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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, January 23, 2006

Creative Re-Reviewing

by Jill Monroe

About a week or so, a pretty flying discussion took place over at Romancing The Blog on book reviews.

I thought I might share my perspective as an author.

Most everyone who has employment has a performance review. Usually this entails a meeting with your supervisor, sometimes even over coffee. A form can be involved. Although these reviews can take place in many different ways (I'm picturing a scene from the TV shoe The Office), I can say with almost certainly the results of your evaluation are never printed in a magazine or posted on the Internet for all to see.

A month or so before my first book, Never Naughty Enough, was released, one of my good friends e-mailed me. "Hey, I saw your review in RT - what did you think?"

Well, I hadn't seen it. And just what did her question mean? Was it a bad review? Did the review say something weird? Did it say my book was bad and I needed to lose 15 pounds? Surely if it were a good review, my friend wouldn't want to know what I thought. She'd say congratulations.

Luckily she e-mailed me the score (4 - yea) and the last sentence.
Jill Monroe's debut, Never Naughty Enough, is a strong effort, seamlessly blending raucous humor and pure sensuality.

Of course, if you know me, you've heard me talk about how my ability to obsess, will know I spent hours, and I mean hours on the word "effort" Click here for an example.

Anyway, like an idiot, I signed up my name for google alerts. Google will send you a nifty little e-mail anytime you're mentioned. Let's just get this out right now - MISTAKE!!! And no, I no longer get the alerts anymore.

So picture the evening, kids in bed, dh planning an evening at home with me. My name pops up. It's a review site, and based on two or three words - NOT GOOD.

I've likened in the past getting a bad review to flowing through the stages of grieving. Denial and Anger are first and on the heels of each other. Then comes the forwarding of the bad review to all your friends and critique partners. A round of blasting e-mails, usually with the subject header of “They’re Wrong” and “They Totally Missed It” floods your inbox.

Next comes the stage involving chocolate and diet cherry cokes from Sonic (I celebrate with these items, too). The last stage is acceptance. This stage only comes after I have rewritten the review.

This is my favorite part, and easy to do. And although I have not consulted with Dr. Debra, it's very therapeutic, and I'm sure she'll say it's a healthy release. I remove all the words I don’t like from the written review. For instance, the new (and highly improved) review I received became:

Never Naughty Enough is… entertaining and unexpected.

Hey, honestly, all those words were in that review!

I call this technique of getting over a bad review Creative Re-Reviewing. And although I hope you're never in the need to creative re-review, feel free to use it if needed.


At 10:38 AM, Blogger bridget said...

BWAHAHA Jill! Some exercises to hone those skills.

1. Re-write the following review: "I have never read anything more boring. Only a cow with a lobotomy could find this drivel entertaining."

Re-Review: "I have never read anything more...entertaining."

2. Re-write the following review: "Jane Author is so utterly foul, she could only have been published by the use of extremely dark magic. Her pen and her computer should be destroyed, as they are probably bewitched by the same evil, powerful wizardry."

Re-Review: "Jane Author is...magic. Her pen and her computer...are...bewitched by...powerful wizardry."

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Bridget - A PLUS!!!!!!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Colleen Gleason said...

As one who's not yet entered the world of being reviewed, I'm delighted by your therapeutic suggestions, Jill! Thanks.

And also for the hint of not signing up for Google alerts. Good idea.

I have already tagged my critique partners to be my review-watchers. They are to forward me only the good ones.

And I hereby vow in front of the entire World Wide Web not to check my sales rank on Amazon.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Cute exercise. (grin) My 1st book came out last August but it wasn't until last week that I found an absolutely scathing review of the book. Amidst top notch atta-girls and glowing praise was this huge monster of a slam. I think things work out for the best--I didn't find it until months later. At this late date, I don't care and am not inclined to rewrite her 1200-or-so-word review (she hated it that bad) - lol - but I'm gonna try your overcoming the bad review technique next time. *wink* Great post.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

Good Post! I'm in fear of bad reviews and I'm not in a position to get them yet. hah

I saw enough good ones about your book to cancel it out.

Of course, I had to look hard to find it. Put me on that send list of yours so I can cheer you up if it ever happens again-- tho I'm betting it won't. :)

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Great way to deal with those reviews, Jill.

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Lyn - here's hoping you won't need the exercise!!!

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Rinda - did you go looking for my bad review?!


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