If Beyoncé can do it — so can I!
Before you say anything, I know it’s important not to focus on negativity. This is especially true when it comes to strangers on the internet. I’ve written about this before, behind the safety of a laptop, cell phone. or tablet — strangers have the balls to say whatever they want. Anything they want! This includes, writing negative reviews on Amazon about the book you spent three years of your life sweating over.
Without further ado, let my rant begin. My rant about some stranger who wrote a not-so-friendly review about my book and gave it ONE star. I’ve been sitting on this information for over a week. Yes, it’s been painful. I may have actually developed a hemorrhoid over this nonsense.
You got me; I can’t blame the pain in my ass on this review. Can’t condemn me for trying.
I wasn’t going to say anything about this review — but if you know me, I have to express myself. It’s part of my DNA. And because I am a self published author, who isn’t famous, I actually read the reviews that people leave for me on Amazon. Reviews are important. They help when people are searching for material online and they give me feedback on what readers are actually thinking about regarding my book.
And let me confess something, the first thing I did after reading the review was look up other comedians and authors to see if they receive one star reviews, or nasty comments from people who were just being rude and cruel instead of productive. It happens to everyone. Everyone. I was relieved.
Now, I don’t mind constructive criticism. From my days on stage and from blogging, I’ve taken some harsh criticism. From loved ones and strangers. From anyone who’s had an opinion. Let’s not forget opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one… but some are just shittier than others.
When it comes to feedback, I don’t mind it as long as it’s constructive. Saying something like, “Not for me but if you like unapologetic humor or an inappropriate behind the scenes look at the flight attendant life, give this a try,” sounds perfectly fine. You are basically telling any future readers, “This isn’t for me, BUT… it may be for you.” I wouldn’t even care if you left a one star review with that. Fine. Moving on…
BUT… and this is a big fucking but, when you write something like. “If you can get past his bitter attitude towards anything he doesn’t agree with, you might be able to finish this book. Also he can’t seem to write a paragraph without at least one simile. Sorry I wasted my money on this book.”
You are simply an asshole. A big hairy asshole. And I can get away with saying that because: 1.) My blog. 2.) I don’t give a fuck. 3.) The 5 star reviews outshine this 1 star review 4.) I love similes. I use them like gays use PrEP… Everyday!
I grew up with my grandmother always telling me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I totally agree with that, but I’ve updated it to fit into my adult life. The new motto goes something like, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If you choose to say something nasty and rude… don’t cry if I come after you like a fucking freight train.”
With that said, nobody says that you can’t review something with a ONE star — or even say you dislike something someone wrote or said. What you don’t have to do is be a complete asshole about it. I do my best at not being an asshole when it comes to commenting and giving feedback on social media. I save most of my assholeism for my books and blog posts.
My first thought the moment I read this review on Amazon was, how can I turn this around? Well, that and, how do I find this person and shove my book down their throat? You know — sane and rational thoughts. Everyone thinks that way when someone verbally attacks their work, right?
I decided to turn it around like I did when I created the back cover of my book. For the back cover of my book, I took mostly negative comments readers have said about me over the years and used it as the back cover. Taking mean things people have said about me and slapping it on the back of the book let me take control of it. Instead of hiding from it — I embraced it. Not everyone is going to like Flight Attendant Joe and that’s okay. I don’t understand it… but it’s okay.
I did the same with this one star review left by this reader. I turned it into an ad, and placed my author photograph from the book over her comment. My, “Awww. I told you that your bag wouldn’t fit in the overhead bin,” picture; has now become my, “Awww. Sorry you didn’t like my book but thanks for your money,” picture. I refuse to allow these types of comments and reviews to bring me down. So I embraced it. I Beyoncé’d it. I turned my lemon into Lemonade .
Which is what we should all do whenever people say mean shit to us or about us. Turn it around. Own it. It reminds me of some troll who sent me a tweet last month and said, “You’re fat and not funny.” I owned it. My first thought and response to the world was, “How dare he say I’m not funny?”
It goes back to our childhood, “Sticks and stones may break my bones… but names and all that fucking shit you say will never hurt me.”
Or something like that.
Thanks for buying the book!