…whether you’re an old pro or someone just starting out, here’s a form of behavior you should avoid if you’re working to cultivate a reader base.
The idiocy starts with the author’s first comment in response to the posted review, and then proceeds to jump off the nearest cliff with a cement block tied to its nut sack.
If a writer’s getting this wrapped around the axle about reviews (good or bad), then that person needs to step back, take a breath, and get a damned grip. For one thing, a writer will never…NEVER…”win” any sort of confrontation like this, not in the long run. A quick check of the Googlies and intrawebs shows that people are talking about this, and not in a good way so far as the writer is concerned. Even in the off chance a writer “wins” a particular shouting match like this one, the damage to their career and reputation will be long-lasting and perhaps even irreparable.
Here’s my stance on reviews, as relayed to wookiemonster in response to his posting this link: I simply don’t get too excited one way or the other.
When it’s all said and done, I wrote a story I wanted to tell, and maybe somebody paid me for it. That’s really the only review that matters to me so far as my mortgage or kids’ school payments are concerned. Yes, it’s very satisfying to get good reviews from readers who took the time to read your story–whether they bought it or borrowed it from the library or a friend or whatever. This is particularly true when someone “gets” what you were trying to do, but even then I don’t let all those nice words and thoughts sway me into thinking everything I write is gold and that I shouldn’t keep working hard on the next story. I’ll read a thoughtful review, even if it’s one that’s unfavorable, if I think I might learn something from the exercise, but aside from that? I couldn’t care less.
When it comes to letting others read your writing, you’re never going to get everyone to like what you do. Some will find the errors and typos you missed even after proofing the thing five times. Some will just not like your writing style, or choice of subject matter, or they’ll feel you’re pushing some kind of agenda to which they take exception. It doesn’t matter…some way, somehow, you’re always going to rub at least some readers the wrong way. That’s just the way it goes. The sooner a writer accepts that, the better off he/she will be. Otherwise, they should seek another occupation.
So, anyway…writers? Don’t do this, okay?
Thanks to wookiemonster for the heads-up on this. Yowzers.