Shock, horror, disbelief hit me like a tsunami when I discovered a hater had left a blistering rant against me on Amazon Kindle (USA) concerning my book Goal Success (EFT Tapping) – Tap into your Dreams and Goals to live the life you love with EFT, Matrix Reimprinting and Matrix Goals Reimprinting.
[That was two years ago in late 2016. At the end of this article I give an UPDATE on where I am today after contacting Amazon]
I was checking a link in my email signature to my book on Amazon when I glanced at the reviews and Wham! Bam! the negative review engulfed me…swamping me in spewing remarks that in terms of Amazon’s guidelines for leaving reviews (for products or books) were definitely “spiteful remarks” and “obscene or tasteless content.”
These were aimed at both me as the author and at my mentor and colleague Karl Dawson who wrote the Foreword to the book for associating himself with it.
As a writer, creative, healer and sensitive person this “hater” Kindle book review was traumatic with a big T.
Which as anyone familiar with the nature of trauma – especially in the context of EFT-Matrix Reimprinting – knows only too well that this occurs when a person is subjected to an incident that is:
- No resources/Feels Hopeless
Feeling all of these, my first reaction was to feel shame, rejection, self-blame and keep quiet about it – the “freeze” response to shock.
Which is how a traumatized Victim often responds in the face of bullying or abuse. Instead I knew enough to reach out and ask for help, breaking my isolation and knowing someone out there in my circle of friends and colleagues on Facebook – especially authors and the many thousands of EFT and Matrix Reimprinting practitioners who may or may not know me – but who might respond to the way Karl Dawson had also been lambasted for associating with my book.
In truth, I belong to at least 10 different groups on Facebook where I could have posted for help.
But I chose one that intuitively came to mind immediately.
Kirsten Joy, who I have consulted in the past and learned many valuable skills regarding writing for Kindle responded by recommending I get supporters to click the REPORT ABUSE button under the review in the hopes that Amazon would remove it. I hadn’t thought of that – so I replied: “Shall I ask generally in the group or actually private message supportive friends/colleagues?
She replied: “Both”
That gave me support and permission to PM a random group of my friends in a message that said HELP…can you click REPORT ABUSE on this link to this NASTY REVIEW for me on Amazon in the hopes of getting it removed?
Do not stay isolated. Seek advice and help. Especially reach out to other authors who know the pain of rejection, criticism and above all unwarranted abuse.
You will be surprised by the amazing response you get. One after another people sent me a reply: Done. Sometimes adding – this was totally inappropriate.
The most heartening response came from someone in the EFT community who left the following comment:
“Well something good has come out of this – it drew my attention to your book and I just bought it because it looks like what I need to get back on track with tapping into my dreams and goals – after two years of disappointment and frustration.”
But be realistic and aware that some people will ignore or even reject helping you.
I was particularly amazed by someone close to me insinuating she would not stoop to involve herself on my behalf in any controversy that might reflect badly on her status as a doctor of psychology!! She implied – “just suck it up – we all get criticised and have to live with it.”
Most interesting was the well-meaning comment from a colleague who said: “don’t give it energy – just bless him/her and move on.”
Don’t take it personally. This is not the same as shrugging it off or sucking it up as if it didn’t happen.
Let me clarify.
If this hater had sent me a personal email – or phoned me out of the blue and spewed his spite – I would have still had to process it – but not publicly.
But Amazon is a public arena. So I can’t just pretend this review is not besmirching both the book, me, Karl Dawson and my reputation for those who do not know me.
The key is learning how to stand back and make this experience impersonal. And valuable in some important way.
I dug deep and called on my knowledge and resources and intuitively revisited the work of:
- Caroline Myss on archetypes in her book Sacred Contracts, Awakening your Divine Potential
- Byron Katie on The Work
- Sam Bennet – creator of the Organized Artist Company and author of Get it Done
So here’s what helped me from each of these wise women to get impersonal and begin to benefit – yes you heard me – benefit from this experience.
Caroline Myss (who I interviewed and experienced first-hand reading my Victim/Abandoned Child archetype when she was in South Africa several years ago) helped me reframe the incident in terms of the archetypes of BULLY vs VICTIM. In the role of Victim I have two choices – stay feeling victimized – or call out the bully on the abuse – and call back my power to move on and benefit from the experience.
In any event, she says – discover how the lesson could be in keeping with my Sacred Contract to grow in wisdom and grace on the path of spiritual transformation – rather than seeing it in strictly physical terms.
In The Work, Byron Katie (who I worked closely with as her promoter in South Africa some years ago) would admonish me to ask these questions of my response with her four questions:
MY STATEMENT: “This anonymous bully should NOT have written this damaging review.”
KATIE’S FOUR QUESTIONS:
- Is it true?
- Can I absolutely know – for sure – that it should never have happened?
- Who would I be without the thought?
- Turn it around and ask – “Where am I criticising myself (or others) in a way that is irrational, scathing and unwarranted?
Sam Bennet inspired me greatly with these insights from her book “Get it Done – From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 minutes a day.”
It’s called “PLAYING THE SOMETIMES GAME”.
I suggest you complement this exercise with the energy psychology trauma-releasing technique EFT Tapping.
Play the Sometimes Game (g 170-172 in Get it Done): In order to ensure our fears do not take charge of our creativity and decisions, write down real or imagined criticism and then add the rider to each one…sometimes.
So let’s say the presenting critical wording is (in terms of this hate Amazon Kindle book review):
You are such a fraud… You are a money grubbing marketer…Your writing/book has is bad, ugly, unhelpful.
You tap as you say out loud or write:
I am a fraud…sometimes
I come across as a money-grubbing marketer to some people…sometimes
My books strike some people as bad, ugly, unhelpful …sometimes
Write out the loving complimentary thoughts that counter-act this.
Your work is inspirational
Your book changed my life
You are the best writer in the world
Add the word…sometimes
My work is inspirational…sometimes
My book can change lives…sometimes
I am the best writer in the world…sometimes
In conclusion, Bennett writes:
“Learning to accept both the praise and criticism of others (note, I did not say you have to agree with it)…is an important part of becoming spiritually and creatively mature.
After all, your work is going to have an impact on the world, that means some people are really going to like it. And some people won’t.”
UPDATE 2019 – Lesson #3: Be brave and bold
After refusing to be shamed and quiet about the vicious “hater” Kindle book review on Amazon and doing the “inner work” emotional and mental, I got brave and bold and wrote to Amazon, citing their own guidelines about reasonable vs crude and unacceptable language in a book review.
And they removed it! Yes, it’s gone.
But more importantly, I leveraged the angst and anger to take practical steps to upgrade my book with a new cover, revamped edit (pictures removed – this was one of the “hater” reviewer’s criticisms) and a new audio version which has become hugely successful sales-wise.
BEFORE (LEFT) AND AFTER REVAMPING THE COVER (RIGHT)
And it’s made a huge difference to my sales and confidence as an author and transformational coach and healer.
So having read this article ‘Valuable Lessons learned from a “Hater” Book Review on Amazon Kindle’, let me ask you…
Have YOU had to ride the way of negative criticism – or a hate book review – that threatened to savage your creativity as a writer, healer or creative?
Did it make you cringe, doubt yourself – or did you find a way to overcome it and make you stronger?
Leave your comments here or on my Facebook page – I’d love to hear from you.