Sunday, July 15, 2012

If I didn't offend someone with my writing I'm probably not doing it right

I was savaged by a recent amazon review, well not so much savaged as amused. My initial thoughts on reading the rather brief bit of negativity were 'really?'

"1.0 out of 5 stars Hated it, boring, disgusting, July 12, 2012

By mrs.cowboy - See all my reviews
Thought this book would at least be similar to historical fiction. In my opinion, it's far from historical and more into fiction using some of the Book of Mormon names as characters in the book. Blood thirsty kings and references to a homosexual warrior were too much for me. Will be deleting it from my Kindle."
At least she bought the book once. A quick once over on her other reviews was enough to confirm my guess and begs the question on why she even picked up Heroes of the Fallen. I suppose we all branch out sometimes but even a cursory glance should have told her this was nothing like the other cozy mysteries she reads.
Part of my amusement comes from knowing that the reviewer didn't 'get' the book but needed to share her indignation. That she hated a boring and disgusting book makes me think I at least accomplished some amount of memorability.
But did she really think there weren't bloodthirsty kings back then? And that there couldn't possibly be a homosexual in those wicked and wild ancient times? Let's not even get into the discrepancy that Rezon is a caravan master and not even close to being a warrior!

In any case if I didn't offend someone with my writing I'm probably not doing it right because I'm not moving people enough-this review tells me I'm at the least moving a little something something (granted its nicer when you move people in a positive light as well ~ see the other reviews).
But as James Enge recently wrote about negative reviews, they can be quite a service. I had wondered if all the 4 and 5 star reviews looked too biased in my favor-yes, several were from friends and family but several were from complete strangers (that always makes you feel good) So I'm asking dear readers, go ahead and give me a few stellar 3 stars and gushing 2 stars just to round things out and clear the palette.

***Addendum (July 18th, 2012)
It's also good to know (since I just checked Amazon) I am still selling copies after this review~take that mrs. cowboy


Angela Perry said...

At a con last year, some authors picked quotes from their favorite one-star reviews and turned them into T-shirts. I loved the idea.

Abel said...

At least she read it. I got a 1 star review for one of my books that went like this:

"Okay, so I didn't read the entire book. In fact, one chapter was enough. As an aspiring writer, I was disgusted to see a work in print that had broken so many writing rules. Maybe it was just jealousy, but either way, I won't be reopening it any time soon!"

I only wish she had listed the writing rules I broke. I would have been happier if the theme of the book offended her.

Nichole Giles said...

Holy cow, I so agree. I have a hard time with Goodreads and Amazon for this very reason. I think sometimes people are afraid to be honest because some authors take offense to lower starred ratings. But if a book I'm looking at has all great, glowing ratings, I'm less inclined to want to read it.

You have a great attitude.

David J. West said...

That's an awesome idea Angela-thanks.

Abel-I loved your book I have no idea what "rules" you broke.

Thanks Nichole.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Angela - that is a hilarious idea!

David - good chin up. Not that folks shouldn't read out of their usual genre, of course, but like you said - why choose your book given her tastes?

Usually I enjoy my genre breaks!

Charles Gramlich said...

At least it means you're moving books. I don't seem to be.

David J. West said...

Paul, I enjoy my breaks and as of late have especially enjoyed the idea of blending westerns and fantasy, and of course ther are things outside my genre's that I love - Hemingway, Twain, and even drama's that I would never personally write-but might borrow from some day.

It's an ongoing struggle Charles, I sure don't have any answers.

J. Lloyd Morgan said...

Boring? Really? I don't know how anyone could classify your books as being "boring."

I heard once, "Write what you want to write--not what you think people want to read. Your book will be better for it because you'll be passionate about it. However, expect people to be equally passionate about how much they don't like it."

Angie said...

I'm rolling my eyes...

David J. West said...

Ha, thanks Jason.

Appreciated Angie