The eloquent (if somewhat disturbing) guide on how to handle reviews.

Updated: May 27, 2020

Kristan's Note: This week I invited John Murray McKay, author of The N Days and The Venom Protocols, to write a guest post. Thoughts, opinions, and word choice not necessarily my own. The post has been edited for clarity and presentation only. Contents and language use are still by the author, and he is certainly not shy. Reader discretion is advised.

Good morning bunnies. I am guest blogging for this week so I have to be on my best behavior. I do not want an irate publisher declaring a fatwa on my admittedly cute ass. So, without further ado and or the possible violation of farm animals, let’s get to this thing shall we?

I want to talk about reviews and how we receive them. You have just written what you think is a great American novel. Cue the applause, champagne, and strippers por favor. You have done everything right- did the numerous edits, got an epic cover, brown-nosed all the right bloggers and subspecies like that. You make your first sale and that wonderful ranking list on Amazon climbs downwards. Phone Oprah and tell her you are on the way! Fame and fortune guaranteed.

1 star.

What just happened?

Some miserable oink has just dared, I say dared give your amazing masterpiece a less than perfect score. Gather the angry mob and get Desmond Tutu on the line because hands will be thrown in the next few moments. The bloody cheek.

Calm it down fruit loop, nice and easy now. Yes, it hurts like a bastard to see your book baby maligned by some knuckle dragging thug with the intellectual capabilities of a Mango (or a Liverpool fan but I digress) but this is the reality of the business. This is what you have signed up for. Quick life lesson here Skippy, not everyone is going to like your book. Kaka happens now deal with it dahling.

But J, you notoriously handsome devil you, what should I do in this case? Surely, I must hunt down said strumpet and demand that this grave injustice be fixed. It’s what the world demands of me and my obvious talents. Right? Right?

Do nothing.

Get the mayonnaise out of your ears, you heard me. Do nothing. Do not reply, question or argue. You are just going to look silly and unprofessional. Like I always tell the Firefly lot- let it go. Drown your sorrows in private, wail and lament into your My Little Pony pillow but simply don’t do anything.

I am a perfect case study for this. I went in half-assed many years ago with my first novel on Wattpad. Thought I was the cat’s bollocks and all that. Then someone rightfully called me out on the lack of editing and polishing. Oh, I went off on them like an insane person and behaved like a spoiled brat. It was a messy affair that I still regret to this day.

Read the reviews, take the criticism that you feel is warranted and use it to grow and become a better writer. Oh, you will get some doozies out there like the dear soul that said he could guess the end of the story five pages in. Nevamind it was a five-book series but whatever. Roll your eyes, stroke the furry wall, and just breathe dahling.

After a few years, the bad reviews will simply not faze you anymore. The alcoholism and insanity of trying to be a writer will get you long before all that.

Maturity comes with age and experience and remembers that the writing community is a small, incestuous bunch that doesn’t forget easily. Your reputation and name is so important and once you lose that…

They are people out there that don’t like Shakespeare and Lord of the Rings (uncultured swine) but do you see the authors frothing at the mouth and making eloquent if sometimes long-winded arguments? Yes, I know their dead but zat is not the ze point dahling.

For those mad souls still with me- here’s the advice in beautifully simple terms.

Just chill and let be.

Chill and let be.


Shameless promotion plug here (Got to make some money to pay for all the lap dances). My book is out now on Amazon and other good book sites. Why not check it out and let me know what you thought of it? I promise I won’t show up on your doorstep dressed in only a purple leopard print speedo and holding a Hello Kitty Dildo. Coco and Caramel will also thank you for it.

Peace out bunnies.

The Venom Protocols by Author John McKay

(Summer Indy award winning 2016, Wild Dreams Publishing best African author 2018)


“You should have left me alone.”

Charlotte Corday was once called the most dangerous woman on the planet by the FBI until she retired. But it's not so easy to remain retired when the past is determined to drag her back into the hell she wanted to leave behind her.

To uncover the origins of the mysterious Valkyrie program, Charlotte fights through her own dark past, dredged up by those determined to keep her out of retirement... or out of the business permanently... and to find solace in her own razor blade filled mind.

Her own words—her own warning—will come to haunt them.

They should have listened.

Buying Links: UK ~ US ~ Kobo: Google Play: Smashwords:

Follow me on

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Justice, Not Platitudes.

This post will not be easy to read. Hell, it wasn't even easy to write. It may not even be a popular opinion, but it needs to be said and I cannot keep my silence a moment longer. This week, it was an