Note: I wrote this post [a long time ago] and it never went up so I'm posting it now. The info is outdated, I know. Please don't take it as me holding a grudge. I just think this is a good discussion, despite the fact that incident that sparked it took place some months ago.
Being a Taylor Swift [using experiences in blogging,] you may have noticed one really negative [no, but like really negative] review go up in the past. I'm not specifying who the author is or what the book is. That just isn't nice. Anyway, the review, in my opinion, never poked fun at the author.
So what happened was that a few days ago, I was on twitter and I happened to see the @[handle] Once I clicked it, I nearly laughed [okay, I did laugh] because the author had blocked me. I'd never had one conversation with her, when I said that I didn't like her book on twitter [and kind of went into a rant], I never once tagged her. Plus, this is a book that everyone loved, so what does my negative review even matter, right?
Isn't it books ≠ author and reviews ≠ reviewer?
That's why I never understood the reviewer hate [unless of course, the review is making fun of the author. Then that's just getting personal and the review DOES equal the reviewer.]
Another thing that I don't understand is that when someone writes a positive review, the author typically goes, "thank you!" and they're on their way. So why do they take extra effort on negative reviews? There are people who appreciate your work and you focus on the negative...?
I'm not a published author at all but I do write on wattpad. If someone were to hate my book, I think I would be alright with that because I love it so much. I've always believed that authors who can't take negative reviews should:
a) NOT READ THEM! Why would you subject yourself to that?
b) Not write back! Because we've seen what happens to authors who can't keep it to themselves. And if you haven't, consider yourself lucky because the amount of incidents were not pretty and pretty much effed up the book community for a while.
So there are the obvious no-nos:
- Don't call a reviewer out because we come back in swarms [there's a whole power imbalance possibility that Nereyda talks about beautifully.]
- Don't send a mean email to the reviewer demanding that it be taken down.
- Don't stalk the reviewer *side eyes*
But for me, these are the only ones that are obvious. So below are a list of questions that I would like you to answer. Should an author respond to a negative review like this? I'm not saying, what topics make you rage. I just mean, what do you think of authors doing things like these?
- Thumbs down-ing the review on a store like Amazon or B&N
- Getting friends/fans to thumbs down the review
- Blocking the review on twitter, fb etc.
- Subtweeting about a review, just as they might've subtweeted about your book.
- Venting to other friends about it in DM or text
- Correcting a reviewer's grammar/spelling as a comment.
- Author crying, "victim" and making the reviewer look worse than he/she is
- Commenting on the negative review in general
- Say something like "too bad you don't like my book! It's published" in the acknowledgements of the book or social media
- Calling a reviewer a "bully" but not taking any further action