Thursday, April 5, 2012

Misreads

The one thing you should avoid as an author is responding to reviews, good or bad. There's no point in being defensive about a book that you have made available to the general public. At some point in your life, you have gone onto Amazon or IMDB or any website with a reviews section, and you have expressed dislike for something. If you go onto Amazon and give Harry Potter a crappy review, J.K. Rowling isn't going to say anything. I mean, yeah, she's probably in her castle papier mache-ing Euros into busts of the Weasley family, but either way, busy or not, she's not going to respond.

There's an old adage I like to stick to:
"Hater's gon' hate."

Yes, that's a quote from a 3LW song from the 90s/early 2000s, But it rings true and is still relevant.

Now, I'm going to be real. My book sells enough to make me content (my standards are pathetically low) and I don't get a ton of reviews on my book. The very few that I've gotten have been fine, and that makes me happy. I don't tell these reviewers that they've made me happy, but it makes me happy. Fine, all good.

Bad reviews don't really upset me either. I'm secure enough in myself that I'm not under the illusion that everyone is going to like my book. I know they won't; it's not for everyone. I don't respond to bad reviews either.

The only occasion that I have ever intervened on a book review is when the reviewer misread something and honed in on that aspect, and centered the entire review around it. In doing so, the reviewer could have isolated an entire demographic of people from even considering my book. To me, that's when intervention is acceptable (and in this case, the reviewer had been communicating with me about doing a review in an author exchange). That and spoilers--a reviewer ought to know when to say "spoiler alert."

Thoughts? Is it ever okay to say something?


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