Wednesday, February 28, 2007

An open letter to all you know-it-all Reviewers


I really shouldn't complain. For every bad review I get, I'm fortunate to get four or five really positive ones. On balance, I'm coming out okay. But when I read some reviews in a newspaper or on a website or in a magazine or on Amazon.com, I just feel like I want to go nuts when I hear the reasons for why some folks think one of my books "deserves" a bad review: "I don't like the hero. He's mean. He said a dirty word. XYZ novel wasn't enough like your other XYZ novel. Why did you have to kill that character? Why so many characters? I been readin' crackerjack crime novels for sixty-two years, and you ain't funny. You said the supermarket was on the left side of the street and by God I live in that town and the supermarket is on the RIGHT side of the street. Your characters don't wear enough hats. The part with the ninjas wasn't realistic. You smell bad. There weren't enough pages. Too many damn pages. Not enough women characters. Too many cliches. Too over the top. Too boring. I hate you."
To all these negative reviewers, I have but one thing to say:
Thanks.
Hell, I might question your taste and your judgement and even your literacy, but there's one thing for sure. You walked into a big ass book store with about a million books and picked mine. You gave it a chance. (Even reviewers who get books for free must choose from a giant pile.) So thanks. I wished it had worked out better, but the fact is you gave it a shot. We didn't quite click on our blind date but thanks. Really. No sarcasm. Thanks.
And for all you great folks who gave me groin-grabbingly good reviews ... well, I just have a great big wet kiss for you. You know you're loved.

3 comments:

jeff shelby said...

I thought the ninjas were realistic, but I would have to agree - not enough hats.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Huh. And I thought we bought the book because you threatened to blow up cyberspace if we didn't.

If there's a review I'll be sure there are mentions of not enough hats and the dirty words and that your hair is too long and whatever else seems good from your synopsis. In fact, you may have just saved Kevin from needing to write anything original at all.

John D. said...

I have never read a review of a novel. Ever. The closest I've come is reading the little blurbs on the cover of a novel. I guess that would change if I ever write a novel myself. But until then, I figure time spent reading book reviews could be better spent reading books.