I recently pulled (unpublished) one of my novels from Amazon due to some poor reviews. It had been there for over six years. In the first year it had garnered a couple of 5star reviews but then the negative ones poured in, the most recent in 2016. I’d actually forgotten about them and hadn’t read every one – until last night. Around five years ago I uploaded a revised version. But too late, for all the difference it might have made. What was worse, negative reviews get prominence, since potential readers tend to find those the most helpful – as a useful warning. That of course can kill the sales of a book from any author who isn’t famous, who doesn’t have an established reputation. How much sales of my subsequent books were affected I’m not sure, but I’m not prepared to take the risk.
I’ve never understood the motivation for writing a wholly negative review voluntarily. I guess it has a lot to do with expectation not being met. Maybe it’s an indication of annoyance, or nothing more than trolling. It often seems that these negative reviewers have an agenda; a grievance that goes deeper than from having read a bad book. Perhaps they are themselves failed authors who want to hit out. I’d be interested to discover.
Over the years I have adapted my writing style to accommodate a different or changing reading style. And admittedly I now struggle with any novel not simply plotted see A Novel Style of Writing?
So if you are curious about why my book provoked such strong reactions it can be downloaded here for free. I accept it is a challenging read, so be warned. And don’t feel compelled to finish it like some seem to have.
Reviews are still welcome. But no trolls please.