Sunday, August 22, 2010

Suck It Up, Yet Again and One More Time ad nauseum

Trying to publish novels, short stories and poetry is a hard row to hoe, and writers need encouragement, which one gets from a writer's group, like-minded internet groups, fellow seekers, and sometimes even published writers.  Still, it's a lonely, gut-wrenching business, and rejection is one's constant companion.   Often, one feels "been down so long it looks like up to me," to use an old phrase from the sixties (?). 

So I've sent some poetry out into the world, and the world said, 'Yes!'  to a few short stories, and one novel, which started life as an e-book back in 2001 when no one had ever heard of e-books.  The publishers went belly up.  They did give me two editors, and one was good and one was bad, i.e. the copy editor.  I tried to fix what she broke, but proofreading  is not my thing.

In high school, we took some test like you might take to find out if you had good skills identifying typos (it was actually a clerical test) and I scored something like 20 percentile, and my mother shut up about my taking secretarial courses other than typing.   I suck at finding typos. 

So when the e-book company folded,  I took The Shadow Warriors to a POD company and got an ISBN and they listed it on Amazon and I actually sold a few hundred copies, donated a bunch, and got about 85 percent positive reviews, some VERY positive, and some critical but still with a lot of good things to say. 

Image my surprise, horror, shock, and devastation when I checked Amazon yesterday and found a totally negative, repulsive, yucky ANONYMOUS review of my novel.  A real stab in the back.  Deliberate. By someone who had never reviewed a single other book on Amazon.  By someone I suspect did not actually read any of my novel, just trashed it. .

One might guess Payback Time, except I have very few (and all positive) reviews on Amazon and have never breathed a less than positive opinion about any of my fellow published writers.  Unpubbed either.  O.K., maybe I snarked about James Patterson once or twice, but honest, most  of my fellow writers actually write good, readable, even riveting prose.  If I happen to put down a book after the first fifty pages, I don't broadcast the act.  And I sure as hell don't "review" that book anonymously. 

I mean, really.  If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it. And don't kick somebody who's been down so long, etc.  At Toastmasters, we use the sandwich critique.  Something positive, something critical, and something positive.  Constructive criticism.

Maybe she/he (why do I think she) was having a bad day.  One star means "not worth the paper it's printed on."  Total negativity.  Some people think Amazon reviewers are frustrated writers.  Dunno.  Lots of them are really very good reviewers.  But you know what they say about a few bad apples. . .

Back to writing, querying, and well, sucking it up. 


No comments: