The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Bad Reviews

Today we have a guest blog by Wayne Zurl on what to do when someone writes a bad review of your good book.  This is a great synthesis of a lot of bits and pieces of advice we've all heard, but sometimes forget......Thank you, Wayne.

Some people have no bedside manner. That’s certainly true of a few book reviewers.

Don’t you hate to get bombed by a blogger who has only six followers and spends most of his/her time passing judgment on kitchen appliances? You ask yourself, “Why didn’t he/she leave my book alone and pick up a Veg-O-Matic?”

How should you handle the pain of a bad review? Let’s take it by the numbers and I’ll give you my thoughts.

1-Allow the steam to escape from your ears before proceeding.

2-Get all thoughts of physical violence and verbal retribution out of your system before moving on to step three.

3-Look at the poorly worded, opinionated, juvenile, asinine, obnoxious, nasty, insensitive, grits-for-brains review, written by an obviously uneducated cretin, OBJECTIVELY and assess its merit. Perhaps among all the hurtful statements, something can be learned from a valid point (no matter how ill-phrased).

4-Do not immediately click on Amazon’s comment box and write, “Oh, Yeah?”

5-If you must reply, (and there may not be a necessity to do so) you owe the reviewer (and your reputation) civility. Type in: “Thanks for your opinion,” and send it on its way. Then without delay, grab a paper and pen and for your mental wellbeing, finish your thought with: You moron! Up yours! What makes you think you would know a good book/story/poem (strike out those that do not apply) if it bit you in the ass? Your psychotherapist will be proud of you for practicing catharsis.

My best advice (and who follows his/her own advice?): Don’t dwell on the negative thoughts of others. Most great authors have received negative criticism from someone.

Second best advice (and I like this one much better): If available, print out a photo of the reviewer and hope you see them on the street some day. This advice, from a kid originally from Brooklyn.


  1. Wonderful advice Wayne. It is always best to consider the source.

  2. Hey Jerry, Thanks for inviting me to your blog and posting my short essay. And thanks, Marianne, for taking the time to visit and comment. All the best, WZ

  3. I've had a bad review and what was so bad was the person went on and on about how it was so much like the Underworld Trilogy. The funniest thing is if he would have read the blog about the story he would have noticed that it was based on that story only with different names and in my own point of view. LOL I told him that he should have read it first that it was his problem and not mine : )