RJ Scott: Dealing with Reviews ~ Outside the Margins with RJ Scott

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RJ Scott OTM

Three years back I wrote a post on my blog about how I dealt badly with my first one star review (One I received over four years ago now). I was new, riding the high of The Christmas Throwaway and then I released The Heart Of Texas and it polarised reader opinion (soap opera crap / best thing ever). Of course, being new to MM, and writing in general I got into a heated debate about this one star review. I was reminded of this post when I was writing another post on things that have changed my life (I was explaining how writing Throwaway and Texas changed my writing life)

Anything above a three is above average – I still agree with that one

From the original post: I think one of my books isn’t truly critiqued unless I get a one from someone somewhere. It balances the other reviews and now most of my books sit at or around 3.5/5. I am happy that I fall on average above the 3 line. This to me means that, in the main, people like my writing. Also as an aside, anything above a three seems to convert to healthy sales.

Have faith – yep, I only have to look at The Summer House to know I need to have faith in my writing!

From the original post:  [One Night] kept selling. So. How? Why? Because the reviews had been so SO bad. Even though my brain had known reviews are one person’s opinion, my heart was still wrapped up in sending my baby out for people to read. My heart wanted so desperately for people to like it.

Avoid Goodreads – word

From the post: I am certainly nowhere near blasé about reviews from GRs and other sources but I am less prone to fall weeping to the floor. I don’t have time; I am too busy using what they say that is good sound critique and making my next book better. I think we all have to remember – reviews are a lovely thing to validate our writing and to help market ourselves but places like Goodreads are for readers and all readers are entitled to their opinion (me included). As long as I please the majority, and that majority buy my books, then I am happy. Right?

And today?

Have I completely learned to look at reviews with a reasoned eye? Hell no. I could get ten five star reviews, but it is the 1s with the cruel words that knock my confidence. I try to ignore them, and for the most part I do. UNLESS I get caught on a bad day, then I have at least five minutes of wallowing before I pull myself together.

What about you? If you’re an author do you have a reasonable way of dealing with reviews?

~RJ Scott


Title: Retrograde
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Publication Date: 06/12/2015
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell
Genre: M/M Romance


Co-Pilot Lachlan Donaghue wakes up in hospital, a survivor of the crash of Flight HA1710, with memory loss and the suspicion that he could be at fault for the tragic accident. When everything becomes too much he goes home to hide, back to the small Scottish town he grew up in and to his family home.

Rory Kendrick watches the news, sees every hour of the disaster unfold but never thinks that Lachlan was in the middle of it all. Or that his friend will be forced to come back home to hide and to heal. What Lachlan needs is a friend, not a lover, but sometimes the lines are just too blurred to make any sense.


Chapter 1

The day of the crash

Lachlan Donaghue opened his eyes, cracked them just a little. Something had sideswiped him, glass in his hair, his hands gripping… to his left a person, eyes wide and open, facing Lachlan with not a spark of life left.

And red… orange. And silence. Utter and complete silence.

He closed his eyes.

Rory. Help me.

When he opened them again, this time there was no red, only the blur of a night sky, the black all encompassing. This time there was noise in the silence. A shout, crashes and bangs, and a sense of urgency in the people who stared at him now.

“He’s alive.”

“How the hell is he alive?”

It hurt too much to keep his eyes open.

Tell Rory I’m okay. Don’t let him worry.

“Lachlan? Lachlan Donaghue? How old are you? Who is the Prime Minister? What is the Queen’s name? Lachlan? Can you hear me?”

Who cares? I can’t even speak, let alone think.

Lachlan answered… or at least in his head he answered, but his throat was tight, there was pain in his head and neck, and he was staring at whiteness and blinking at bright lights.

Where had the red gone? And the black?

“Lachlan. Open your eyes. Look at me!”

I don’t want to.

“Pupils responsive. Someone get him to the Ulster.”

“He’s triaged for Downe.”

“He’s the fucking first officer. Get him to the Ulster Hospital and away from the scene now.”

Rory, I’m sorry. I should have told you I was sorry.


Retrograde on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About RJ Scott

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway.  She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Website: www.rjscott.co.uk
Email: rj@rjscott.co.uk
Twitter: twitter.com/rjscott_author
Facebook: facebook.com/author.rjscott
Goodreads: Goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
LibraryThing: Librarything.com/author/scottrj
Tumblr: tumblr.com/blog/rjscott (NSFW)
Pinterest: pinterest.com/rjscottauthor/

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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3 thoughts on “RJ Scott: Dealing with Reviews ~ Outside the Margins with RJ Scott

  1. I once got a 2 star review that just said ‘Boring, boring, boring.’ 🙂 I can laugh about it now but at the time that cut deep. I’d rather someone say they hated my work than say it was boring.

  2. Good grief if the odd 1* still slays you there is no hope for my sanity – some may say there never was 🙂 I’m at the beginning, and every review I find, or someone notifies me of – I view between my fingers like Dr Who when I was tiny.

    My average is currently 4* (only one book as yet RJ!) and, however nice the words, a little voice says ‘not as good as 5*’

  3. I already got my share of 1 and 2 stars, but I got 4 and 5 as well. I *try* to not read the bad reviews, but I don’t always succeed. If I see them, I try to find out what the reader might not have liked, and if I could have changed it. That’s my way to get better, even if reading them might hurt.

    And while I’m not at the point where I’m above bad reviews (do you ever get there?) I learn to handle them better every day. It’s my story, my baby, and I love them. A lot of readers do so as well (as do yours, RJ, just remember that!!) and I’m writing for them. And, RJ, we I like your stories!

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