I thought I would bring this back to life. It’s been a while since I wrote a post like this one. Some of it will make you laugh and it’s okay to giggle-snort. Just make sure you aren’t reading this post with some form of a drink in your hands. So here you are, slaving away at your manuscript. You put your heart and soul into your manuscript/novel. Either you or your team put up for sale. Congratulations for making it this far! But I should warn you, you’re up on a huge stage in front of millions and millions… and millions of people. One of two things will happen to you. You’ll either receive bouquets of ruby-red roses and a parade in your honor… OR… you better duck. Be prepared to have rotten tomatoes and dog shit thrown at you. Being a writer is easy. But being an author is extremely terrible. You’re probably a first-time author. You’re pacing back and forth for one review. And then one day, it magically happens! Poof! Your very first review! Do you take a bow or do you cry in your pillow? And for any author who says he or she or they don’t read their reviews… they are all full of shit. The same authors who tell us not to read our reviews, have already read their reviews. And they even responded to those reviews *gasps*. Anyway, if you’re a new author, congratulations. Welcome to the highs and lows of writing blood, sweat, and tears. Be prepared for the following reviews. And yes, these are some of the reviews, you may receive. Tighten up your sphincter because either this will make you cringe or giggle-snort. Wouldn’t it be cool to name a character Giggle-Snort or Giggle-Farts? I call dibs on that. Ahem… without a further adieu… reviews you may receive.
- The small talk reviewer/out-of-time reviewer: He/she/they will often type these reviews. “This book is great,” “this book sucks,” “great book,” or “terrible book.” They never tell you why your book is good or bad. They don’t intend on telling you why your book sucked or was great. How is that going to help a writer? You either appreciate or loathe these types of reviewers. You love them because if they believe your book is great, they often leave a five-star review. You hate them when they leave you with a one-star review.
- The Mr/Mrs/Miss… Know-It-All Reviewer: This could go one of two ways. We will start with the good one. They will often point out your plot, your characters, your format, your sentence structure, your blurb, your book cover and anything else your book holds. If it’s really good, they will happily brag about your book. If they hate your book… be prepared for some petroleum jelly and tighten your sphincter. These types of reviewers are going to let you know everything you’ve done wrong with your book. And they will always wind up at the top of your reviews because they gave a two to four page synopsis for why your book was absolutely horrendous! And if other reviewers have the time, they will read that one review. This type of reviewer can either make or break your novel. I’m dead serious. They will even list examples of what you screwed up on. If you wrote redundant words, they will inform you without batting an eye. So, either these are already editors or other writers. Beware and tighten your asshole.
- The Airhead Reviewer: These are the types that usually type this… “This was an awesome book! I love this book so much!” But there is one tiny catch… they only gave you a one-star review. This happens to all authors. So, even if you did receive your first one-star review, you may have been bamboozled by the airhead reviewer.
- The Impatient Reviewer: This mainly applies to those who chose the task of writing a series. If you wrote a series… be prepared to receive this. “Oh man! I love this book so much! When’s the next one coming out? I can’t wait to see what happens to Jack and Jill!” At least they left you with the appropriate star power. But dammit! You just released that book yesterday and they want you to write the next book today! TODAY! Patience is a virtue. But in all seriousness, these are your fans. Love them, praise them, and make sure you respond to them. You don’t want this batch of readers to turn on you.
- Family Reviewer: You beg them not to buy your books. Guess what Grandma Jane did? She bought your erotic novel and now the poor thing had a heart attack. “Jen… you’re going to hell for that! I can’t believe you wrote something so vulgar! You need therapy!” Well, you warned them not to buy your book and they bought it anyway. And guess what they’re going to leave… that’s right… “Little Jenny did such a great job! She’s going to be just like Anne Rice! Such amazing talent and I’m so proud of my niece! Isn’t she great?” DELETE… ABORT… NOOOOOO! Oh, Christ! Aunt Nelly left a review! I’m dead in the water anyway. Pro-tip… don’t tell your family members you’re writing a book. Don’t even mention it. Just lie and say you’re working on a blog. Don’t invite them to the release party. Hopefully you’re an orphan. If you come from a large family like I do… prepare to die of humiliation. You begged them not to leave a review. But they did it anyway. And who makes their family members buy their own books? But if you have a large family like I do, you’re not going to send off a hundred books to your family members. It’s a cruel, cruel, world and you’ve got to make a living. And no, you won’t put them in your books! And if you do… make sure they are the first person, you kill off.
