I used to shake my head at authors who said they valued negative reviews as much as positive ones. Always felt disingenuous to me. But now I get it. Usually, anyway.
Okay, first, some negative reviews are just idiotic and that’s always going to be the case. For example, people so pissed off that Sophistication is too profane or violent that they actually lowered their review scores based on those two measurements alone.
Welp, sorry guys–you really should’ve read the description, which literally says it’s both of those things. Look:
Step into a near-future America overrun by competing tech giants and widespread social decay in this raunchy, violent, hilarious and disturbing science-fiction thriller.
See the words I bolded? That means there’s going to be blood and f-bombs. Not sure what else to tell ya.
Anyway, as I’ve noted, most readers have liked my first two books. That’s awesome. It’s incredibly satisfying to read positive reviews from readers who not only understood, but also appreciated something I had planned and hoped would jump off the page.
Sometimes, though, a critical review will point out something really insightful. A while ago, a customer review of Dead Weight noted very accurately that my knowledge of firearms is, shall we say, subpar. And yes, that shit is true. True to the maximum. I love being called out for genuine mistakes. The good part about the digital age is that if I really care enough, I can go back and edit tweaks back into the original work, re-publish, and then pretend as though I got it right from the start. (Joking, kinda.)
But occasionally negative reviews come from so far out of left field that I’m left scratching my head or even giggling. This is one such example, and it’s spectacular:
Author’s note: Name and parts of review blurred to keep the anonymity of the customer and also to avoid any spoilers for folks who haven’t read Sophistication.
All right, so never mind that this person clearly voted for Trump. Whatever. Sure, the man’s a proven pathological liar and conman, but I respect your idiotic decision even though it’s probably based on fear and hate. Good for you. And the WOKE stuff (in all caps) isn’t a bad way to attack a book that supposedly falls on the wrong side of your political beliefs. I lolzed a few times at the comments.
But then we get to the end where video game journalists are apparently automatically “Social Justice Warriors” and “a group even worse than journalists in general.”
Mike, you hate the free press? Do you also hate democracy? Candy and rainbows? Love?