Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How not to respond to negative reviews

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Angry CatIt's amazing how much a review can contribute to your sense of well-being (positively or negatively.) I've found that I feel much more generous with positive reviewers than I do with negative reviewers. In general, when it comes to someone else's writing, I'm a spelling and grammar Nazi. If someone gives me a positive review and they have the odd typo or spell lose as "loose" I can forgive them. After all, the reviewer was enjoying my sparkling prose so much, he/she was too stunned to proofread. If someone gives me a negative review and s/he has a typo or grammatical error---oooh! I think "What a freakin' moron! Who cares what Tiny4Inches has to say about my manuscript! He can't even find Spell Check!"

Fortunately, I restrain myself from declaring these thoughts publicly in response to the reviews. Apparently, self-published author Jacqueline Howett didn't show as much self-restraint when it came to her book
The Greek Seaman. Books and Pals' Big Al made the mistake of giving Howett's oevre a two star review and she unleashed a tyrade on him. It started with her accusing Big Al of not reading the right version (!!!!) and transformed into a personal attack on Big Al.

Bloggers and internet reviewers have responded in what blogger Nathan Bransford describes as a Virtual Witch Hunt. It's an ugly scene out there. So in case anyone is tempted to lash out against nasty critique partners or book reviewers: just say no.