Hey, you! Yep, I’m looking at you authors. I betcha sometimes you look at ratings and reviews and you really want to know why a reviewer didn’t like your book as much as you do. I mean, you published it so that must mean you think it’s pretty darn awesome. Am I right? I don’t know anyone that writes a book without pouring a little piece of their soul into it. Books are practically Horcruxes. So, it just makes sense that you feel slightly defensive when you see that someone had the audacity to give you a 1-star.
I get it. You’re upset and hurt but reviews are a part of the deal. Go look at reviews of books written by some of the greatest authors of all time, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and William Shakespeare. Do you seriously want to sit here and argue with me that you’re better than them? If so? Sorry, I’m going to have to laugh at your little tantrum.
Do not engage your readers who have expressed a negative opinion. I know it hurts but if you truly want to be an author, you need to act like a professional. Professionals in this business don’t contact their readers over negative reviews. Do you really think J.K. Rowling takes time out of her day to respond to naysayers? Of course not. She believes in her work and she doesn’t feel the need to defend it.
If you feel so defensive, maybe you need to ask yourself why that is. Maybe there’s something you need to be learning from your reviewers. Now, you can’t learn from those cranky people on the net that post ridiculous stuff like, “This is garbage! I hate this!” Having said that, if your reviewers are consistently pointing out issues with your grammar, spelling, or plot holes in your story; maybe you need to sit up and take notice. Learn from it and move on. It’s really all you can do.
Lashing out at your readers is completely unprofessional. You put yourself out there. YOU. So, put on your big girl (boy) panties (or boxer briefs) and deal with it. Your readers didn’t make you publish this book. People do not have to like your book. You’re not entitled to 5-star reviews.
More importantly, when you reach out to your readers and guilt/lash out/tantrum over their review, you have successfully turned them off from reading your novels ever again. Further, you’re likely in someone’s hall of shame. You’ve turned into someone to mock. Do you really want that?
I know, this is harsh and it’s hard to read. You may even feel like I’m singling you out. Trust me, I’m not psychic and everything on the internet is not about you. That is unless it applies. I’m telling you this because I hate for anyone to ruin something they love by racking up black marks in the lit community.
I know I sound like a jerk at the moment but I’m saying this because I care. I don’t want to see you make this mistake of becoming an author that people avoid or make fun of.
Don’t let them see you sweat. That should be your motto. You’re an author, not a snowflake.