So I wrote a couple weeks back about the one star review I’d received on Amazon for Blindsight. Basically I did my job as an author, totally hooked this reader, but I did not tie things up in a matter she found satisfactory, and she was upset she would have to wait until fall (or later) to read the follow up novel.
Well I’d gotten a number of reviews indicating that the existing end was abrupt, and I was never 100% happy with it, so I went and wrote a new scene and uploaded new versions everywhere. Then I went to the reviewer’s comment on Amazon and politely told her that I’d added a new scene that might wrap things up a bit better for her. Which did, of course, totally break my rule about responding to bad reviews. But I really felt more like she had a problem, I tried to fix said problem and I wanted to let her know that.
So this morning, I pop over to see if she’d noticed it and found this:
***PLEASE NOTE*** I HAVE CHANGED MY RATING *** The original review above is based on a different version that was worthy of only 1 star. Kait Nolan, commented here that she added a couple of extra pages which I was able to read on Smashwords.com. The additional scene made a huge difference in my opinion of this short story. The extra ending actually provides satisfying closure to the immediate story while still enticing you to read the actual book when it is published this fall. Had this been the original ending I would not have felt so vehemently aggravated by being left hanging. That being said, I wanted to re-evaluate the story as honestly and as objectively as possible as if I had not read the ending 2 weeks later but had read the entire 35 pages at one sitting. This is a short story where I was completely engrossed in the plot and enchanted by the characters. OBVIOUSLY this short story DOES evoke some pretty strong emotional responses!!
Amazon did not publish my revised rating. By deleting my original review all attached comments including the one from the author will also be deleted. The amended version of this story earned 5 stars.
So while the 1 star review is still THERE for anyone who just looks at the number and not read the review, she totally changed her tune and I delivered a better and more satisfying ending. If anybody bothers to actually read the full review, they will see that. I think she’ll keep her eyes peeled for the follow up book now. Win win on both sides now.
I feel vindicated.
Naturally most interactions with poor reviews DON’T go like this, so it’s not like I advise suddenly changing the policy of not responding to them, but I just thought this was food for thought.
I think you handled this in a professional, creative way and am happy that you were able to turn this reviewer’s one star rating into the highest rating possible. Hopefully this is an example to all authors of how to handle a bad review…with poise, patience, some elbow grease and a lot of careful consideration. Good job, Kait!
I would say under most circumstances ignore negative reviews. Most people who leave 1 star reviews just simply are not your target reader. And trying to please everyone means you simply end up with boring stuff.
And I wouldn’t say you responded to a 1 star review here. You knew you didn’t like your ending. That’s ok. It happens. You decided to fix it and probably would have done so regardless to please yourself and your true fans.
I really love that you took her comments to heart and listened and added the extra pages – how wonderful of you to be open like that and willing to take that extra step to improve on your wonderful work, making it even better.
I agree that in most cases it’s a good idea to ignore bad reviews. I found that out the hard way. But in THIS case, I think you did the right thing in letting the reader know that you had added the new ending. It was a situation that made both you and the reader happy. No downside there.
In the end it comes down to following your instincts. Well done.
Yes, Kait, I like the new ending *so* much better. Great job!
Good job, Kait!