I know. I know. Don’t groan and/or roll your eyes. I am going to try not to get too “preachy” this week, but sometimes there are topics that need to be revisited. This week, it’s reviews / reviewers / authors being unprofessional about them.
It happens, and way, way too damn much!! Authors who receive reviews from sites/reviewers don’t seem to know when to shut up, be humble and kind, and remember that all reviews are subjective. Every single person on this planet has an opinion about something. We (authors) are in the book business and we all have our own opinions on the books we read for pleasure. Authors need to understand — and we on this blog have all said it time and time again — that they need to grow a very THICK SKIN when it comes to this business.
Authors also have to understand that the reviewers are not the devils and while every book you release is “your baby” (ugh, i hate that term personally), please remember to take a step back, take a day off, go grab a large glass of wine before ever going to battle with a reviewer online. If s/he doesn’t care much for your book — it SUCKS! Trust me, I get it. And it’s very very difficult to take a deep breath and/or walk away before defending your masterpiece. Unfortunately, not everyone will love your masterpiece as much as you do. Again, opinions … we all have them.
Why am I bringing this up again? Well, recently, an author — new one to the business — went toe-to-toe with a reviewer online at a well known site and argued over the review. I do appreciate a good debate once in a while and author’s done necessarily have to take any crap from reviewers, however, it simply makes authors whiny and crybabies. This is my personal opinion, but it’s true. If a reviewer gets the whole story wrong, defend it. I mean if your book has horny aliens who are purple (my fave colour!) and reside on Pluto, and the reviewer says they are sexless and boring orange aliens who reside on Neptune, then by all means, do call the reviewer on it … NICELY!!
But this particular day, this particular new author, really took the reviewer to task over everything the reviewer said didn’t work for her in the story. From characters, to plot holes, etc., it was a disgrace. Name calling, demeaning, appalling — you name it, it happened. And that, authors, is NOT the way to handle negative reviews in public. As much as I want to defend every sentence and kiss in every one of my books, I understand that I have to be professional, take the opinions of others with a grain of salt and with careful consideration. It’s just the best way to do business. Don’t become an author behaving badly. Tsk tsk.
So, lads and ladies, pull on your big, adult panties and be nice. You’re not going to love every review for you books and not every reviewer is going to love your books.
Now, let Tim (in all his fine sexiness) remind us of a few important things…
Be humble. Be kind. And put that fiesty/angry energy into writing something even better the next time!!