Thursday, March 31, 2011
The details of the recent author behaving badly episode are the same as always. Reviewer agreed to review a book and didn't give the review the author was looking for because of a misunderstanding. Whatever the reason for the less than stellar review, the author forgot one of the most important facts of writing/publishing, and especially self-publishing: You can't please everyone all the time. Hell, you can't please everyone at any time.
Writers take a chance every time they hand over their work, whether it be to a potential agent or publisher, or later when it's published, reviewers. Will they see what you saw when you wrote the book? Will they like it? And if it's high concept, will they understand where you intended to go with the story?
I know book reviewers who have no qualms about criticizing a book. I know one very well, in fact. And I trust her when she carves into a book like it's a week old cantaloupe because I know her skill as an editor and reader. I've read every review she's written and know that when she points out problems, it's with the intention of being true to what she believes a well written book is supposed to be. However, she will admit, these are her opinions, that's all. Nothing more. But the reality is that I don't know all reviewers out there, and I have to trust that they will read my book with an open mind and with the aim to enjoy it, like my friend does.
So when I get a response that angers me as much as our recent author behaving badly did, I know that the only course of action is to say, "Thank you for reading my book. I'm sorry it wasn't for you." That's all, and that's only if I really want to be gracious. If I think the review is pure crap, then I say nothing and gather up friends for a drinking/bitchfest about it. And once we've verbally eviscerated the poor soul over some beers, my friends will then say, "Whatevs. We love you, regardless of what that jackass wrote." And then we'll move on to checking out some guy across the bar who we suddenly all realize is incredibly hot (or the beer has made us think so).
If only our recent example of an author behaving badly had turned to her friends instead of the instant gratification of the comment box below a single blog post. If only...
at 11:12 AM