- The Spoiler Reviewer: This is usually a hate-filled review. They really hate you and your book. They hate you so much, they spoil your book for the rest of the crowd. And they usually title their nasty reviews like this… “Read My Review Before You Read This Shit/Tripe/Bullshit/Crap.” Such a nice way… hopefully, you can report them. They aren’t supposed to spoil your plot for you. And just read all the Fifty Shades Reviews, if you don’t believe me.
- SJW Reviewer: Be prepared for them. You know they’re out there. These can turn out like #2 & #6 on this happy list. These reviewers are counting how many diverse characters you have. If you don’t have enough diverse characters, they will let you know it. Be prepared to duck, if you have an all white crew. But here’s the thing they don’t see. We as writers can’t dictate who pops into our heads and who sits on the sidelines. They basically hate your plots. Never mind the fact that they will never write a book. If they do, it’s going to suck major dick because they will try to please everyone. A book with no plots. Do you want to read that? Anyway to combat this… make sure you have a diverse group. If you don’t want to write in a diverse group, be prepared and I hope you bought some good anal lube. You’re going to receive a rectal pounding.
- Censorship Reviewer (AKA Ms/Mr Prudence): Never mind that your book is in its proper category… EROTICA. Never mind that you have ACTION & ADVENTURE checked for your book. These people must have wandered from the Christian site and couldn’t read the sub-genres. Who are these reviewers? The ones who hate swear words and sex. They will let you know your book is vulgar in their review. Never mind that they need their vision checked out. Many erotica writers often beat their heads against the wall. “This is so nasty! You need Jesus! You’re going to hell if you read this book!” Yes, that has happened. They will either leave you a one-star or a five-star by mistake. Grandma Judy… please get your eyes checked out before you read how Tommy slammed Rosie on the glass table, ramming his foot-long cock in Rosie’s ass. At least Rosie was nice enough to say this.. “Oh, God… oh, yes! Fuck me!” I’m just saying Grandma Judy… you may want to double-check your sub-genre selections before you click on the “Buy Now” tab. Snow blowing Jesus is not what you think it means. Chocolate Jesus isn’t a title you should be reading. And avoid this “Nun Gets Ordained.” It doesn’t mean what you think it literally means. We love you, Grandma Judy… we don’t want you to have a heart attack when Rosie gets hammered.
- Mr/Miss/Mrs. Potty Mouth Reviewer: They’re mad at you! You better duck if I were you. You see these reviews on authors who chose to end their books on a cliff hanger. WTF? Where’s the next page? Christ… I have to spend another $10.00 on the next book to find out what happens to Jill? Fuck you! These reviewers will curse you out. Ask yourself this… do you really need to end your book on a cliffhanger? Do you think it’s wise to end your book on a cliffhanger? Especially, since, you’re a new author? I’m just checking you here. If you love one star reviews, be prepared for them. They are going to rain down on your head and the people will be pissed off at you. Most of the time, they can return your dreadful cliffhanger. Those who can’t, are going to swear at you. They will call you every name in the foul mouth dictionary. I hope you still have that anal lube. You’re going to be so… screwed. It’s even worse if you didn’t hire a professional editor and ended your book on a cliffhanger. Word to the wise, complete the entire book. Make sure if you do end your book on a cliffhanger, you print the next book in the series, the very next day. Cliffhangers are bad… mmkay?
