Thursday, August 23, 2012

Speaking out on reviews????

Since before I even published my first book, it's been branded on my brain that it is taboo for authors to respond to reviewers. Many won't even read their reviews. I think thats smart to some degree, but I do read all of mine. I like to know what people think. If it's something I completely disagree with, I let it go. But if it's a valid point, I learn from it.

For the most part, my reviews have been positive. I've yet to receive a really awful review. There was one pretty negative review a while back, but it was obvious to me that the reader rarely read romance. They just didn't understand the fantasy aspect of the genre.

I used to thank people for their kind reviews, but then I learned even that was kinda taboo. Reviewers and readers, especially on sites like Goodreads, want the ability to talk about books without the intrusion of the author....whether good or bad. Now I know things can get really nasty on really bad, all out scathing reviews. And for an author, it can be devastating. We put so much blood, sweat, and tears into our books...they're our babies. It hurts to hear they're not liked. Or despised...or compared to the contents of a litter box.

Recently a very popular author made some comments about a negative review she received on Amazon...or rather her husband did. Whatever. This isn't new. It happens every so often. Some author flips out and chaos ensues. Her reactions after it all went down were less than favorable. And they make all authors look bad. This is a subjective business. Everyone will have their opinion, and not all of them will be nice. You have to grow a thick skin and put on your big girl panties if you want to survive this business. And keep your mouth shut. And make sure your husband keeps his mouth shut too.


  1. I don't think I'll be putting on my big girl panties anytime soon. The real problem is that a lot of "reviewers" don't put much thought or logic into their "reviews." You get these idiots who rate a book 1 star because they didn't like the subject matter or they didn't like the ending or some other stupid thing. Those are the most annoying people because they don't realize how much damage they can do with that brainless review, especially to a small-time author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Deleted and reposted comment for a grammar mistake! LOL!!!

      When I say "Put your big girl panties on" I just mean taking the reviews and being the bigger person and moving on. People really don't get how damaging a negative review can be. But in all honesty, I can't say some books don't deserve them. If a book is very poorly written and is riddled with grammar mistakes...well..the negative review should be a learning experience for the writer. Books shouldn't be praised without deserving it either.

      And I agree...there are many times books get negative reviews simply because the reviewer did not like the subject matter.

      But just as we writers support free speech and ban censorship, we have to understand the readers' right to share their opinions too. We may not like it, but they have a voice too, and the internet gives them the platform. All we can do it put out the best work possible. We can't please everyone and you have to go in thinking that.

  2. Since I haven't published anything yet, but I have done reviews, I make it a policy to write from a positive viewpoint, highlighting the winning points of the piece. Let someone else do the negatives. I am pretty honest with the stars, and have yet to rate anything below 3.

  3. I have to agree with you, Stephanie. Nothing you write will ever make everybody happy. The sooner every author accepts that, the better she'll be able to also accept some less-than-flattering reviews.

    Yesterday I read all that hooplah about Giffin and her hubby (and her assistant, who seems to really be lacking in the "professional" and "reality" departments. Whoa. I was really the end of everything her husband offered an explanation that sort of made sense for why he'd attacked the reviewer, but given his reason (he claims his wife has been stalked and harrassed recently), I'm appalled that Emily has not offered any sincere condolences whatsoever to the blogger who is now being threatened and stalked.
    And to the fans who've gone hogwild on the reviewers? Really? Do they have NO life at all, that they have time to attack a person who doesn't like a book or author as much as they do? That's ridiculous. I'd tried reading one of this author's books before and just didn't get into--finally gave up. But in all honesty, after watching this craziness unfold, I doubt I'll ever crack another of her books open. There are many more deserving authors out there, in my opinion.

    I also try to do positive reviews, but am honest with my "stars". I feel like I'd be ripping off other readers if I give a crummy book a good rating.

    1. I have been a fan of her work in the past...but now...I don't know. It's all left a bad taste with me. The reactions of her fans are just ridiculous.

      I'm like you...I try to point out only the positives in a review and let the star rating reflect my overall opinion.