Until I became a writer myself, I never really gave much thought to reviews. I am learning that they are nearly the equivalent of a tip for waitstaff. Every time I see a good one I'm all "Whoo hoo!" all over again. Fortunately, the vast majority my reviews have been very good. I knew when I published though, that there would inevitably be some bad ones, and there have been ( I got one bad review because somebody couldn't download a sample. Facepalm). I prepared myself by reading the most horrid reviews for my favorite books by my favorite authors, and there were a LOT of them. It's shocking, really, that someone would actually sit down and take that much time to spew that much venom (some people writing lengthy paragraphs!), almost always behind some mysterious user name, or even more often "Amazon customer". I understand the nature of the internet, and I know there is no shortage of people who can't wait to have the opportunity to criticize, but some of what I read was SO over the top. It made me realize that a writer can tell an amazing story, but if the reader has no empathy or imagination it won't matter. And of course, different people just like different things. Those guys certainly aren't losing any sleep over the minority of mysterious strangers who didn't like their work, nor should they. And the criticism certainly didn't stop them from becoming very successful (far more successful than the critics, I would wager!). So why should it bother me? Why is it that, after getting a ton of great reviews, it's the very few bad ones that get under my skin? It's not stopping my progress either, but it's human nature, I suppose. It certainly explains to me why you almost never see a successful writer ripping on another writer's work. There's support and understanding there, and it's very much appreciated.
So, let me start by saying that I'm grateful for how shocked I am by some of the hateful things people say. It means that I'm not assimilated to it, that I don't think it's okay, and my own "compass" is intact. I would never say the things that I've seen written, not in writing or in person. I'm also grateful for the insight; I will always make sure to review every book I read from now on because I know how important it can be to the writer. I love it when folks message me and tell me how much they love my book, but if they don't post a review, they give the haters all the say. I'm grateful also, that my good reviews far outweigh the bad and that I have so many exciting things to look forward to as a result. Hell, I'm grateful that I took an idea and had the stones (lol) to make it a reality. I am the MOST grateful, though, for all the folks who took the time to post all the wonderful reviews! You guys ROCK :-)