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.