when I see someone hurting a friend than when I get hurt myself! I also get irritated because I feel like goodreads has such a great intention, and so to see people use it just as a vehicle for rudeness is sad.
      Thanks for visiting, and commenting! ❤ I will continue to keep my head up, and you do the same 🙂

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