This has been pissing me off for awhile now, but I haven’t gotten to ranting about it. Today, I read Holly’s post over at Sanctuary’s Finest (and the RTB post she linked), which brought the subject to mind again. Obligatory warning: If you’re easily offended, stop reading here.
All right, look. I don’t know a published author out there who likes reading negative reviews of her work. (I’m sure there must be a few sick people out there, so I’m sticking the “I don’t know aâ€¦” on there in case someone decides to speak up just to prove me wrong. ;)) Really, who likes to be told that something they spent long hours on sucks ass like a cheap whore who can’t figure out which end to blow? Yeah, I thought so.
But I see a lot of authors whining about reviews on blogs and boards. Of course, people have a right to say what they want, but so do I. 😉 I’m constantly annoyed by people who post a long “woe is me” whine about a glowing review that had two lines of minor criticism. “I wished she had spent more time onâ€¦ [whatever].”
Author’s response: “OMG! She HAAAAAAAATED it!!!”
Other people’s responses: “Oh, poor baby, the mean reviewer!”
Me: *mutter*growl* *wander off to kill virtual zombies* (Because there aren’t any real zombies to kill insteadâ€¦)
Seriously, that’s annoying, but it doesn’t bother me as much as some of the other stuff. I try to have patience for new authors/writers, even if I don’t always succeed. At least I usually succeed in keeping my trap shut. 😛
What really cooks my goose are the authors who say that readers shouldn’t ever say anything negative about a book they read. Um. HELLO? If the reader paid her hard-earned cash to buy your book, she is fucking entitled to post her opinion on her blog. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. Sure, I’d love it if everyone who read my books loved them, but that’s not realistic. Some people are just gonna hate them, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s not the sort of book they expected. Maybe the tone isn’t one they like. Maybe something in the book is a “hot button trigger.” Or maybe they just plain don’t like it. Do you like every book you’ve ever read? I thought not.
The issue is a bit squidgier when you’re talking about reviews blogs/sites that function mostly based upon author submissions. Places have different protocols. For example, at Evolution’s (poorly tended) book reviews, if one reviewer hates a book, we hand it to another. If the second also hates it, the two reviewers compare notes. We then contact the author, explain succinctly why the reviewers disliked it, and ask if the author would still like the review posted.
I don’t think I need to say what the answer usually is. LOL.
Other places don’t give such an option. And they have every right to do it the way they want.
Ironically, the people that have complained the most have been authors who sent their work somewhere for review and then had it trashed. Look, if you send your book to a reviewer like Mrs. Giggles, you had damn well better expect it. Reviewers like that are hard even on the books they like, much less books they don’t.
Of course, then the response is, “Reviewers like that should only give out complimentary reviews or close! It’s mean to be snarky!”
Dot. Dot. Fucking. Dot.
Yes, because newspapers and professional industry publications so work that way. You’ll never see a negative review come out of someplace like Publishers Weekly or your local newspaper. Nope, it’s just full of sugar and spice and everything nice, and you’ll never have to deal with that there. /sarcasm
I don’t really have words to explain how stupid I think this attitude is. This is the real fucking world, people, not a everyone-play-nice sandbox. Sure, negative reviews hurt and make you doubt yourself and what you’re doing–but if you’re going to bitch, do it to your crit partner, writing buddy, whatever. Don’t sit there and throw a public temper tantrum because someone “trashed” your “baby.” (Who the fuck came up with that crazy book-as-baby idea, anyway?)
Shit happens. Get over it and start writing the next book.