Authors! Here’s how to respond to negative reviews!

With thanks to Kate Elliot for taking the time to look up and post this link, as part of a comment thread here.

I particularly like the interpretive dance.

I have to add, though, I stand by my firm policy of never reading negative reviews. A line or two of gentle criticism in an otherwise stellar review is plenty, thanks.

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2 thoughts on “Authors! Here’s how to respond to negative reviews!”

  1. It’s a complicated issue, and to be honest in that particular exchange, I don’t think anyone looked too great, Aaronovitch for commenting as he did, and the Book Smugglers for their reaction. I don’t think I’ve had a single bad experience in seven years of reviewing, but then I am a little tiny blogger, so I don’t get as much exposure, and I don’t tweet negative reviews to authors (which apparently some people do, WHY?). I suppose I also tend to not post negative reviews, or at least not longer ones. I’d rather rave about a book for the length of a blog post, or at least have mostly good things to say about it, than be entirely negative.

    On the other hand, when I’ve had authors comment on my reviews to thank me, it makes my day! And especially with authors I tend to interact with anyway, I’d prefer to know if they think I’m getting something wrong. But I also recognize that authors need to make personal decisions about what they can and can’t handle–it just makes me worry when I don’t see any set policy and I comment or send them a review. It’s very helpful to be clear about what’s okay, on both sides.

  2. On the other hand, when I’ve had authors comment on my reviews to thank me, it makes my day!

    Good to know! Because the urge to contact the reviewer and say YAY THANKS YOU’RE THE BEST REVIEWER EVER is definitely hard to resist.

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