Thursday, 19 January 2012

My Secret Weapon Against Bad Reviews

As long as writers put out stories, reviewers will be...well, reviewing. I'm not published (yet), but I'm already prepared for what will inevitably happen. The Dreaded Snarky Review.

This is my plan. I will never read a book review. I also have a plan for avoiding shark attacks. I stay out of the water.

I've learned that compliments are nice to hear, but it's the negative comment that follows you around like a shadow. No matter how many times to try to shake it off, it's always there. You could receive loads of lovely reviews, but it will be the one criticism you obsess over.

At least, that's the way I know I'll react.

My mom after reading a bad review (not exactly as shown).

However, I'm a curious girl so I also have a backup plan—my mom. She'll read all the reviews and be my filter, only telling me the good stuff. My mom says things like, “...every Tom, Dick and Harry...the much does it cost to send this by e-mail?”

She's not exactly proficient with a computer, so I don't have to worry about her going all ferocious mother bear by responding with a totally embarrassing post if someone dares to say my book isn't spectacular.

The purpose of the book review is to give an opinion. It's not about advising the author how to change their writing style or how the story arc could have been tighter, that's the job of agents and editors.

Writing a thoughtful review is hard work. The reviewer shouldn't have to worry about how the author is going to react because it's not for the author, it's for other readers.

If a review is cruel and unnecessarily demeaning, then it will be obvious that it's not a dependable review, but rather an excuse to make a few jokes at someone's expense. This speaks for itself and retaliating will only bring more attention to the nasty review.

But then again, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Finally, it's naive to think everyone will LURV your book. Of course there will be bad reviews. You just have to be ready to handle the good with the bad, which is important because you don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry to read your ranting rebuttal on the interweb...FOREVER.


Next Monday I'll be blogging the latest episode of Once Upon A Time.


Jane Lebak said...

I've had friends pre-read my reviews for me because I get scared and nauseated when they appear.

I ask for them. I send review copies. I answer any questions the reviewer has. And then the actual review leaves me beside myself.

It's very good to have someone to say, "It's okay, go read it."

BR Myers said...

Wise words. Good plan, Jane.

Caroline Gerardo said...

Worst thing is when they don an alias, write a review not related to your book and give one puff. Or this one "I gave this free story two stars because it is a short story and it was free. I haven't read it yet but my opinion is always grand." sigh smile don't read them keep working

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