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Friday, April 8, 2011

Once More, with Feeling: Follow Friday for Writers

The rules
1)      Follow this blog.
2)      Click the quill photo and follow Elizabeth Sharp, the originator of this hop.
3)      Follow the featured author of the week, Nichole Chase
4)      Copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
5)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
6)      Answer the question
7)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
8)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
9)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

This week’s question:
Inspired by the spectacular melt down of Jacqueline Howett on Big Al’s Book Blog, how do you deal with a bad review?

Wait. Are we talking about a negative review, which is what Ms. Howett received, or are we talking about a bad review, which is not what she received?

A bad review would be one in which the reviewer is not competently executing what I think of as his duties. This describes a number of the reviews she received on after the debacle on Al's blog. Many of them were obviously written by people who read Al's review but not the book. How could you tell? They were using the same two sentences cited by Al in his blog's comments section and adding nothing new to the discussion. This also describes many of the five-star reviews she received, because they were written as jokes riffing on the title of her book and not as actual book reviews.

A good review is one in which the reviewer actually reads the book and then gives a fair assessment delivered in a well-written review. Big Al's review was a good one. In fact, he was more than fair. It also happens that Al's assessment was fairly negative. In his opinion, the book was not written well. 

In either case, I'll most probably learn what I can from the review and ignore the rest. A professional writer should probably be too busy busting out the next manuscript to worry about what reviewers say about something that's already published. In the case of a good but negative review, I might thank the reviewer for taking the time to review my work. In the case of a review that's actually bad, I'd probably just ignore the whole mess completely and not dignify it with a response.

Sing that to the tune of "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt".


  1. Happy Friday!! I really liked your spin on how to react to a "negative" review. You're absolutely right. There is a huge difference between a "bad" review and a "negative" review.

    "A professional writer should probably be too busy busting out the next manuscript to worry about what reviewers say about something that's already published."

    The quotation above I heartily agree with. That is exactly how I am. lol

    Have a good weekend! :-)

  2. I completely agree with you. The review was very thoughtful. Well said.

  3. I tried to stay away from the whole mess. I didn't read any of the comments or reviews, but since everyone discussed it on-line there was no avoiding it. From what I gathered the author probably has some other issues she's dealing with, and it's a shame people piled on as they did. Everyone came out bloodied in that brawl.

    And every time I write a post or comment I have that last quote in the back of my mind. I don't think anyone has any doubts about me anymore. :)

  4. On my blog, I linked to Nathan Bransford's discussion, "Virtual Witch Hunt". I couldn't say it better than he: everyone behaved badly, that author deserved compassion, and the internet is a very bad place to make a mistake.
    I like your take on negative vs. bad. You clarified those comments on Amazon: they weren't really reviews, but just repetition to make the review viral at the writer's expense. Wonder how many of those commenters have been reviewed online themselves?
    Good quality post! Hope you visit!

  5. Singing it, Wolfe! I enjoyed your comments and look forward to following your journey. Happy Friday!

  6. Newest follower here via the Friday blog hop. I am a new contemporary romance writer and a reader of almost everything! Hope you stop by and check out my blog.