Wednesday, December 2, 2015

IWSG: The Dreaded, No Good, Very Bad Review

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day, the final one of the year! No worries, though. It's continuous, just like clockwork, and occurs on the first Wednesday of every month, every year, all year long. If you want to join, go HERE. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts, Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell! 

Do you have your mediation ears on? Okay, here I go!

I got my first 1-star review on Amazon and it was a bit devastating. It made me doubt myself and my writing abilities. I know I'm not the best writer out there. I'm still a work in progress. But the reviewer was a bit unkind. 

First, she made fun of something I didn't write: 

Let me be clear. The writing is trite...please find a different way to say "right before my very eyes." As opposed to what? My NOT very sorta eyes?

She quoted me on "right before my very eyes." I did a search of the final manuscript, even checked every sentence where "eyes" were mentioned, and it wasn't there. Nothing even came close to it

Apparently, here is the crux of the problem:

The story is good. I would have been willing to buy a new story had this one actually had an ending. I just hate being manipulated. This story and all others by the author are hereby banished from my kindle.

Even though the writing is "trite" she thought the story was "good" and would have been "willing to buy a new story". So the story wasn't actually that bad, she was just mad about the ending or what she considered the lack of an ending. 

Here's the dealio: I released the Afterlife series in three separate novellas. I tried to give each novella an ending for that particular story, while at the same time letting the reader know that there was more to the story and they'd have to buy the next book to get the full story. Second Death, the first book and the subject of this review is perma-free (so she didn't buy it). 

I sort of get where she's coming from, but I certainly didn't think in terms of "manipulation" when I set up the marketing strategy, i.e. read the first one for free, buy the other two if you're interested. 

I really do want to be fair, though. I want my readers to be happy and of course I always, always, always want to do the right thing. 

So, here are my questions for you:

Is this a bad marketing strategy?

Should I take books II and III down and only sell the series as a whole so that there is an "ending" readily available?

Thanks so much for your help!

What are your insecurities this month?