Reviews: The good, the bad & ....

Reviews: The good, the bad & ....

A bad review is one of the most difficult things I have to deal with as an author. It doesn’t matter if I get 300 good reviews and a review company gives me 5 stars. The one negative review seems to pierce my skin, and I ruminate over it for a while. I’ve since developed a thicker skin to criticism.
Collaboration... Reading Reviews: The good, the bad & .... 3 minutes

I remember with one of my books, I received a 1-star review out of 5 from a person within an hour after the title hit AMAZON. Clearly, it was a hater, but I was still pissed off by his or her words.

I did get quite a few negative reviews on one of my real crime books, Born in the Life. Why? Because I suck at editing. And my editor at the time sucked more than I did. She got fired. But the fault lies totally with me because my name is on the cover. It has since been re-edited by a more diligent editor.

It may be a carryover from my school days when report cards were issued, and I wanted to crawl into a sewer from my poor grades on the walk home. I sucked as a student until college. I couldn’t deal with the Parochial School structure and the stress that went with it, but honestly, they did okay by me at the end of the day.

So, back to my bad reviews.

The best feeling is when I post on Facebook or Instagram and people tell me how much they loved or enjoyed my work. Not friends and family, but readers throughout the United States who had never heard my name. One particular post had over a thousand comments.  

When readers “read through,” meaning they read the entire Vic Gonnella series and keep coming back to me, it is the most incredible experience I could have had as an author. Putting their money up to spend time with my work is a rush as far as I’m concerned.

If someone calls me anti-Catholic or a Catholic basher because of my book Intercession, I try to explain that it is nowhere near the truth. Yeah, I am anti-pedophile, and I am upset with the mistakes the church made in the past 50 years on that issue, but I am in no way mocking 1.3 billion Catholics. At first, I was not nice about the negative reviews, and my replies were caustic, but I soon learned to temper myself, and the negative reviews were met with more polite explanations of my positions.

One of my favorite reviews came to me after a lecture I gave at the public library in Wayne, New Jersey. The talk was about my young adult book, Zip Code. A teenage boy who was a Russian immigrant approached me on my way out of the library. He told me he had read the book and that it meant so much to him. He was inspired by my words in Zip Code. That meant more to me than any review I have ever read.

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