Suggestions on Dealing with a Bad Review

David S Grant

It happened, you got a bad review.  It happens to the greatest and most
“successful” artists every day.  Still,
after reading the bad review you may need more than a hug.  Here are some suggestions on how to handle
the bad news.

  1. Don’t overreact. This applies to both good and bad reviews: stay “Even Steven”, and understand its part of the promotion process. 
  2. Promote the good parts. For example “David S. Grant’s new book balances his sense of humor with the dark topic of murder…” See, not so bad. Now that’s a blurb I can use, never mind that the review continued “…, but his emotionless and materialistic characters didn’t impress me.” It goes without saying which blurb will make the press release! 
  3. Go to CNN and read ANY article, then go to the comments. People are brutal, you will find a simple article about kittens receive threats, political statements, and worse… I try not to do this very often (because it’s depressing), but sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered. 
  4. DON’T reply or if you must, at least sleep on it. If you need review revenge go to Yelp and write a WORSE SERVICE EVER review on a restaurant you don’t like. Maybe that will get it out of your system and keep your writing professionalism intact. 
  5. DON’T obsess; it’s really not the end of the world. 
  6. Recipe for the perfect Margarita: Two shots of tequila, two shots of triple sec, one shot of lime juice. Shake and serve over ice. Repeat as necessary. 
  7. IF the medium is a place you respect and there is constructive criticism, then consider the review and improve your writing. Warning: Do not change your style over one review. See #5. 
  8. Remember that your writing is not for everyone, writing is personal and the specific genre you write may not trip the reviewer’s trigger. (Note: I would still place some blame on the reviewer who should only review items they can be objective over.) 
  9. Treat yourself to a nice dinner. I like tacos. Do you know what goes well with tacos? See #6. 
  10. Hey, remember that there is something worse than a bad review and that is NO reviews!

David S. Grant is the author of ten books including “Corporate Porn”, “Bleach|Blackout”, “Hollywood Ending”, and “Rock Stars”. His latest novel, “Blood: The New Red”, is now available. David lives and writes his weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City. 

For more information go to
Twitter: @david_s_grant

Blood: The New Red begins at an after party where Mickey, and ex-adult movie star
turned supermodel, is aligning himself with one of top Designers of Seventh
Avenue.  While trying to land a job on
the runway Mickey is thrown into the center of a scene where sex is often the
motivation, the wine is served by year, and cocaine is back in full force.  Juanita, Mickey’s girlfriend is having
difficulties staying sober, fully clothed, and off of her famous boyfriend.
goes to work for Fashion icon Paul Johnson, one of the two top Designers in
NYC.  The other is Sandy Johnson, another
Designer who will stop at nothing including murder to guarantee victory.  A runway exhibition has been scheduled for
the two to compete in and find out who truly is the best Johnson.  Mickey will be Paul’s top model, and Sandy
has found a homeless person nicknamed Kung Fu Master to show his line. 
addition to getting his new line in place, Paul Johnson is also buying chain
saws, the louder the better, to put the special in this special event.
you know that you can’t be sentenced to prison if actively seeking help at a
mental facility?  Paul Johnson knows
between the girls, counting Vicodin pills, and show preparation Mickey has
grown a conscience and no longer likes what he sees.  He believes (and his psychiatrist agrees)
that he has the power to change what’s happening around him.
before the show Kung Fu Master turns up dead and there is an attempt on
Mickey’s life.  After a brief period of
unconsciousness Mickey is back, is told that Juanita and brother Cheeks are now
also dead and that he must continue with the show.  After all, what would Steven Tyler do?
night of the show is laced with celebrities and models on the runway as well as
one particular popular day-time talk show host that may or may not be murdered
on the runway.
the end only one Johnson will walk away, although this is temporary as Mickey
has the last word.
before he pops his last Vicodin.


Always look
like a rock star. This is the number one secret on how to be famous. I’m
wearing chains, lots of chains. Eye shadow, lots of eye shadow. I wouldn’t say
my pants are tight, but then again, my balls might disagree with you at the

I’m standing on
the second level of the Grand Hotel, overlooking the bar area. My manager tells
me this is where I need to be standing. In five minutes I will move across the
room and stand next to a long mirror where one of the Hiltons will walk by and
notice my reflection. A photographer will be close by and be sure to get the
picture. This mirror has been placed here for this sole purpose. My manager
tells me not to stare at the mirror. If you asked me to list my weaknesses,
this may be my number one fault.

DJ Shingles,
the newest (which means hottest) DJ, is playing on a middle level between the
first and second floors. There is barely enough room for him let alone the
overflowing ashtray and oversized stocking cap. Rumor has it this is his last
show, despite this being his first. There is talk that he is moving into
production and will be working with a major player in the hip hop industry,
depending on who is hot at the time. DJ Shingles is wearing an Armani black
button-down shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Very last year, but this is more
a statement than a miscalculation on his part. Last season is the new season.

My manager
signals for me to make my way across toward the mirror. A reporter from GQ is following me and asking
me questions about who I’m going to sign with and whether or not my past will
affect my future. I get her number, tell her I’ll call her later, and then blow
her off as I approach the mirror. Always leak your press, never tell. This is
secret number three on how to be famous.

Four widescreen
televisions are fastened to the wall behind the bar. All are showing TMZ. An
orange haired girl wearing a Betsey Johnson dress sees me staring at the
television sets. She walks over and whispers in my ear, “It’s the new CNN.”

A waiter
carrying a tray of wine from 1980 is walking by. Every 15 minutes another
waiter, another tray, another year will walk by. Welcome to the world of
fashion parties. Ten percent content, ninety percent presentation.

A man who goes
by the name Dontay hands me a coffee cup that is full of scotch. My manager
tells me to sip it and not cheers anyone. Any buzz that insinuates I’ve been in
rehab and have put my porn career in the past is good press and can only help
my modeling career. As scheduled, I’m approached by someone with the last name

The Hilton is
wearing a blouse that is considered the color Ocean, the new blue, but since
Aquamarine blue was in fact the new blue for last season and last season is in
this season, no one should be caught dead in Ocean. Unless of course she is
being ironic. If so, she will have to mention this to at least three people
during the course of the evening.

“Mickey, you’re
back! I mean, uh…” Hilton looks at the coffee cup. “Welcome back!” She tips her
coffee cup to me.

I glance around
at the guest list, wondering who has the most juice at the party, but am
distracted by the waiter walking through with wines from 1990.

“Last season is the new season,
huh? Fuck that.” She laughs and looks fidgety as lights pop around us. At one
point Hilton puts her arm around me and kisses me on the cheek. FLASH. Mission

“I miss you,
Mickey. We should get together sometime, you know, have a cup of coffee, fuck,
or something.”

Sure, I tell
her and then she leaves because she has a rule about spending over forty hours
a week on the Lower East Side and this season many Fashion Week parties have
been in LES, the new SoHo.

According to my
manager, I need to make my way to a reserved table next to the bar where Paul
Johnson is sitting. My manager also says to ignore the temptation of champagne.
I have a job to do tonight.



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