Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Reviews)

Since I got so many positive responses to my last post, I thought I'd let y'all have a few laughs at my expense. Today, I'm going to post some of my past reviews. I've been fortunate in that--to my knowledge--I've only received two truly bad reviews--and you'll find both of them here.

First, there's my first novel, Dance of the Gods....

Pretty good, huh?

And now for the bad news....

Ouch! And this was the first one I got to see! When it's your first novel and the news is this bad, you want to go duck your head under something...anything....

And now for Angels at Midnight. If I got a bad review for this book, I never saw it. The closest I came to a bad review was a cyber wrist-slapping from a reader on Amazon.

The day this review came out, I had just returned from a writers conference in Miami. My editor, who had been at the same conference, phoned me to read it to me rather than wait for me to receive it via fax.

A Time for Legends also got excellent reviews, which made me very happy because of all of the books I did via Berkley, it was my favorite.

And I'll close with the absolute worst review I've ever received, for Solitaire. The worst part of it is that I can't even disagree with it.  Looking back on it now, it was a flimsy plot....

We used to laugh when we compared bad reviews. Why? Because even the most successful authors have received bad reviews. It goes with the territory. For every ten people who love your book, there will be ten who don't love it.  Accept that fact of publishing life, and write the book you want to write. Give it everything you've got, and you'll survive.

I've always believed that no reviews are worse than bad ones. Indifference is difficult to deal with. You can learn from criticism, but what do you do when the readers and reviewers give you nothing?

Ad nauseam...double ouch!


  1. Ouch!

    Ah, we can't please everyone, but like you say, no reviews are worse then bad reviews. Thanks for sharing with everyone!

  2. If that's all you've gotten throughout your career, then I think you're laughin'...obviously those reviews were from people that just didn't like that particular genre of book...and, I agree with reviews are definitely worse than bad reviews...

  3. Hope I can take the bad reviews with a sense of humor. I'm starting to send ARCs out, so we'll know soon enough.

  4. Norma, I think it's really cool of you to share all of these (good and bad). I think it illustrates an excellent point; when you write for publication, you have to accept that a certain amount of scrutiny is involved.

    Some it will be fair and/or flattering, and some of it won't be. It doesn't mean your career should waiver either way. They are opinions. All you can do is learn and write the next book.

    Thanks again for sharing,


  5. Norma, interesting to read some of your reviews.
    I have to say you had way more good ones than bad !

    Thank You for the post today.

    cheers, parsnip

  6. I think I have read all your books and I don't think any of them deserved a bad review. On the other hand it is just nice to know the author of actual books.

  7. Ow, that last one was kind of painful! But more of them were good than bad ... and I think I'd almost rather have a bad review than hear absolutely nothing at all.

  8. I adore the pic at the top of your blog-Stunning scenery and really sets the tone for your writing style. Anyways, that comment was kinda random but I had to share. I really enjoyed this post, the second to last paragraph was my fave. Great advice to listen to. I love how you let the reviews just roll off of you. You are my writing hero.

  9. What was up with Publishers Weekly? Well, good and bad make the world go round and round. I guess if I were you, I'd be checking the circulations of both these. Well, you're great in my book. Um, I mean in your books.

  10. You're so awesome for sharing these. We really have to remember as writers (or artists of any kind) that what we do is totally subjective Some will love it, some will hate it, and some will be inbetween. I really hope I'll be able to laugh it off. I'll admit it stresses me a lot when I have to deal with negative customers in the chocolate shop.


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