There comes a time on the journey of every author when something happens that has the potential to crush their spirit. Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded one star review.
Somebody really dislikes my book and they want everyone to know. Ouch!
A few weeks ago, within a very short space of time, I was confronted with not one but two reviews of this kind, for my latest book, Big Ideas from Ancient Greece.
I have never had a one star review before for any of my books, so getting two in one go was a bit of a shocker. But praise God for the humility check!
The book in question is composed of twelve short chapters, each one looking at a big idea from a philosopher from ancient Greece. It’s based on the Friday Philosophy series I ran on this blog last year, which some of you will have seen. In the book, after discussing each big idea I present a reflection on that idea based on my own philosophical perspective.
One of the reviewers who disliked the book claimed that it had no academic merit. Well, it’s certainly not a heavily academic book, that’s true. I intended to make it accessible. Another complaint was that each chapter was just a lead-in to a theological argument. I make no apology for that; it’s one of the purposes of the book.
The reason why I released a short book of this kind is because I wanted there to exist on Amazon a free introduction to my philosophy. The plan was to make the book available for free periodically, as a way of introducing readers to my work and hopefully persuading some of them to explore my other books.
Big Ideas from Ancient Greece was professionally edited, and I created it with the same care and attention to detail which I strive for with all my books. Yes, it’s short, and yes, it’s not especially academic, but I do believe it’s a great introduction to both ancient Greek philosophy and my own philosophy.
As the two one star reviews are the only reviews the book has had so far, I considered pulling the book from the Amazon store, because I don’t want it to reflect badly on my other work. But then I prayed about it, and God brought to my mind an idea: Why not ask the blogging community to help me out?
So, I have hatched a plan. I’m going to offer free copies of the book (either printed or as an eBook) to anyone reading this who is interested in giving it a read. If you enjoy the book, please leave a positive review! If you don’t enjoy the book, just do nothing — you don’t even need to tell me. No big deal.
If a few of you who are reading this leave 3, 4, or (hopefully!) 5 star reviews, that will mitigate the damage and make me feel a lot more confident about keeping the book on sale, which is really important to me.
Are you willing to help me out and get a free book in the process? Please let me know by either emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a comment below.
This is a small bump along the road of being an author and, looking on the bright side, I now know there are two people in the world who think I’m a star…
Thank you for reading! 😁