Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reviews - The good and the bad

My bubble has burst. I got my first bad review - trashed by Warwick Roger in North & South magazine.

I'm not one of those writers who can shrug their shoulders and say, whatever to a bad review, so I have to admit to my confidence being rather shaken. I know its only one man's opinion and that's the whole point of reviews - to offer an opinion, but it still hurts when the baby you have invested so much of your life and time into gets decimated in a few sentences in a national publication.

At least I had a boost by the end of the day, with a review of The Ringmaster in The Star, which is our midweek community paper. Their reviewer loved the local girl's work - you can read it here.

So reviews, they're an emotional roller coaster. The good ones make you smile, the bad ones, ah well, I guess it all adds to the process of growing a thick hide.

In the meantime - pass the tissues, the toffee pops and the Pinot.


The Paradoxical Cat said...

Dear Vanda,

I hope you get some comfort from this wise piece of advice from Samuel Goldwyn:

"Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them."

Big hug. And you're in good company. Think of all the other authors who have been trashed just because a reviewer liked the sound of their own voice doing it.

Erin said...

Keep your chin up, remember if you'd listened to the first person who rejected the manuscript for Overkill you would never be in the situation....

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Hi again Vanda! While in the supermarket today I had a sneak look at that N&S review, and guess what, I don't think Roger has wholesale trashed your book at all. He's been glib and a bit nasty at one point, but I've seen worse, and that does unfortunately go with the territory. More to the point, he has had some positive things to say - especially about your excellent characterisations. He seems to like the series and is even looking forward to the next instalment. He admits to enjoying the first book better than this one, but after all he is entitled to that subjective opinion.

I know it hurts, especially when criticism is unfair (eg that the Dunedin policemen were ALL trying to get into Sam's pants!) but you've done well to get a review in a very competitive market and from an outsider's perspective he has tried to balance the score sheet with some praise.

A slightly snarky review will sometimes pique the interest of potential readers more than a fulsome one. And it's what your readers think that matters.

Vanda Symon said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts, all.

Couldn't find toffee pops or Pinot, so made do with 70% dark chocolate and a riesling.