Reading the reviews for my books has taught me two things: sometimes bad things happen to good people, and there are evil-doers out there with cruel, steely eyes and bad posture who will stop at nothing to crush your dreams and destroy all that you hold dear in this cold ....
Sorry. That's not what I intended at all. I have no idea where that silliness came from.
What I meant to say is that reading the reviews for my books has taught me two important rules: First, I shouldn't be reading the reviews for my books. Second, if I'm going to ignore rule one, then I shouldn't over-analyze the reviews; that only confuses me. For example, among the reviewers who gave Hillari's Head good marks, one did so because the book is a lot like Law and Order -- which that particular reviewer loves -- while another rated it highly because it's nothing like Law and Order -- which that reviewer loathes.
I'm using this guidance in planning my next book; I'm thinking cookbook, or maybe bicycle repair manual.
Happily, like the two readers mentioned above, 96% of the reviewers have enjoyed Hillari's Head, with 70% giving it five stars. And then there's that solitary two-star rating bestowed by one stalwart reviewer. Naturally, I ignored the other ratings and reviews and obsessed on this two-star condemnation. So many questions: Was it meant as a literary lethal blow, or merely a brutish beat down? Had my mother suddenly learned how to use the Internet? And where is that bourbon I got for my birthday? (Lord help me if I ever get a one-star rating.) Keeping in spirit with rule two, I closely examined the sage reviewer's other 1,000-some ratings -- an exercise that confirmed the wisdom of rule two; I really am going to try to follow that rule from now on.
As it turns out, my book is in good company. Its two stars tie it with such titles as How to Eat Like a Hot Chick;* Like Cats and Dogs: Revealing Your Canine and Feline Self; The Exceptional Trainer: A No Nonsense Guide For the Trainers of Emergency Communications (a personal favorite; the musical really didn't do the book justice); and Conversations With the Fat Girl. Well, if one can be judged by the company one keeps, this list speaks volumes. Heck, we two-star luminaries even beat out such one-star works as The Cannibals and Dear Sun, I am Real.
I do feel better now ... I do.
Of course, the intrepid reviewer's one and two-star awardees are not in the same league as such three and four-star titles as The Earth, My Butt and Other Round Things; Writing Children's Books For Dummies; or At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much. But maybe one day, someday ... sigh, dare to dream. One thing that did not surprise me was the three-star rating (out of five) my bold reviewer awarded to "The Bard's" Hamlet; all reviewers inflate that over-hyped, badly-in-need-of-a-comb-over hack's work.
But enough about my resolute two-star reviewer; he/she was simply giving an honest opinion -- apparently without the benefit of watching a single episode of Law and Order. I'm not bitter. I just don't want to talk about it anymore, and I'll thank you to respect my family's privacy during this difficult time.
Besides, there's one other curious thing about the reviews I wanted to note: Hillari's Head has been rated by folks who I suspect have come no closer to the book than I have to the Kardashian sisters (and I assure you that I would never get near one of those other-worldly creatures -- even if their bodyguards didn't body-slam me to the asphalt every time I approach within 100 feet). I suspect this because Hillari's Head has not yet been released, and I have a list of the reviewers with advance copies. I'm not complaining, mind you (about the phantom reviews, that is; the body-slamming business is getting somewhat wearisome): these generous and possibly prescient readers have graced the book with four and five-star ratings.
It's probably best to just follow rule two here. No sense over-analyzing the thing.**
*These are probably all fine books. But I do find the titles humorous.
**That would only lead me to conclude that a reviewer loaned out my book to his/her friends. But if I knew that, then I'd have no reason to write about the Kardashian sisters, and no blog is complete without at least one mention of the Kardashian sisters. The Kardashian sisters sell.
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