A writing colleague of mine recently had a mean one star review of her work. She was distraught about this. Yet it was clearly written by someone who had some sort of grudge and she also had a whole heap of four and five star reviews. I’ve had this happen too. The reviewer in my case had written a rival book. Except it wasn’t even really that – it was a book written on the same topic but for an entirely different readership. This book, published in 2003, is still in print, and has many good reviews and even letters of praise to the publishers. Even though it hasn’t yet made me into a millionaire.
Positive reviews, then, do not lead necessarily to prosperity. And we tend to focus on the negative – yes, I’m guilty of that too – and ignore the positive. Anyway, maybe the odd malicious one star review can be ignored. Perhaps the bland three star ones are more of a worry. And even then … perhaps we need to get real.