Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bad Reviews - How to deal

If you are in the entertainment industry in any way, shape, or form, you know about bad reviews. We all get them, writers, musicians, film makers. The thing is no matter how many great, good or even okay reviews you get, it's the bad ones that stick with you. Sometimes it's just someone who didn't like your work. That we can handle, because not everyone is going to love or even like what we put out. We pour heart and souls into our work and when someone doesn't "get it", or love it like we do, well lets face it, it hurts! 

Now comes the question, how do we respond to bad reviews? Easy answer is we don't, we call our friends and complain to them, or even better just let it roll off our back. It's not always that easy though, because some are really mean and nasty and will do evyerything to make you fail. The good news is, sometime bad reviews are the best kind. Why you may ask. Again a simple answer is, because any publicity is good publicity. Take Stephanie Meyer's Twilight. one of the hottest book franchises out right now. She has gotten tons of bad reviews, and some nasty one from high profile people too. Take Stephen King for instance. He tore her apart and continues to do so. One comment he made, (and for give me as i am paraphrasing here) along the line of Harry Potter is about overcoming challenges, growing and discovering ones self, Twilight is about boyfriends. Now I do completely agree with this statement, but I don't take it as bad, because sometime readers want something easy, lighthearted and just fun to read and yes about boyfriends. How do bad reviews work for us, well when some one sees a bad review, sometimes it drives them to want to see what was so bad about the book, movie, album ect. It also lowers their expectations and more times than not they will enjoy it even more and wonder what the reviewers problem was. 

Does any of this help us to deal with bad reviews? Probably not. Would we love to tell the bad reviewers where to shove their review? Most defiantly. Can we? Not a chance, responding to a bad review can be suicide in the industry. Even more so if you respond poorly. Credibility can be lost very fast and is difficult to get back. Now my question is, what do you do when a reviewer takes things to far? When they begin verbally attacking the artist and or their fans. To me that is uncalled for. If you don't like an artists contribution to society, so be it, but why attack those that do enjoy it? 

Another good example is the Canadian band Nickelback. I love this band, not only for their music, but because they are home grown. I don't understand why so many people are hating on them and anyone involved with them. They have been boycotted and petitions signed to prevent them from playing certain venues. What the heck is up with that? I follow a friend and co-worker of the lead signer and he fights back some of these comments. I love it. He stands up for himself and the band. After all why should he be trashed just because he is friends with the band? He shouldn't. Another example of this is the Dixie Chicks, they received death threats because of one comment made by Natalie the lead singer. What ever happened to freedom of speech?  

Freedom of speech allows someone to give us artists a bad review, and we have to take it. It also allows us to write and publish our stories and tales. It also allows our fans to enjoy our work and stand up for it. I just don't agree with being attacked for that. Now after all this you most likely didn't learn anything new, we still can't respond to bad reviews. BUT reviews please don't attack us or our fans because you are allowed to voice your opinion, does't mean everyone is going to agree with you. The same goes for us artists, as I said before, not everyone is going to like our work. So I guess the moral of this post is, don't fret a bad review...we all get them and they can't stop us.  


  1. Great post - you've really hit it there.
    I know it's hard ignoring negative comments but it only gets worse if you start a fight.

    I LOVE Nickleback - why would anyone have a problem with them???

  2. So well said Charlotte. I'm more of the attack back at people that say things about you and after reading what you said, I only looked at the small picture and not the big picture. You are the best and I know it and so do many of your followers. They as well as I know your talent. I also agree with the previous post. I love Nickleback. I think their music is great and no one can change my mind at all!

  3. Hey, Charlotte. Troy McCombs here. I like this little article. I did a giveaway on Goodreads. 3 books I gave away for free. Cost me almost 20 bucks. Got a 1 star and a 2 star rating. What bothered me was I spent money on getting two bad ratings. If I didn't pay for the printing and shipping costs, I wouldn't have been so bummed. Even one bad rating would have been okay. I actually emailed one of those people and thanked her for taking the time to read it and rate it, anyway. Sure, it hurts, but art is an entirely subjective thing. I read books that got rave reviews and I didn't like. Vice versa. :)

  4. Thank you for your comment's everyone. Troy, I totally understand your frustration. It's hard to take some times. One book that I didn't care for the writing, but enjoyed the plot is a best seller and made into a movie. I love the movie, but really felt the writing was immature and lacking skill. We all learn with the more writing we do, but this was an established author who hired several ghost writers to complete certain parts of the story. I swear they must have been grade school students. Now with that said so many others love this book. Everything is subjective. I just really hate the reviews that attack the artist and or their fans for liking the work. I would never call a fan of this book I dislike an idiot for liking it. I just hope this post makes other artists of all kinds know they are not alone and we would all love to give abad review our two cents, but I guess that's where the thick skin comes in.


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