Ego Mush

posted on Monday

The ReckonersYou don’t know when or just how, but it’s out there.

The Bad Review.

Let’s say that again, shall we? Using the Monster Truck Announcer Voice?


Sigh.   The one where you simply fail to connect with the reviewer.  Fail, fail, fail.

Not, alas, one of those spewing nasty grams that makes it obvious the reader has an ax to grind. (OMG, this book has people who eat meat/eat vegetables/wear toe jewelry/snort alien beverages through a twisty straw and IT REALLY SUXX!!)


No, one of the ones where the reviewer speaks thoughtfully, but clearly just doesn’t approve.

The one where the reviewer says, “This [insert writing element] came in at such a zero for me that I put the book down.”

Especially when [writing element] happens to be terribly important to you.

So you ponder where you went so wrong for this person, and then you notice…but,  s/he seemed confused about [this specific] and the whole point of [that specific] was the opposite of how s/he took it…

(Can we just stop for a moment to admire how I’m talking about this without talking about it? Go, me!)

Unfortunately, since the review remains thoughtful, that leads to more pondering.  Pretty soon, the brain is in a total spaz attack.  Because hey, it’s tempting to think that alongside those factual misinterpretations, such nuances as [writing element] might well have been overlooked. But then that means the writer part of me certainly failed to connect with the reader well enough for any of it to be seen.  My prose, yeye’s eyes…not sympatico.  Or no!  Maybe the whole thing JUST REALLY SUXX!


*insert foot stomp*

I want everyone to love me!

(Let’s not use the Monster Truck Announcer Voice for that one. That’s just creepy.)

Anyway. There’s nothing else for it.



You don’t know when or just how…and then suddenly it’s now.

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
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10 Responses to Ego Mush

  1. Lorraine says:

    Been there, done that.

    I also hate those one-star Amazon reviews. But worse, they give you a one-star review and then pick up the NEXT book and give IT a one-star review. You want to say, “Hey, if you don’t like them–STOP BUYING/READING THEM.” But I think a lot of these nasty Amazon reviewers just like to piss on someone. They must have really empty lives.

  2. Doranna says:

    This was clearly not one of those Amazon things (it wasn’t on Amazon, for one thing, and was, as I said, thoughtfully done). I feel this pathological need to be clear on that lest it seem like I’m just snarling at the reviewer like a spoiled arteest.

    As for Amazon…when I go to look at a book, I head for the one-stars first thing. If I find nothing there but vitriol, I discard the lot of them from my decision-making process. If I find a thoughtful one-star, I see if the reviewer is coming from the same place that I might. (If their complaint is “too much stuff about horses!” then this is not going to be a problem for me…).

    Oddly, I find more often than not, it’s the one-stars that help me make up my mind to BUY something.

    (But these days I go to Amazon to research, then spread my buying among many vendors. Sometimes Amazon, too, but…no more auto-loyalty. That goes both ways, Amazon!)

  3. Elizabeth says:


    I know exactly what you mean. The bad review is what suxxx. Even a good review that gets the facts wrong can cause ego mush because how did someone get [that] out of [this.] You can’t even chew on the author of the good review in your head, because they said they liked the book, but….how did they, how could anyone possibly, think [this] meant [that?] Drives you crazy. Ego mush indeed…good way to put it.

  4. Robert says:

    What’s wrong with snarling like a spoiled arteeest?

    Or better yet change into a form that is capable of sending out loud roars.


  5. Doranna says:

    Elizabeth, you are so right! A good review with wrong facts is worrisome, too.

    Though if I had to choose between a good review that gets it wrong and a bad one that gets it wrong… ;>

    I think what drives me most nuts is when someone says, “You didn’t do THIS!” when in fact you most deliberately did. Maybe not well enough, maybe not clearly enough…but…

    *foot stomp*

    (In this case, the specific THIS was more subjective than logistical, so…a matter of taste/opinion.)

  6. Doranna says:


    I like your second suggestion very much. Yes I do.

  7. KarenJG says:

    Yeah, but then there’s THIS one: (Yes, I went a-googling for the “bad” one. Haven’t found it yet.

  8. Doranna says:


    I like the way you think!

    Google out “LA Ray blog” to find it. I don’t really want to put the link here…

  9. Woman With Four Cat Children says:

    I’m patiently waiting for money to buy the book so I can complete my Doranna collection. So I obviously can’t review yet.

    Please ignore bad reviews unless you feel they can positively influence your writing. Bad reviews are negative, negative makes you sad, sad makes you mope and not pay attention to the fur babies as (in their opinion) you should.

    Seriously, some of your books I’ve liked more than others and some I’ve read and reread and reread (A Feral Darkness) until I really really need to buy a new copy. But I always find something I like, sympathize with or just plain old can’t get enough of.

    So just think, for every bad review you’ve probably got at least one or two crazy fans like me who are just waiting for the next paycheck so we can go to the bookstore and embrace the next story. We’re just not as loud or as noticable. But we love you anyway.

    By the way, the cats find me giggling over your books alarming but they like that I sit still to read them.

    The Woman With Four Cat Children.

    • Doranna says:

      Hello, Woman with Four Cat Children! Nice to see you here!

      And thank you for those wise words. Of course you’re right. And if I absorb that ego boo, maybe the ol’ ego will be a little less mushy! ;>

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