Sunday, February 27, 2011

Handling the review and different viewpoints of readers

Reviews. They are a big part of a writers life. When a book is published, then it gets sent to various places to be reviewed. Established review sites, Amazon, B&N's website, and various book blogs. And not to mention even here on NN. We all know that there are people who will love what we write, or (sadly), not love what we write, and all the little tidbits in between.

No one likes to hear negative things about their work, and of course it is a bummer if a reader doesn't like so and so about the books we write. But it does happen. We aren't going to please everyone.

But the trend I've been hearing about a lot lately is authors are making fools of themselves by commenting back to the reader/reviewer, and not in a nice way. They'll make blog posts about the negative review, and start a whole rant. Or an author joining a readers loop when their work has been discussed by a reader who said they wouldn't read anymore of their works, simply because the reader didn't like an event in the book, and goes off on the reader. And I keep hearing more and more about this type of behavior.

I know, as a reader, that my tastes vary. I tend to love certain types of books, and then there are some that just don't work for me. I'm also a reviewer. And if I don't fully enjoy the book I'm reviewing, I keep in mind the positive aspects of the book, and write them in, and I also keep in mind the things that may not have worked for me. I write them in as well, but I try to be as kind as I can without not being honest. I don't want to push other readers away from the book, I'm just doing my job as an honest reviewer. If I can't find a single positive thing to say about a book, then I simply don't review it.

As a writer, of course I hope that whatever books I get published will be liked and enjoyed. Who wouldn't? But I will have to brace myself for the not-so-great reviews, and sometimes even the absolute negative, nasty ones. Despite the fact that there are many great reviewers out there, there are some who will just write horrible things about a book they've read.

This Is just something that has been bugging the last month or so, and wanted to blog about it.


Tabitha Blake said...

First off you have to realize reviews are an opinion and not etched in stone. One reviewer may love your book while another may hate it. As writers we need to learn not take it so personally. Now I know that is easier said than done but it is part of being a writer. First and fore most you can't and won't please everyone. Keep that in mind when you get a bad review. That's when a good support system comes in handy. Cry, yell, do whatever it takes to get all your anger and hurt out and then move on. But don't ever bad mouth a reviewer publicly that will just come back to bite you in the behind. You have the right to be upset but do your ranting and sobbing with friends privately. With all that said I do understand how tough it is.

Nikki said...

Exactly! Well said!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Maybe the reviewer won't like the book but the agent did! I've seen the comments on review sites and the wide range of tastes reflected there. Good post, Nikki!

Nikki said...


If we all liked the same thinsg,
it would be pretty boring if you ask me
Everyone just needs to realize
opinions vary and not to take it
so personally and act out on
that feeling.