No, You Can’t Please Everybody

To please, or not to pleaseThere I was, sitting in a writers’ critique group led by a famous author, when a woman burst into tears. The reason? Every time someone had offered suggestions on her manuscript, she rewrote her story. But many suggestions contradicted each other.

“I can’t make everybody happy,” she sobbed.

Truer words were never spoken.

That woman wasn’t yet published and faced frustration in trying to please every reader. But that’s not possible. Amazon reviews for The Methuselah Project, my third published novel, provide amusing evidence that it’s impossible to please every type of person.

To illustrate this point, here are excerpts from reviewers (I don’t know them) who left Amazon comments on The Methuselah Project:


How was the writing style?

“I did have a bit of trouble with the writing style, especially in the beginning.” (By Ashley)

“Great book! I really enjoyed this story and the writing style. The progression of the story and characters was interesting. Hope to see a sequel soon.” (By grams)


Was this novel the right length?

“Really good read but a bit overly long” (By Janine)

“I really wanted it to be longer….” (By Marali)


How was the story’s pace?

“It took me a bit to get into the story.” (By Rebecca)

“This exciting book is fast paced, intriguing and a page turner! I would highly recommend this book to any one!” (By Jennifer)


Could you figure out the ending?

“Entertaining, fast moving, but predictable novel.” (By Jude)

“This book was so unique and I loved it even more because of that fact. Books tend to follow the same type of patterns so I can usually figure out what is going to happen before the books end and because this book was so different from anything I have read before I didn’t figure it out until it was ending.” (By Margaret)


Did it capture your imagination?

“It held my attention and then it fell flat in other parts.” (By Andrea)

“One of my all time favorite books!!!!! Couldn’t put it down. Finished it in two days. If you like WWII Historical fiction look no further. Strap into your seat in the cockpit and prepare for a wild ride!” (By Rosevine Cottage Girls)


Was the story memorable?

“I found The Methuselah Project to just be an ok read. I didn’t hate it, but I closed the covers thinking it could have been better. I am definitely in the minority with my opinion — it has great reviews on Goodreads.” (By B. Burnham)

“This is one of the most awesome books I’ve read in a while. Surprising. Suspenseful. Believable. Reminds me of the movie with Mel Gibson ‘Forever Young.’ I wanted it to be a series.” (By Del)


I hope you’re smiling at these contradictions, all by anonymous readers, who gave their unbiased opinions on my story.

The bottom line: No, you can’t please everyone in life. Listen to suggestions, sure, but weigh the advice. Act on what’s good; ignore what’s bad. Try to please God, and of course be true to yourself!

6 thoughts on “No, You Can’t Please Everybody”

  1. This is great advice, Rick. I had a similar experience with The First Principle. One reviewer claimed my heroine was disrespectful, but another reviewer said the opposite.

    1. I can believe it, Marissa. People exhibit a wide range of reactions to pretty much everything, including politics, artwork, and the Bible. We need not be hurt when a portion of the reading public disagrees with the way we’ve handled a story–or anything else, for that matter. 🙂

  2. I guess it all comes down to the fact readers come from different walks of life and situations. We all look at things different. I try to keep that in mind when looking at remarks and reviews. Some reviews will lift your spirits. And then one pops up and makes you want to run away and hide–or wear a disguise when you go out in public. 🙂 But when a stranger at your spouse’s class reunion comes up to you, praising your storytelling, and hugs your neck–the world rights itself. You remember even Jesus had people critiquing his teachings, and the remarks were not always favorable.

    1. Exactly, Karen. And it applies to all aspects of life. One person loves a particular book; another hates it. One person raves about a new movie, while her friend brushes it off as boring or formulaic. One woman stands and marvels at a gorgeous sunset, but her husband shrugs and couldn’t care less. So no big deal if there are people who are unsatisfied with our writing. That just means they don’t fit into the group for which we write.

  3. A genuine Christian Captain America

    I just read, The Methuselah Project”. I is one of the best books that I have read in quite a while. I did not want to put it down and was sorry it ended. I could easily follow a series with these characters! Please write another.

    1. Thank you so much for taking time to share your thoughts, Prince. I sincerely appreciate that. As far as a sequel goes… I’ll see what I can do!

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