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Sunday, July 23, 2017

On-line trolls

cj Sez: A fellow writer was grieving and questioning what to do about a one-star review on Amazon that complained about something that wasn’t even in her novel. Obviously, the reviewer hadn’t read the book.

One- and two-star reviews can be devastating, both for future sales and on the author. Wherever there’s an opportunity to post a review, there will be trolls with low ratings—whether they’re warranted or not. I’ve seen reviews by people who purchased an item on Amazon then rated the product one star because they thought delivery took too long. Had nothing to do with the quality of the product.

So where am I going with all that? It’s to reinforce why comments and reviews need to be put in perspective. I go back to the bell curve example (the one I usually use for critiques). Don’t let the bottom naysayers persuade you that your work isn’t good. Hiding within the electronic wafers of the Internet are nameless, faceless, and wretched on-line trolls. (Whew! I feel better now.)

We can’t realistically expect all reviews to be five-stars (okay, we do, anyway). I admit to having desperate pangs when someone dings a story. Yes, it skews the “average,” but then I re-read the good reviews that I do have (some posted, some not) and calm down a bit. I remind myself that I cannot please every reader out there. Duh. That’s the reason there are a gazillion different stories in multiple genres for the gazillion different readers.

If you receive a poor review from an on-line troll, I suggest you consider the source, and please do not respond to the reviewer. That might dig a deeper, darker hole than you want to dive into. For a review like that mentioned in my first paragraph, perhaps a conversation with Amazon (if that’s where it is made) might get the unfair/unjustified review removed. Might. If you're like me, you'll tend to console yourself with a mood enlightening treat.
Banana cake ala mode (quasi healthy?)
Speaking of reviews . . . have you taken the time to give an on-line review for the latest book you read? You might be able to refute some troll.

I’m nearly finished reading my first YA “eco mystery” and have loved it. I sat in on the author’s workshop at the recent Alabama Writer’s Conclave and decided I wanted to see how Claire Datnow incorporated her research into a mystery that would appeal to kids. I don’t usually read YA, but I’ve found this one very well written. When I reach the end of “Operation Terrapin Rescue,” I’m going to find a place to review it.

Personal observation truism: People watching is next to Godliness and cleanliness for writers. It's the reason I can't go to a library or a park or a coffee shop to write. All I do is people watch.

That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

NOW ON AMAZON:  A really amazing, super-duper deal for your summer romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of 10 novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes my novel, Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Other ebook bundles still available on Amazon:  More Than Friends and California Kisses 

“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology @
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