1-Star Reviews, Emergency Help for Authors

Just got burned with a 1-star review? Here's what to do.

Making vitriol-flavored lemonade from your 1-star reviews

So, it’s bath time with your little brother and somebody poops in the tub. What do you do? Run screaming from the brown logs, or grab them in your little hands and make majestic wall art?

Here are some authors and their attitudes about “owning” their critical, horrible, misspelled, nasty reviews.


Someone doesn’t like my work and wants to tell people so? Okay by me. I’ll live. As will any other author who has the sense not to get in a lather over the idea that somewhere someone might not like their work. And if you don’t have that sense, well. Just put on your big author panties and deal with it.

– Author John Scalzi – full blog post including reprints of highlights from 1-star reviews of his books


Today someone gave my book a one-star review.

The person who left the review called themselves ‘Spionidae’. I had to google it – basically it’s a type of worm. How apt.

… I thank the worm for reminding me who I am. For reminding me I don’t write to get rich quick or become a celebrity. I write because I want to tell stories that haven’t been told yet. I write because I want people to read my stories. And I write because it’s a compulsion and a hobby and an obsession and a pleasure, all at the same time.

Everyone needs a one-star review sometimes, just to remind them who they are.

– Author John-Paul Cleary – full blog post


Rejection knocks you down.

So get your ass back up again. In fact, don’t just get up. Grab that adrenalin rush from the pain two-handed like you’re catching hold of a goddamn screaming bald eagle and let it launch you upward with a mighty shriek and as you land on your feet, start swinging.

– Author Chuck Wendig – full blog post


We must be passionate about writing.  We must really want it.  Why else would we subject ourselves to this insane process called publishing?

Think about it.  As writers, we are either the stupidest people on the planet, or we actually have a dream.  When we count up all the hours we spending outlining, writing, re-writing, editing, and trying to publish (not to mention marketing and networking) we’re earning less than minimum wage.  Throw in some harsh critics, and you’ll meet the ultimate test of your will.

Criticism brings us to that moment of reckoning.  That moment when we ask ourselves.  Is this gig really worth it?  I have a nice life.  A good job.  A stable family.  Why do I want to upset the apple cart?

It’s a beautiful moment.   A moment when some of us finally feel free.  When we wrestle with passion and look our dreams squarely in the eye and say, “I don’t care what people think!  I am in this race and I am going to finish!”

– Author Susan DiMickele – read full blog post


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This entry was posted on March 12, 2012 by in authorproblems, writing and tagged , , , , .

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