Katharine Kerr May 11th, 2007
Why do authors torment themselves by obsessing over negative reviews and ignoring the good ones? I do this, I know other authors who do it. We can get ten great reviews and one nasty comment by some wet git on its own, little-read web page — and be sure we’ve failed.
Yesterday I fell prey to this syndrome in a particularly stupid way. THE SPIRIT STONE was reviewed in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, and yes, I know that many authors would kill for a PW review, just to begin with. The review of TSS was very positive, but — ah, it’s that “but” that’ll get you every time. It started with “After the disappointment of THE GOLD FALCON . . . ”
Now, have I been gloating over getting a good review of STONE in PW? Are you kidding? No, I’ve been obsessing over the fact that an unnamed reviewer made a gratuituous slap at its predecessor, which has been out and selling okay for a year. Apparently said reviewer thought FALCON was too simple and straightfoward, after my editors had bludgeoned me into making it that way, so perhaps that’s why I’m so brought down? No, I’d obsess on it even if the person had made some totally off-the-wall comment.
Anyone else here have this twist in their psychology?
And, as a side note, isn’t it cowardly of reviewers not to sign their reviews?