Now Available-Writers' Tricks of the Trade (the book)

This book of writing tips, writing tricks and writing techniques should be on every fiction writer's bookshelf! NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon, B&N, Books a Million, and most online booksellers or order from your favorite local bookstore.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Oh no. While cruising Amazon, I saw much to my chagrin that Writers' Tricks of the Trade got a dreaded one star review. Back when my first few novels were published, a one star review would have thrown me for a loop. I would have battled the cold sweat and spots before my eyes, as I searched my tortured mind to figure out where I'd gone wrong.

No more. You see, getting a poor review can happen to most writers at one time or another. Sometimes the book just doesn't float the reviewer's boat. The majority of Amazon reviews are posted by readers and that's great because I'm always interested in readers' feedback. Without readers, where would authors be?

Unfortunately, sometimes the person who posts the review loves to look at their own snarky or clever titles while they dismantle the work letter by letter. One thing to do is to look at many of their other reviews to see if this is the case. If it isn't, maybe they do have valid observations.

I'm writing this today to encourage authors who get a bad review to look beyond it before deciding to stick their head in the oven. The first thing I did was to check the reviewer's track record on Amazon. This person has given tons of reviews and certainly is entitled to her personal opinion. If you decide to post a comment on a particular review, and sometimes that is appropriate, don't shoot back like you are attacking the enemy. Respect the fact that perhaps the person just didn't like it while others did.

If a review points out a misplaced hyphen or anything of that nature, just ignore it. Sure it shouldn't have happened, but it even happens in books released by New York publishers. The eye often sees what it thinks it sees and those nasty copy errors sometimes sneak past the most astute copy editors. I recently read a James Patterson book with two copy errors on the same page.

The only reason I decided to post the following comment on the one star review for Writers' Tricks of the Trade: 39 Things You Need to Know About the ABCs of Writing Fiction, is to point out that there are always "different strokes for different folks."

"Sorry you didn't like the book. Like the old saying goes, "You can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." I'm just glad that many others have enjoyed it, found it inspirational and given it four and five stars. There are lots of writing books on the market that cover specific topics in depth in a more or less clinical way--this was never intended to be one of them. Rather, it is a look at what fiction writers need to be aware of with a little humor added to get through frustrating situations, plus a look at some of the backfires I experienced on my journey to becoming a multi-published fiction writer. I'm sure you'll find a book that contains the elements you're looking for and thanks for sharing your opinion."
Always look at the big picture. How many good reviews did you get? Only if the answer is "none" should you be concerned.

Happy reading and writing.

1 comment:

  1. I dread the bad reviews. They might give me pointers towards a new work but they would never put me off writing.