Yesterday someone posted a REALLY nasty review of the book on Amazon. It said it was “rushed and badly edited”, and that the only reason it would sell at all was that I am a relentless self-publicist (moi!?!) and had written some other, better books, such as Ciao Bella and Two Lipsticks and a Lover. “Stick to what you’re good at HFP” the reviewer from hell advised.
The review really upset me. I know it shouldn’t have done, but I was between seething and sobbing. “At least she likes some of your books,” said my husband helpfully. “At least she gave me one star,” I sobbed. “I don’t think you can give no stars,” he replied.
I went to my friends for help. I told them all about the review on Facebook, and they rushed to my rescue. Words of comfort flooded in, and I decided that actually maybe the bad review was a good thing.
One, it put me in touch with friends who made me laugh and feel so much better. Annika for example, wrote a hysterical post about how this review as clearly written by some saddo in non-matching underwear. Two, it caused a bit of a stir (there is no such thing as bad publicity) and three, it did make me think (once I had decided not to give up on writing books altogether) that maybe I should forget the chick-lit genre and try for something else. I’m not suggesting going back to non-fiction, but maybe I should try something like a Ciao Bella in novel form. Except I will have to edit out my aunt, she is only just speaking to me again.
My publisher was so furious about the review (which it has to be said, was very personal and bitchy), he asked Amazon to remove it, which they have done. So for now there are just glowing ones there, but I am prepared for comeback from bitch reviewer from hell or maybe some other hideous comments about how ghastly I am. But I think I will be able to cope next time.
Meanwhile, relentless self-publicist that I am, the launch got into the Mail (as below), the Independent and the Evening Standard. Just so you know. Sales are going well, 1800 so far, and am trying to think of ways of generating more publicity, short of murdering critical reviewers…..
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2011