A couple more reviews for The Beggar’s Opera are out now on Goodreads; so far they’ve been really great, except for the very first rating — a woman who gave it one star. Turns out she’s never read it. She is not one of the ten people who won a free copy on Goodreads, and the book isn’t out until February. She doesn’t seem to have read or rated anything else on Goodreads for that matter– this rating is the only one she’s ever posted.
I had a similar (nasty) comment on this blog earlier this week from someone who said she’d read The Beggar’s Opera and that I’d never make a writer because I couldn’t get my message across. “Stomache” isn’t even a word, she sputtered. “It’s stomach. Learn to spell.”
Of course I went back to the galley manuscript to see if we’d missed a typo. Nope–“stomach” was spelled correctly throughout. Another fake. And not spam, either. This comment was very personal — addressed to me, named the book by title. But by another person who has never seen the book; her name isn’t on the advance list.
I can remember Sue Pike and the Ladies Killing Circle having the same experience. The very first review of their ebook on Amazon was a one star rating followed by a long-winded complaint by the reviewer about formatting errors and how the book was impossible to read because of them. Turned out that was all bogus, too.
Now I have no idea why nasty people want to insert themselves into the review/rating process. Does it make them feel good to make someone else feel bad? All that fake ratings do is skew the results, and if that’s the agenda, it’s pretty silly. Eventually, it’s like spoiled ballots — the majority votes will be the only ones that count.
So just a word of advice to all of you authors out there– take some of the negative reviews that pop up on Goodreads or Amazon with a grain of salt. There are cowards and bullies in cyberspace just as there are on playgrounds everywhere. These ones just happen to target books.
Watch the book trailer for The Beggar’s Opera here!