Another Newbie Mistake…Or Was It?

Hi All!

Since I’ve become a published author, it feels like I’ve made every newbie mistake there is. My most recent authorial faux pas involved a particularly harsh 1 star review I received. Let me preface this by saying, so far, the narrative reviews that I have seen for When One Night Isn’t Enough, my debut Harlequin Medical Romance for any newcomers, have been complimentary, averaging 4 and 5 stars. So that 1 star was a shocker.

Authorial words of wisdom from the pros: Never read a bad review. You can have dozens of good reviews, and it will be the one bad review that sticks with you.  

Newbie mistake: I read it. (And the pros were right!)

Now, I know I can’t expect everyone to like my writing. As much as that pains me (perfectionist that I am), I have come to terms with it. But it was the wording of this particular review that made me feel attacked on a personal level, and that I took issue with. (At least I did after I stopped crying. Admitting that is probably another newbie mistake. They just keep coming! But I’m being honest here.)

Authorial words of wisdom from the pros: Never take to social media when emotions are high

Newbie mistake: I tweeted about it.

@WendySMarcus Just read the harshest review of my book (and me) on Goodreads. Totally mean. Apparently you all should be avoiding me like the plague.

OK. Not my wisest move, because I attracted attention to that negative review and basically sent people to read it. In my defense, I was alone and outraged and hurt and I needed to vent. (I bet all newbies say that. And here I am blogging about it. Will I ever let the matter rest? Will the blunders never cease? Don’t be mad, Nas. I promise I’ll stop talking about it after this!) 

So where were we? Oh…The Tweet. AKA, another one of my newbie mistakes. Or was it? Because I got an outpouring of support from my Twitter friends that cheered me up. More importantly, they reminded me that that review was one person’s opinion, and none of them agreed with it. I needed that confidence boost because my revisions on book #3 were do that very night. (Got them in as scheduled – thank you all very much!)

And something else to come of my Tweet, I sold books. I have no idea how many, but there was a significant change for the better in my sales numbers on Amazon.

So, do you believe any publicity is good publicity? Have you ever received a negative review or upsetting rejection letter? Did you take to social media?

For the record, I don’t plan on Tweeting about bad reviews in the future. And for anyone out there planning to write one, I won’t be reading it!

Blog Tour Update:   

My blog tour is winding down. Please check my News page to see where I’ll be this week and next. My final stop is at my friend Lacey Devlin’s blog on August 24th where I’ll be announcing the winner of the $50.00 U.S. currency Amazon gift card to the person who visited me at the most stops on my tour. I hope you’ll stop by to congratulate the winner.

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18 Comments

  • Posted August 18, 2011 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    Love it! The way I see it you took lemons and made lemonade 😉


  • Scarlet Wilson
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 4:07 AM | Permalink

    Bad reviews – don’t get me started…….
    Your book was fab Wendy, ignore the bad reviews x


  • Kaelee
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy ~ You can’t please everyone but you sure pleased me.
    I started out following you around and then my life got in the way. I hope you enjoyed your tour of the internet.
    I am looking forward to your next book in January.

    I think you took a negative and turned it into a positive and learnt a thing or two along the way. One bad review does not equal a bad book. Maybe the reviewer had personal baggage.


  • Posted August 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    Hi Lacey!
    Thanks! I love lemonade! Looking forward to visiting your blog. (I’ll get my post to you by the weekend.)


  • Posted August 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Hi Scarlet!
    Thanks! (And I wouldn’t dream of getting you started – at least not here on my blog!)


  • Posted August 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    Hi Kaelee!
    I’m so glad you liked my book and are looking forward to reading the next one.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  • Laney4
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Oh, Wendy!
    I finished reading your book last night, and I have to tell you (yes, I must) that I loved it, loved it, loved it! I grinned when reading various phrases you used throughout, as I could just hear people actually saying them in those contexts. I loved how you finished up the various subplots so well – especially by including an enjoyable epilogue. I turned the pages quickly and you left me wanting more when I was done – not more from that book necessarily, but wanting to read more of your books in the future.
    Yes, Wendy, YOU have that effect on your readers, and I am thankful that not only are your books in my future, but “talking” with you on the computer is definitely in my future too.
    Have a super duper day, Wendy. You’ve made mine!


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    Hi Laney4!
    Thank you so much for your kind words. It makes me realize that you and Kaelee, Lacey, Scarlett and all fans of medical romance are who I write for. And it’s your opinions that matter most. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed my book, and even more thrilled to be chatting with you about it here on my blog.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit me and for making my day a super duper one!!!!


  • Posted August 18, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    Yay! Wendy! You’re a published author now so yeah, you generate such deep feelings in people! Be it negative or positive, but hey, people feel bound to say something about you and your books! So Yay!

    Yet what Vince said here:

    http://vmres.blogspot.com/2011/08/debut-novel-has-enough-good-stuff-to.html

    was so fantastic! And we all know who Vince is as he’s not an obscure person writing behind some unpronouncable name!

    I urge all our friends, copy the link and go see what Vince said!

    Lacey I love lemonade too!


  • Posted August 18, 2011 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy. I’m so sorry someone gave that wonderful book a bad review. Bad reviews hurt and we’re only human so don’t beat yourself up over tweeting about it. I’ve decided being a debut author is one giant learning experience.

    As for your sales bump, I’d bet people went to your Goodreads page and saw all the great reviews (as opposed to the one bad one!). Readers are smart. They won’t take the word of one bad reviewer when there are a bunch of good ones.

    Soldier on, my friend! You wrote a wonderful book.


  • Posted August 19, 2011 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Hi Nas!
    This bad review has certainly brought out my fans, which I really appreciate. You have a great point about Vince not being an obscure person with an unpronounceable name! He is very vocal about what he likes and doesn’t like, and I am thrilled to fall into his like category!

    And you know what, my editor said the same thing about my writing bringing out strong emotion, whether good or bad!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  • Posted August 19, 2011 at 12:12 AM | Permalink

    Hi Adrienne!
    Being a debut writer is in fact one giant learning experience. Which surprises me because I’m not some young kid with no business/world experience. And yet this is all so new to me!

    Thanks so much for stopping by to show your support. I really appreciate it! I can’t wait to read Man Law and order your second book. I read the excerpt and it was wonderful!


  • Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Other people take lemons and make lemonade. You take lemons and make Jeroboam Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945 – of which it is said each drop is worth the price of a diamond. You’re a gem!


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the lovely words, Regina! (And the wonderful review on Goodreads!)


  • Posted August 21, 2011 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    Wendy, Bad reveiws are part of the package. I’ve had bad ones and good ones. I remember one from Publisher’s Weekly where the reviewer wanted to re-write my book. The good thing is that I sold out on that book and made money. After a number of years in this game, I seldom even read the good ones.


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    Hi Janet!
    Thanks! As always, I appreciate your support and your willingness to share your wisdom!


  • Posted August 22, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy,

    Apparently there’s something to be said for learning things in our own footsteps..At least now, you wouldn’t bother looking at those reviews!!!

    I think each book is the best for someone, worst for someone else! That being said, of course, I don’t think I can keep quiet when I get a scathing review either… I might need to shed a tear or two and try to gather inspiration from wherever possible….

    I am so sorry that someone didn’t like it, but then it’s their problem…not ours 🙂 ie I am talking like a reader who loved your book to pieces… (Of course every bit of it is intact)!

    (Hugs) on the bad review, but the way you have handled it is awesome 🙂 And yay on the sales 🙂


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    Hi Ju!
    Thanks so much…for your kind words and your dedication to my blog tour!


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