On the Rights of Reviewers

Negative reviews hurt, but they’re not for authors. I mean, I’m pretty sure an author might be able to learn something if there were bunches of people saying the same thing, like “unrelateable characters” or “horrible world building”. Reviews are for readers, though. They are places to share thoughts and opinions, and even a bad review can sell a book. I know there are some bloggers out there that I am the complete opposite of – everything they hate, I LOVE.
When an author crosses a line and starts mocking or bashing a reviewer, that is unthinkable. It’s almost like a chef walking out to a paying customer who tells a friend that they didn’t like the appetizer that they have no taste buds and aren’t worth anything. Or going to twitter and mocking how unrefined their customers are. Or posting on their official restaurant website that anyone who didn’t like their food is out to get them. I could go on.
I post negative reviews. I don’t like everything I read. In fact, I am quite critical sometimes. And I am snarky. That’s just how I am. But if an author ever posted about me on their blog or Twitter, mocked me and my reviews, said I was ungrateful and spiteful, then that would piss me off. And I know how it feels from the reviewer point. It’s a great instructor for being on the other side, and this week has taught me lessons I know I will use well if I am ever an author – successful, unsuccessful, loved, hated, ambivalent.
Let me sum this up. Authors, this is a career where you will see negative reviews against you, and where your public persona will dictate whether you thrive or die. Mocking people or bashing them will only earn you a place as a hated person. You will lose fans, you will lose sales, you will lose respect. Even with us reviewers, who make up only a small portion of readers in the world, you don’t want this. Reviewers, don’t bash authors, and don’t take it personally if they bash you. Sometimes people just have inflated egos. You have a way of fighting back – don’t support their work.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
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