Ratings Trolls: A warning and a revelation

ThreegoatsA member of a popular website recently gave out more than 7,000 one-star ratings (no review) to seemingly random books, some out-of-print for ages and difficult to obtain. It quickly became obvious that this person hadn’t read the books and had a different agenda than merely providing feedback.

Shocked, I posted a comment about it to an online writer’s group. Many of the authors weren’t surprised, having heard it all before. Another writer called the person a troll.

But my favorite response came from best-selling author John Gilstrap: “I actually won an award at ThrillerFest a couple of years ago for the worst review ever. Of my first novel, Nathan’s Run, a New York newspaper wrote, ‘The glue boogers in the binding are more captivating than Gilstrap’s torpid prose.” You can’t let the small stuff get you down!”

And John is so right: life is full of trolls lurking underneath bridges. All one can do, like the Three Billy Goats Gruff, is remain brave and fearless, ignoring every obstacle and charging forward, forcing the trolls to shamble back beneath their bridges and drown in their own venomous pools.

7 thoughts on “Ratings Trolls: A warning and a revelation

  1. Kelly June 25, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    Erin, this is so true of so many of our efforts in life! From writing to teaching to coaching! Somewhere along the way it seems to me that we have lost our manners and have become hostile, when really we should be rejoicing in the art, creativity, and efforts that are shared with us while keeping it all in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin June 25, 2015 / 3:20 pm

      Well said, Kelly! Perhaps it comes from the ease with which one can review another person’s work, and the constant cycle of social media, where endless opinions are voiced, sometimes behind a veil of anonymity, creating a sense of misplaced self-importance. Hmmm… Regardless, I like what you suggested–to rejoice in art and creativity, that’s definitely the right attitude to have!


  2. Ellen Morris Prewitt June 29, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    Online behavior can be shocking in its enjoyment of the negative. I like the suggestion to focus on the art and creativity, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cleemckenzie July 6, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    The glue goobers? OMG That sent me into paroxysms of laughter. I want that review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Erin July 6, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    It made me laugh too, and I loved that John Gilstrap was so comfortable in sharing it. I admire his ability to keep things in perspective… He’s gone on to write many successful novels.


  5. sandycarl July 18, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    So agree with John G. I don’t even like reading reviews, although I will from time to time to shout out thank yous. Don’t let the turkeys (or trolls) get you down. — Sandy C.


    • Erin July 19, 2015 / 2:28 pm

      Thanks, Sandy, for stopping by! And you’re so right: no need to dwell on the negative.


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