The OUCH of reader choice


I just had one of THOSE reviews on one of my books :(. Not a bad critique per se – I’ve had my fair share of those! – but one of those that dismisses the writing with the lowest rating and (in my opinion as author) a badly mistaken assessment of the themes.

I don’t think I’ve ever published anything that’s beyond the pale (though I may have written it in my fanfic days *g*). It’s a fantasy story, too, so some of our more realistic, modern-day standards and mores won’t apply anyway. But the reader hasn’t given me any leeway for that *sigh*.

I’m not blogging today for sympathy :), and I’m not weeping away over here. I’m just interested – again – at the interaction of the reading/writing world. I’ve actually just written a comment on someone else’s blog about how authors can’t and shouldn’t legislate for what readers ultimately choose / ignore / like / hate. And I totally support that free choice! I’m a reader as well.

But … OUCH :).

Note: I’m with friends this week, and they all said “oh, you must reply to the review and explain that’s not what the story meant…” but of course I know my Author Etiquette Handook well, and the chapter on Do Not Engage with Bad Reviews *lol*.

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About clarelondon

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters. Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind... she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home. Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here: Website: E-mail: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads: Amazon: Google+ :

7 thoughts on “The OUCH of reader choice

  1. It’s hard not to want to respond – especially when the reader completely misses the point of the story. But unfortunately people have a firm idea in their head of what the story should be, and completely overlook what the story is – I feel for you and am sending you virtual hugs xx


    • Oh yes, I know too well what that can lead to :). So I just smile tightly. As one of the recent blogs said on the what-gender-writes-what topic – when you pubish your book it’s no longer a relationship only between you and the book.You let everyone else in! Beware, those authors who can’t or won’t accept that 🙂


    • Good assessment as always, Chris! I have definitely got more tolerant as time’s gone on. And this wasn’t a bash-the-author thing. Much. :):) Hope things are going ok for you! x


  2. I can totally relate. I had a review where some of the comments they made were absolutely not true. In fact one of the things they complained about was one of the things that always bothers me in other people’s writing and I made damn sure I didn’t do it in mine. It was difficult not to engage. A friend suggested I create a “sock puppet” to refute it, but that doesn’t feel right to me either.
    I console myself by thinking that they’re just jealous. Even if they’re not an author, they are jealous that you’ve had the wherewithal to publish and probably get lots of great reviews. I haven’t read many of your reviews, but you’re one of my favorite M/M authors, so obviously you obviously write quality stories.
    It’s impossible to write something that everyone will like. What I find amusing is that some of the “criticism” I get in comments is actually intended by me. For example “like a soap opera” — that’s exactly what I was going for. LOL! Also, “too cliche.” That cracks me up because I wrote some of my characters specifically to be cliche and then I had them do things that absolutely did not fit with the cliche. Those reviewers I think didn’t read beyond a surface level, or maybe not at all.
    Ignore them is the best strategy–difficult as that may be at times.
    Hugs! I love your writing!


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