On Reviews For Authors

So at a very odd hour late last night, I went ahead and wrote a review over at Shiny Book Review. To say that it was an adventure is an understatement. Reputedly, this author has a history of lashing out at reviewers, so we’ll see just how interesting things get around here.

I mentioned elsewhere that the ideal author response to any review is a “thank you for writing a review”. That should be it. Drop mic, exit stage left, fade to black. For some reason some authors feel the need to tell the reviewer that what they read was not what was written, and they missed subtle nuances, etc. Word of advice: if the reviewer missed it, then it’s possible it wasn’t there in the first place.

Nobody knows the story and the characters as well as the author, and it’s completely understandable to see something that the reader does not because you know the characters and story so much better. It’s okay, really. However, lashing out and yelling at book reviewers (or going creepy cyber stalker, like this author did) is not the way to go. You are a professional now, damn it. Try and remember that, even if your Twitter feed is nothing but hyperbole and pictures of lattes (nothing wrong with either, actually).


3 thoughts on “On Reviews For Authors

  1. Some years back I went through a phase of reading author biographies. One of the ones I read were the two volumes (then) of Isaac Asimov’s autobiography. And somewhere within them was Asimov’s advice on dealing with bad reviews (paraphrased from memory):

    – Writer a scathing rebuttal.
    – Discuss, in lurid detail, the reviewer’s history, parantage, and hygene and shortcomings thereof.
    – Read over the review. Chortle to yourself over the best parts.
    – Show the review to your Significant Other. Laugh together over houw thoroughly you skewer the reviewer.
    – Fold it neatly (this was before things like email, let alone social media, were common) put it in an envelope.
    – Address the envelope. Put a stamp on it. (The stamp shows how serious you are.)
    – Tear up the rebuttal, envelope and all, into little, tiny bits because you’ve gotten all the benefit you are ever going to get out of it.

    Advice I have tried to follow over the years.

  2. Huh, my comment about The Mad Genius Club’s very own Shadowdancer Duskstar was on Lousy Book Covers too was deleted.

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