by Janis Patterson
It’s part of a writer’s life. Sooner or later you’re going to get a one-star review. Expect it, people say. Don’t let it get you down, people say. It’s part of the business, people say. You’re not a real writer until you get a one-star review, people say. All of which are very true.
But it still hurts, and it hurts worse when it’s on one of my very favorite books, one that has more five-star reviews than any other ranking.
It’s not even what I would call an honest review. The writer says she (assuming it is a she) gave it a chance, stuck it out through the first quarter of the book, then threw it down without giving any cogent reason. I know that she (?) is not expected to give a reason and probably should not be, but it does seem rather mean-spirited just to say ‘its’s bad’ and nothing more.
One thing she did say was that the heroine’s name changed once to a very similar name. Well…. to my shock that is true, and I have no idea how it happened. I went to the typescript I sent to my formatter – thinking to prove her wrong – and by gum, there it was. In that instance she was absolutely right, and I would like to know how that particular little bomb got by my many readings, two editors, half-a-dozen beta readers and a respectable number of buyers. Gremlins…. it has to be gremlins.
So – first thing tomorrow I must send all the electronic files and the print file to my formatter and hope he can squeeze in a quick correction so I can get the files reloaded. For that bit of information I thank her, as I like my files to be as pristine as possible. Or maybe I should say as pristine as the gremlins will allow.
At least having passed the one-star baptism of fire I can call myself a real writer now. But it still hurts.