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The rule of thirds: No matter what you do, someone will hate you. Get over it and Write On!

No matter what you do in life, a third of the people will love you, a third will hate you, and the rest will be indifferent. Get over it and Write On!

Yes, I'm talking to myself. If you're listening, GREAT! It's good advice!

Is it easy advice?

Heck No!

For some reason, even though that percentage is rather low on my books--the percentage of people who hate my books runs about 4.6%--it still hurts. 

Note: I only averaged the 'firsts' in my books, the books I actively promote. Because if I go to the second, third, and fourth books in my series, those numbers drop drastically. Obviously, if readers don't like my first book, they don't go on to the rest of my books in a series, so those books receive little to zero one-star reviews.

So...if the number of one-star reviews we receive is less than five percent--Thank God ALL of the 33 1/3% of the haters don't write reviews--why do we get so depressed when we receive a one-star review?

Why do we readily believe what less than five percent of readers tell us, instead of embracing the 95%? 

I'm certain I'm not alone in this, right? When I receive a three, four, or five-star review, I'm always happy. But I don't run around and cheer. I smile, release a breath that it was a good review, and then carry on with my life.

BUT...when I get a one-star review... My head drops, my heart rate increases, I almost always stop what I'm doing and sulk a bit. Sometimes I run to the pantry for some dark chocolate, read the review to my hubby who says, "I'm sorry, babe." which often makes me feel a little better. 

And then if I'm really put off, I'll do something drastic like writing a blog post. today.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I care? Hey, she didn't even attack my writing. All she did was say it wasn't very exciting. So what? Didn't 95% of the people say they couldn't put it down? Yes, they did.

There, I feel so much better now, and I hope you do too. If you don't, let me tell you about an exercise I used to do. I don't have to do this exercise anymore, because even though I just sulked the last few minutes as I wrote this blog, I really have learned to take a one-star review with a grain of salt. We need one-star reviews. If we never got one-star reviews, other readers would wonder. Because even if you've never heard about the Rule of Thirds I mentioned above, almost everyone knows that you can't please everyone. If everyone says they love you, then someone is lying.

Oh...the exercise... Look up your favorite book of all time, preferably a bestseller that's been loved by millions worldwide. Check out the one-star reviews, read a few. I guarantee they have more one-star reviews than you do. :)

Until next time, happy writing, my friends. 

And for all of you lovely readers out there, it's okay to give a one-star review. Just remember there's a person behind the book, movie, or music that you're reviewing. So please remember to keep it constructive. <3

Warmest regards,


Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember, these are just my opinions and shouldn't be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. I love talking about all things books, so if you want more posts on writing, marketing, new releases, and giveaways, please leave your email address here. I only send out a post once or twice a week at the most. :)

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  1. When it comes to the spirit of writing, you and I are soul mates, Carmen. One-and- two-star reviews smart like a skinned elbow. Only time can heal the wounds. A slice of chocolate cake and my hubby's support help speed up my recovery!

    Thanks for posting, Carmen.

    1. Lol! I'm so glad to know I'm not alone, Linda. Mmmm...chocolate cake. :)

  2. Thanks for this, Carmen. A great start to my day. The trouble is - what do you do when I decide you hate my work?!! (Don't worry, it doesn't usually last...). Happy writing - and you are loved, believe it.

    1. Don't ever decide that, Jenny. Just keep on keeping on. The greats have been hated more times that most of us can ever hope to be. Although it might hurt, it'd be great to have a million people hate my books because that would mean three million people would have read them. And out of that three million, at least one million would love it. :)

  3. You're not alone, Carmen and Linda. Not alone at all. Now who has that chocolate cake?

    1. LOL, Susan! I thought Linda was bringing the cake. :)

  4. You hit it right on, Carmen. I'm exactly the same way. The first one-star I ever received was the lowest I'd ever been even though I'd received 40 four- and five-star reviews on that book. I couldn't see those for the burning flames on the one-star. Thanks for posting!

    1. Isn't that soooo sad, and yet, it's how most of us have been our entire lives. I still remember a mean comment a boy said to me in ninth grade, calling me 'gap tooth'. It caused me to hate my smile for years, even though everyone else said I had a beautiful smile. Years after my gap has closed, I still hesitate to smile. So terrible that we allow a small percentage of people to affect us. Carry on, my friend, remembering...we are not alone. <3

  5. As an indie, I feel more vulnerable than a traditionally published author, who's validated by the fact that she has a publisher. Sure, no one likes bad reviews; but when you're an indie, you don't have that "psychological safety net." When a reader trashes your book, no publisher is there to help break your fall. You hit bottom with a loud, resounding thud, convinced that your writing is all but worthless. As it is, there's a stigma attached to being an indie, and we have to work twice as hard to prove ourselves. No wonder those one- and- two-star reviews hurt so much...

    1. I agree, Linda, it can be harder, the reason I wrote the last post... "Indie authors, don't go it alone."

      Thankfully, though, I do think the self-publishing 'stigma' is fading... One, because when professional Indies publish correctly, most readers don't even notice, because they can't tell the difference, hopefully. When Indie authors pay for great cover art, make sure their books are propely edited, and look professional, it's hard to tell the difference from 'traditionally' pubbed books.

      And please...if you ever feel like giving up--any of you lovely authors--email me. I'm here to talk any of my friends down from the proverbial ledge. It's just not right that we should suffer because one person hated our writing.

      After all--I'm going from memory, so bare with me if I mess up any of these stats--C.S. Lewis was turned down more than eight hundred times. Critics said that 'The Wizard of Oz' wasn't imaginative... J.K. Rowling was told not to quit her day job. And one of my favorites: Dr. Seuss was told something like...'it's too different from other children's books; no one will relate.'

      How terrible it would be to be in any of those authors' situations. ;)

  6. Thanks, Carmen. I have to add, though, that a lot of readers don't recognize a well-written book from one that's not. Readers have criticized my grammar because they're used to hearing certain everyday phrases "wrong." And then, when something is grammatically correct, they think it's not right! This is particularly true with "lie" and "lay," as well as the use of nominative or objective pronouns. The English language has taken a big hit, most likely due to texting. No book is perfect, and small things slip by even the most diligent editor. Still, when you've done you're best, it's disheartening that readers don't know the difference. Curious: Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?

    1. Oh, yes! Since I promote books daily, I see this all the time. Sadly, I can't point it out, because then it would leave me open to criticism. I made that mistake once, and I still see the blog where a guy attacked me...simply because I stood up for another author.

      One of my favorites: A reader criticized an author for writing,... "I couldn't care less", stating that she should have wrote, "Could have cared less', which of course, is wrong. But because, as you said, so many people mess it up, the reader felt it was okay to give the author a poor review, instead of checking the info.

      BUT...the good news, Linda, most readers can see through those comments. In fact, a book of mine that has the most one-star reviews is still my best seller. I swear, as I mentioned above, a one-star review can actually lend credibility to a book. :)

  7. Thank you, Carmen, for the vindication. I know you're a busy lady, but I hope you'll keep posting your helpful insights, which I'll gratefully share!

    1. I definitely will, my friend. After all, as I wrote in the first couple sentences, I'm often speaking to myself when I write blog posts. A little peptalk, if you will. :)


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