Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Equal Rights for Positives

by Bethany Maines

A funny thing happens when you read your own reviews – you start thinking about them. 

I’m about a month away from completing the manuscript for Glossed Cause, the fourth book in the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, and I made the mistake of checking out a few of the reviews on High-Caliber Concealer (CM #3).  I knew it was a bad idea.  It’s always a bad idea.  What happens when I get to a bad one, hmmm?  It’s not like I can look the reviewer up, knock on their door and explain how monumentally wrong they are.  But you think, “I’ll just look at the good ones.  Just one.  I can stop there.”

You know this a total lie, right? Reviews are like Pringles for the eyes.  Like I can stop with just one.  I open up Amazon, I’m looking and… then I read this: “If you enjoy reading about Stephanie Plum, you'll love Nicki! Maines is getting better with each book.

And I thought, “Hell, yeah!” <insert fist pump here>

Just one?  But I have popped – I cannot stop. I should read more! 

Eventually, of course, I got to one with a complaint. I’d spent too much time on Nikki’s personal life. Gah! But, but, but… Glossed Cause is about her FATHER (among other things).  What do I dooooooo????

Now I’m stuck staring at the screen, half way through the book, trying to figure out if I should turn the ship or stay the course.  “Stay the course!” my internal editor yells.  But it’s hard to hear over the crashing waves of doubt. 

I was complaining a negative comment on another project to my husband he said, “Well, I think it was awesome and my vote counts more.”  <insert lightbulb going on here>

Why do the negatives get more votes?  Shouldn’t the positives get equal rights?  Here’s what I and anyone else who is stuck in this trap are going to do:  We’re going to go back, we’re going to read the first positive review, and we’re going to believe that one.  Because Maines really is getting better with every book.


  1. LOVE your books. you are getting better with each book (not that was anything wrong with the previous ones).STAY THE COURSE.
    Swanton, Ohio

  2. My new mantra, when I get a not-so-nice review, is to go to the famous names. Read their bad reviews. I say this with all humility: reading their bad reviews makes me happy--not because I don't want them to get wonderful reviews; I do! But because they are great reminders that we all get negative reviews from time to time. Reading theirs reminds me that we can't please everyone, and we shouldn't try because it's an impossible task that will drive us nuts. If you believe strongly in what you wrote and you're getting at least as many or more good reviews than bad, then hard as it is, ya gotta accept them and move on. Now go read some famous authors' bad reviews. I'm telling you, it'll get you right in the feels. :-)

  3. Stay the course and laugh at your detractors. You're the one whose books keep being published.

    1. I am publishing myself. So, yeah. It's just part of the gig.