Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Word on Negative Reviews

There's more to the truth than just the facts. ~Author Unknown

So yesterday, comments by an author who completely self-destructed online due to what she perceived to be a negative review (I read it ... it wasn't that negative) went viral. Be warned, if you read this, when she runs out of ways to argue, she just drops the F-Bomb...

The blog owner finally shut off comments (after 300+) but what's mind-boggling about the whole thing (and this is something we see far too often on the Internet now) is that the author simply didn't think twice before hitting send. And, as a result, she alienated thousands of potential readers.

I saw a comment elsewhere that she's now garnered hundreds of negative reviews on Amazon, and this person said that the author must be laughing up her sleeve because that many people bought her book. Sorry, commenter, you don't have to buy a book to leave a review on Amazon.

She even had a coffee mug created in her "honor".

My point in sharing all of this is simply this: authors will get negative reviews. It's the nature of the beast. From Jane Austen to Louis L'Amour to Stephen King, all authors get negative reviews. Period. It's how one deals with them that makes the difference.

The owner of the blog (above) actually has a post about negative reviews that I think is very well written.

EHow has articles on it.

I found other article about the subject here and here . I'm sure there are more.

How have I handled it in the past? I've thanked the reviewer for taking the time to review my book (when it's been possible to thank the reviewer -- as a side note, I really hate sites like Fictionwise that don't allow space for reviews ... the biggest benefit to a negative review is finding out what someone didn't like) and moved on.

I'm a super critical reader. I like only about half the books I pick up, and I love only a few. I understand how one person's opinion can differ wildly from another's.

Bad reviews are a fact of life. If you're going to be an author, get a thick skin or get out of the business.

I feel sorry for the author, above. She's going to have a rough time getting past this debacle.


We're quiz free today ... the one today was stupid.



KarenG said...

I read this. Whew! It was unbelievable the way she kept arguing and being abusive in the comments. I was totally stunned. It was like watching a train wreck.

Dru said...

I didn't read all of them but I can see how it was going to turn out. She should have accepted his negative review and moved on.

Maria Zannini said...

Reviews are so subjective. You can't please everyone. And you have no control over it.

If it's a bad review, just ignore it and move on.

Marianne Arkins said...

Maria, in his post on negative reviews, Al says:

But everyone else says my book is great

Everyone and I disagree. It happens.

I think that sums up reviews in general...

Angelina Rain said...

It’s so funny that you and I are blogging about the same thing today. I read that train wreak and the first page of comments and was honestly shocked at her level of unprofessionalism. I also read an excerpt of her book and it was horribly written. Half of it didn’t make any sense. I can’t believe a few people bought her book, but according to Novel Rank, only four books were sold this March, so I can’t say her bad publicity helped her much. Then again, I don’t know how accurate Novel Rank is so I can’t judge too much.

Melissa McClone said...

I hadn't heard about this. I'll have to click the link.

I rarely send books out for review, but sometimes they get reviewed anyway. I got a very bad review on a well-known site a few months ago. It was for one of my 2010 releases. It came across google alerts. Those are never fun to read, but it's just one person's opinion. I could never have imagined commenting on something like that. I never even went back to see if people commented on it. Figured why torture myself!

Brandy said...

Woo, that author went cuckoo. I've noticed that reviews are really being scrutinized and argued over by quite a few authors in the last couple of years. This is not the first author to go batty over a review, the others were more well-known. And in one instance VERY well-known. I realize it must be hard to have your work, as a writer, critiqued.
I will say, though, thanks for the link. It was entertaining.

I hope you have a pleasing day!

Joanna St. James said...

She had a bad day is all. Am sure she will bounce back.
If this ever happens to me I pray I have someone there to smash my laptop or at least lock me in a room without internet.

Ceri Hebert said...

I read the blog this morning after one of my publisher loops posted the link. Wow. Just wow! I can't believe how hostile she was! The review really wasn't so horrible. It was constructive. It's too bad she couldn't have seen that. Just imagine if Mrs. Giggles had done a review!

Wonder what she'll do now. Honestly, I felt kind of bad for her after reading some of the reviews on the Amazon site, but she really offered herself up to it. Wonder if she regrets her reaction now.