- The Tech-Challenged Reviewer: I see this a lot. Someone dropped the damn ball! They can’t access your story because… 1. They screwed up. 2. They can’t figure their Kindle/Nook/E-Reader out. They will always leave you a one-star review. “I didn’t get the entire book! My copy was bad!” Instead of reaching out to customer service, they leave you a one-star review. They haven’t figured out how to return their copy. But here’s how you handle these guys & gals… you have to read your reviews for this one. You respond to their review and apologize. Remember, customer first? And you send them a FREE copy of your book. They already paid for your book. You give them a PDF form and send it to them. It isn’t that hard. Happy customer=happy reader.
- The Where-Did-You-Go Reviewer: This applies to authors who have series. They loved your first book. They ranked you all five-stars… they may even pester the living shit out of you for your next book. But… when you release the next book, they’re gone. You don’t know what happened to them. And you worry about them. If you loved their books, please follow them on their Facebook Author page and follow them on Amazon. That will tell you when their next book will be released. We need them to come back. But people are impatient creatures. They may have simply grew tired of waiting. You can’t expect readers to stick around for ten years, waiting for your next book to be released.
- The Bad Grammar & Spelling Reviewer: These are extremely funny. These reviewers will turn into #2. But there’s only one huge problem with their reviews… they can’t spell and often write in lower case letters. They don’t believe in a dictionary, comma, or a period. Their review is often one long run-on sentence. Most of the time, you’re trying to decipher their negative review. I remember reading one reviewer from Fifty Shades. She claimed she was a school teacher. There was a huge problem with her review… she couldn’t figure out the correct they’re, their, or there. “I believe this book sucked to.” To where? Oh! You meant the word too! Ha! How dumb of me! These will always be a one-star review. They don’t know the difference between roll or role. Never mind they don’t understand the words pique, peek, and peak. These are often hilarious and other reviewers will blast them. You don’t need to respond to them. Just sit back and relax with a bag of popcorn.
- The DNF Reviewer: They bought your book. But for some weird reason, they couldn’t complete something they bought. Thanks for the coin! DNF stands for “did not finish.” But they automatically judged your book after reading only five pages. Did they even get past your table of contents? Thank them for the money because they blew it on your book. That makes your one-star review a little better, knowing they paid to read your book. Psst… between you and me… if I were going to pay for a $25.00 book, you better believe I’ll read that book. Money doesn’t grow on trees but to these reviewers, they must be wealthy.
- Freebie Reviewers: Never mind that you listed your book(s) for free for that Kindle Countdown program. They often type this in their reviews… “I’m glad I got this book for free because this book sucked ass!” Some countdown programs do work. Some just wait to ding your book anyway. They can turn into any of the numbers, I listed above. They will make sure to point out that they got your book for free. And they will make it known to all the readers on how your book sucked.
- The Negative Stars Reviewer: These will also be a one-star review. They often type this. “This book sucked so bad… I wish I could give it negative stars! Fuck, Amazon! We should be allowed to give out negative stars!” They can mesh with any of the archetypes, I listed above. They may or may not point out every single problem in your novel. Word to the wise: make sure your book is professionally edited.
These are just some of the vast array of reviewers, I have witnessed. The best way to leave a review is to find something positive in a bad novel and try to finish reading it. To writers, make sure you have a professional editor look at your work before you hit the “Publish Now” button. This will save you a ton of heartache and stress. And if you’re going to read your reviews, make sure it’s on a good day. If you drink and you’re allowed to drink, make sure you have a bottle of your favorite alcohol nearby. All work is meant to be subjective. And people seem not to understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction. If you want to become a writer, make sure you have a thick skin. And if you don’t have one, get one fast. If you cannot afford an editor, put your book up on Wattpad that way other writers can help you improve your skill. Learn from the masters and assholes. If you choose to self-published, be prepared to pay a lot of money. Editors and illustrators are not cheap. You can obtain a cheap one but your quality will suffer. You want readers to dock you because your story didn’t do anything for them. You don’t want readers to slam you for an unedited book. This isn’t a hobby… this is a game. If you treat it as a hobby, stick to Wattpad. Be prepared for other writers to come at you. There are some shady people in the industry. And if you do receive a one-star review, it isn’t the end of the world. Go read all the feminine cup reviews because those are hilarious. And furthermore, welcome to the club, fellow one-star! You made it when those suckers hit.