Soon after Wild Children hit the virtual shelves on Amazon on April 28th, I received a disappointing review that essentially said, "there is a good story here, but the book had been poorly edited."
My first reaction, of course, was to seethe: How dare he! The review was especially glaring in the light of the fact that the book had jumped through many, many hoops of editing prior to publication. First there were the rewrites suggested by my publisher, then the detailed chapter by chapter edit, first round of proofreaders, second round of proofreaders... it had taken far, far longer to edit this book than to write it in the first place.
Still, everyone makes mistakes, and I had spotted inconsistencies even in some classics that have been out there for many years. Some people just tend to nitpick, I reasoned.
This only lasted, of course, until my publisher and I discovered that, by some crazy stroke, the files that got uploaded to Amazon were not the final, thoroughly cleaned up version, but one of the earlier ones.
You can imagine. First thought: Oh yikes! Second thought: thank goodness for digital publishing and POD, which makes correcting such glitches comparatively easy. Imagine discovering a blunder of this sort in a truckload of printed books!
Third thought: how fortunate that, despite the annoyance we felt towards the reviewer, the text was still checked just in case. This made the discovery of the mistake possible. So ultimately, I do feel thankful that this early reader cared enough to leave a review, even though it temporarily lowered the book's rating.
I suppose the lesson I have learned from this is, don't get toppled over by criticism, but don't dismiss it out of hand either, even if it seems completely unfounded at first glance.
PS: Wild Children is only 0.99$ for the next couple of days, so if you are looking for the next great find in the dystopian/light SciFi genre, you might like to check it out!