I’m J Edward Neill, author, painter, and guy who likes to walk around in the rain. I’ve written a lot of books. A lot. Some of them are huge, as in more massive than LOTR. Others are tiny, and meant to make people talk and laugh.
I try to please my readers. I really do. I want them ALL to have a great experience whenever they crack the cover of a J Edward book.
You can’t please everyone. Not even close. Some readers will be indifferent, and others only mildly interested. And still others will be so non-entertained they’ll take to the internet to write a negative review.
A lot of writers hate this part of the job. They’ll say they don’t mind a bad review or two, but then when it happens to them, they’ll be indignant, even angry. I’ve watched the cycle play out hundreds of times. It’s actually pretty amusing.
As for me, I cherish bad reviews. “Wait, what?” you ask. Let me explain. First, a bad review gives me a glimpse of what I need to do better in my craft. If a reader puts together a thoughtful diatribe about how bad one of my characters sucked or how long-winded a chapter was, it’s an opportunity for me to improve. Secondly, and 500% more awesome, is that I simply like reading bad reviews more than good ones. It’s fun for me in a way I’m not sure most writers understand. I savor the crappy reviews as much as I do the good ones.
Hell…I’m considering writing something truly awful just to see how many bad reviews I can collect.
Here’s every bad review I’ve ever received. Each one is three stars or fewer. Each one appears on Amazon, Goodreads, or a similar site.
* * *
By Shirley on March 8, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition (Down the Dark Path)
*** Shirley’s right. It’s pretty bloody. Especially at the end. (Which means she read the whole thing. Cool.)
By Lieschen on July 28, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition (101 Questions for Women)
“The author claims to have put on his filter in order to save the book from becoming chauvinistic drivel. While I appreciate the gesture, the book still is fairly chauvinistic and not too enlightening philosophically. The questions show a clear bias (e.g Do readers think of feminism as: a) somewhat useful b) silly c) much too confrontational) with the moderate path being laughably mainstream. Critical thinking and philosophical content (dilemma, insights etc) are incredibly thin. In short, the book focuses on the otherness of women from a masculine perspective. While this might help one feel special and while men frankly discussing their worldview can be rather enlightening in itself, I wouldn’t recommend the book to any woman interested in philosophy.”
*** I can’t disagree with her. (I’m assuming the reader is a woman.) This book is def biased based on my masculine point of view.
1.0 out of 5 stars
on December 17, 2015
“ok so far..cool thing is free.”
*** If this is the worst review I ever get on this book, I’m fine with it.
Eugene rated it 2 out of 5 stars
“The only complaint I have for this book is that it’s too damn long. I actually got so frustrated that I skipped a few chapters just to get to the end. The author changes perspectives (by that I mean switching to events happening elsewhere) at the most inopportune moments. So that’s two complaints I suppose. Oh, well. At least it gets better in the second book.”
*** Now this is a constructive review. After reading it (and others like it) I actually went back and chopped tens of thousands of words out. I did a total rewrite. Took a year to finish. Ouch, but worth it.
Ok. This next one isn’t a review, but a collection of ratings. There’s a lady on Goodreads named JoAnn. According to her Goodreads profile, she’s rated 1,396 books, including 11 of mine. Every book she rated of mine: 1 star. Her average rating for all 1,396 books she’s rated, 1.93 stars. I’m thinking JoAnn is an ex-girlfriend or something. Thanks for stopping by, JoAnn!
2.0 out of 5 stars
By kmcmur02 on September 6, 2016
It’s fine for getting some new questions but it’s very heteronormative and the questions largely focus around your relationship to each other, but not necessarily about how you as a couple relate the the world at large.
It’s pretty repetitive.
It also assumes some traditional gender roles, which didn’t really work for us, so we ended up skipping a bunch.
*** I guess the guy and girl on the cover didn’t give the theme away. Our bad.
on December 15, 2015
“I did not like it–it did not hold my interest so I only read a few chapters.”
*** I blame my co-author, John R McGuire. Just kidding. Love ya, John!
That’s it. That’s all of them.
Wait…you thought I was gonna have a ton of bad reviews?
Sorry to disappoint. I’ve got a living to make. Bad reviews are FUN, but they don’t draw readers in.
Not like these do: