1 Star Book Review

The internet makes assholes out of normal people.  Just about everyone with a Facebook or Twitter has witnessed the phenomenon.  It is an accepted truth, and no one can do anything about it.

But WHY, oh why, are authors stooping to immaturity when it comes to book reviews?  Bad reviews suck.  They do.  I’ve gotten all mine face to face so far, along with the deliciously good ones, and these suck even more because I can’t say what I’d like to say while the reviewer is talking.

Expect some people to dislike your work.  Expect some people to completely dismiss your work.

You aren’t writing for them.  Take their constructive criticism, if any, and move on.  Every time I see an author has responded to bad reviews, I cringe.  It’s all about tone.  A completely justified rebuttal still comes off looking like a tantrum if the tone is angry or “that’s so unfair!”

Cry by yourself, with ice cream, but don’t do yourself the disservice of throwing a fit in the professional sphere.

Just the other day, I felt the need to reassure an impartial reviewer that I wouldn’t go batshit nuts on them if they didn’t like my book.  And the one 5 star review I have on Amazon because I have waited so patiently for someone who doesn’t love me passionately to review my book?  I feel like I need to defend that, too, because the reviewer has only reviewed my book, a sure sign of a sock puppet to some people.  What kind of a world is that?  Aren’t reviews supposed to be helpful?

Self-publishing is going through growing pains, and this is one of the unintended consequences.  Reviews are hard-won badges of honor, or battle scars.  All people, authors and reviewers, should exercise some restraint.  Honesty AND tact are virtues.  Behind the screen is another person, and what they’ve written, hopefully, speaks to them.

We don’t always need to have rational thoughts, but take rational actions, especially if your livelihood is attached.

~ by Rachel Francis on August 15, 2012.

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