Bad reviews = Bad sma-shmoooos! Mummy Diaries: Pregnancy – Stumbling into the unknown

As I’ve not written on here for a while (slap wrist) I thought it best to do a post and update everyone on how I am and what I’ve been up to.

I am still feeling bitter about the negative feedback I received about my book, I know at this present time I have TWENTY THREE 5-star reviews but the 1 x 1 star and 1 x 2 star, are really getting to me still.

It’s taken me a long time to write this as I didn’t want to end up rambling and ranting but the 1 star review really hit me like a smack in the face. People say you should focus on the positives and not the negatives and at the time I had 17 or so gleaming 5* reviews, but it was so unexpected! I was just checking my Amazon page as per usual and it said 18 reviews which was 1 more than the previous evening so I eagerly clicked on to read what wonderful things someone had said about me this time and BAM… 1 star with the title ‘awful’. It read as follows:

I had high hopes for this book but it was awful! I dont know why people are saying its an honest account, I find the author whiney and self centred. There is nothing useful about this book, a complete waste of money. dont bother!

I stopped breathing. This was someone who had read my book? I had spent two years of my life writing, re-structuring, editing, scrutinising, compiling the perfect hints and tips section, and harassing ladies I know to give me their pregnancy and birth stories as I know no two pregnancies and births are the same, to create the ‘perfect’ pregnancy companion and this lady had read this very same book??

So I did what any sane 27 year old would do and cried. Hysterically.

I also wrote Tweets with a few swear words thrown in for good measure. My friend Charlie (@charlieplunkett author of: The True Diary of a Bride-to-be, The True Diary of a Mum-to-be, The True Diary of Baby’s First Year and 100 Little Words on Parenthood) called me straight away, not that I could speak through the hysterical childish sobs. Luckily 15 minutes later she had calmed me down and my voice was back to normal, bar the bunged up nose and the random hiccup-things a child has after a raging tantrum.

It took days to shake off that horrible back cloud, someone HATED my book – not dislike, not “I won’t read that one again.” Nope, took the time to go online and slate it good and proper. The thing that really got to me was that it wasn’t even an Amazon Verified purchase so she most probably didn’t even read my book.

The next bad review was from a lady called Emily – Verified purchase so she had actually bought it – she gave 2 stars and it read:

This mainly focuses on the lady’s seemingly doomed relationship with the father of her child which overshadows any actual pregnancy information or stories. There is a good collection of her friends’ birth stories which is the redeeming factor of the book but I found it all a rather depressing read to be honest!

That I can deal with, not a personal attack, just criticism. I responded to re-writing some of the blurb on Amazon to:

*WARNING* this book is not sugar coated, I do not lead a perfect life and the future of my relationship is uncertain – I hope this will make people who have the wonderful, loving husband and the perfect(ish) planned pregnancy see a different side to pregnancy, and those in a similar situation relate to parts of what they are reading – above all I hope you have a great time devouring my honest account.

I knew that when I wrote and published my book I left myself wide open to public criticism, but I never expected to feel physically winded – like a punch in the stomach. When pregnancy is such a stressful and emotional time in a woman’s life, putting pen to paper is so hard, trying to describe how terrible you feel for most of it, coming to terms with changing relationships, changing body, changing life – everything is so unstable. So for me to pour my heart out and be so brutally honest when I felt most vulnerable I thought was brave and I thought by sharing it may help women in similar situations.

Above all, I felt the comments unnecessary this is why they have lingered with me for so long – never mind turning my glowing 5 star average into a 4 ½ star average. Grumble..

Anyway, my book ‘Mummy Diaries: Pregnancy – stumbling into the unknown’ is doing well, currently #10 in the Amazon Bestsellers chart for Motherhood on Kindle so I’m happy about that. I am running a May Promotion where my book is just 77p so grab it while you can and enjoy if you haven’t already! Make your own mind up 🙂

Lou xxx