My Book Series

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How I handle reviews.

I will not be so bold as to say I handle every criticism gracefully. Sadly no human being can do that. But I like to believe I handle a bad review as a good author should. 
An example of how an author should handle a bad review is this.

Bad reviews

Being an author means inevitably getting bad reviews. I accept this whole heartedly but alas not every author does. I like to believe in spite of having a busy schedule with school and writing I maintain a good communicative relationship with my fans and reviewers. Mind you, not all of my reviewer friends are fans of my work and I accept this. In fact, I always ask them for suggestions for how my work can be improved. If they have nothing to say then I accept it. Some of my review friends even complain how certain authors act heinously when they are not given outstanding reviews. My opinion? I rather have an honest review demolishing my work than be fed a lie. My editor Harrison R. Bradlow makes a great point that one star reviews are often the most helpful reviews. In the end, I wish to improve my writing and that is what all writers/authors should long for.
An example of how some authors can take reviews too personal is the article "Am I being Catfished?"

The following is quoted from the article

One day, while deleting and rewriting the same tweet over and over (my editors had urged me to build a “web presence”), a tiny avatar popped up on my screen. She was young, tanned and attractive, with dark hair and a bright smile. Her Twitter profile said she was a book blogger who tweeted nonstop between 6pm and midnight, usually about the TV show Gossip Girl. According to her blogger profile, she was a 10th-grade teacher, wife and mother of two. Her name was Blythe Harris. She had tweeted me saying she had some ideas for my next book.
“Cool, Blythe, thanks!” I replied. In an attempt to connect with readers, I’d been asking Twitter for ideas – “The weirdest thing you can think of!” – promising to try to incorporate them in the sequel.
Curious to see if Blythe had read my book, I clicked from her Twitter through her blog and her Goodreads page. She had given it one star. “Meh,” I thought. I scrolled down her review.
“Fuck this,” it said. “I think this book is awfully written and offensive; its execution in regards to all aspects is horrible and honestly, nonexistent.”
Blythe went on to warn other readers that my characters were rape apologists and slut-shamers. She accused my book of mocking everything from domestic abuse to PTSD. “I can say with utmost certainty that this is one of the worst books I’ve read this year,” she said, “maybe my life.”
Other commenters joined in to say they’d been thinking of reading my book, but now wouldn’t. Or they’d liked it, but could see where Blythe was coming from, and would reduce their ratings.
“Rape is brushed off as if it is nothing,” Blythe explained to one commenter. “PTSD is referred to
insensitively; domestic abuse is the punch line of a joke, as is mental illness.”
“But there isn’t rape in my book,” I thought. I racked my brain, trying to see where I had gone wrong. I wished I could magically transform all the copies being printed with a quick swish of my little red pen. (“Not to make fun of PTSD, or anything,” I might add to one character’s comment. “Because that would be wrong.”)

The writer then goes on to detail how she tracked down the reviewer to find out that the reviewer of the book was fake. The writer was outraged about all this.

My feelings on to whether or not she did the right thing is, I believe, irrelevant. It's her career, her writing and she can do as she sees fit. 
Still the repercussions of what she has done may always reflect on her writing career. So to future authors, never confront your critics. Accept that not everyone will like your work.

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