Most of my readers who have read Back to December have praised it. They've been excited to read the next book and have given me stellar reviews. Of course, they aren't posting those reviews on Amazon or at Goodreads, so I have to contend with feedback at those places from people who are giving it.
Yesterday, I got a really crappy review on both Amazon and Goodreads - one star, which I personally reserve for things I really loathe. I have posted 583 reviews on Goodreads. Of those reviews, I have four, yes 4 books I've given 1 star, two of which I read in high school and two that were books I did-not-finish (one was a book club selection). I have 26 two-star reviews, and since many of them are somewhat recent, I can say I gave detailed reasons why it was I personally didn't like the books. I've rarely ever said I would never read another book by any author that I hadn't given at least a couple shots. Heck some of my 2-star reviews were for authors I've read many of their books and continue to do so.
When I compared books with this bad reviewer on Goodreads, I found we had only 3 books in common. That's 3 books I've read, and I just said I have reviewed 583 of them. I have several on my 'currently reading' list and 609 on my 'to-read' list, yet I have 3 in common with this reviewer: my book and two by another new, self-published author. I find it suspicious that the person who gave me the bad review in both places also gave 5-star reviews to that author's two books, for which I gave a detailed critique. I had tried to contact the author directly before to discuss my comments prior to posting them, but had no success. So, I published an honest review that, frankly, was generous for the first book. And in fact, my review was higher than I felt the work deserved because I wanted to boost that author's rating so more people would read a new author like myself. Trashing one author to give props to another isn't going to help anyone.
Thank you, Goodreads, for telling me to take a deep breath and don't reply! Just don't do it! So, instead of replying there or at Amazon, I'm posting to my blog instead.
They trashed my characters and my writing, both of which I chock up to spite or subjectivity. But they also indicated that Back to December is full of grammatical errors, and I take issue with that. I just wanted to point out something to my fans and my future readers. If you ever find grammatical, spelling or typing errors in my work, please let me know. My editor and I both worked very hard to find every one, and yet I know they are probably still in there somewhere. Even people like Nora Roberts still have those kinds of issues. So to say that my work is full of them, either the person is lying, trash talking and being rude or else they have no idea what good grammar is. And unlike Nora Roberts, I have complete control over updates to my published work, so I'll gladly fix the errors.
I really hope the other author isn't encouraging behavior like that, but I'll continue to do what I always have: read and be honest if I'm unhappy with what I read.