So, remember this...'A Punch in the Gut' ? If you don't, or you don't have the time or inclination to follow the link, I'll recap it for you. Someone in the UK gave my book 'A Week at the Beach' a very scathing 1 star review. It was after a free book giveaway and in the middle of a great month of sales. I took it personal. How could I not? But eventually I got over it and have just learned to accept that not everyone is going to love everything that I do or write. After that initial blog post about it, I received many notes of encouragement on here and on goodreads.com, all of which truly helped me to feel better about the situation. Like I said before, I got over it.
Or did I?
See, that feeling of dread, that awkward feeling of knowing that someone doesn't like you, and the weird butterflies in your stomach when you think about the mean and nasty things someone said about you, all that has been replaced with something new.
I'm quite pissed, actually. I can accept that everyone is entitled to their own opinion about my books. I'm okay with that. I'm even okay with the idea of someone disliking my book so much that they feel compelled to leave a bad review. What is really pissing me off about the whole situation is the way it's destroying my book sales in the UK. You see, here in the US, 'A Week at the Beach' is by far my most popular book. It has 13 reviews, only 2 of which are not 5 stars and both of those reviews give it 4 stars. When that book pops up on someone's Amazon.com screen, it's likely that the reader will give it a chance, right? Well, not on the other side of the Atlantic! When 'A Week at the Beach' pops up on the Amazon.co.uk site, they see 2 reviews. That's it, just two reviews! Of those two reviews, you have a 1 star and a 5 star. Who would take a chance on that novel? No one, as evidenced by the complete lack of sales on that title in the UK. Seriously, none! All the other books have sales. Not a single one for 'A Week at the Beach' so far this month and single digit sales for last month! The killer is the fact that if they would just scroll down to the reviews they would see that all 13 of the Amazon.com reviews are there for them to read! Those reviews are not taken into account on first glance.
So, yes, I've gotten over the humiliation of a particularly nasty 1 star review. I can honestly say that it has forced me to be a stronger person when it comes to reviews and criticism. However, I am not quite ready to let go of the anger and bitterness I feel over the loss of sales. I'm also angry about all the people who are going to miss out on a great story because one person didn't like it! It's not about the money, it really isn't. It's more about the loss of opportunities. People who have read all of my books have said that 'A Week at the Beach' is the best. Unfortunately, there's a whole country of people out there who are missing out on the chance to read me at my best.