My First One-Star Rating

Being an eight-time published novelist now, I sometimes like to see how my books are doing as far as ratings/reviews go. I know I should only focus on working on my next work and getting it out into the world. But human nature loves to flirt with curiosity, and I occasionally look to see what reactions people give my books. I already have those loyal fans who are hopelessly hooked on my stories, and I appreciate them for it. Still, I take that occasional trip over to see those numeric values.

Not me, but he could play me in the movie about my life.
So of course I check out my titles on Goodreads. One of the books, A Mage Among Trolls, has become the first title to earn a one-star rating over at that website. Now, there are two things to note about this. I know not everyone will like my writing, and I’m okay with this. It also leads me to my second point. My very reaction to the one-star rating surprised me. I’ve heard stories of authors laying on the proverbial loudspeaker to blast the person who didn’t care for their work. And for many months, I’ve planned to just dance around and sing a happy song because I’ve planned to take this in great stride, a laugh-in-your-face sort of approach to getting a poor rating.

Instead, my reaction to the one-star is a simple shrug. I find my response quite shocking for one simple fact. It means my skin has grown thicker as an author. I’m not sure how that happened, because I remember the first time I got edits back from an editor. Every last red mark felt like blood dripping out of the knife wound in my back at that time. And now I barely blink when someone leaves a poor rating. I think this is called growth, or maturity, or something like that.

How have you handled criticism of any sort? Have you shrugged it off, or have you found yourself struggling with it?


  1. Jeff, I used to get upset when I got low rankings, but a very wise fellow author told me to look up my very favourite book of all time and it will have one and two star reviews also! So I did, and guess what - that greatest classic, Wind in the Willows, had not only one and two star reviews but a couple were not very complimentary. That put me in my place very quickly! I am pretty philosophical now, like you :) I do however, re-buy my own books on kindle every so often to check that the formatting hasn't slipped - which happened once with disastrous results - but apart from that I just carry on blundering through my writing! Best wishes :)

    1. Diana: Whenever I'm down in the dumps on anything writing related, I generally go read the 1-star reviews for Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop. Those usually make me break out in laughter. Thanks for commenting!


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