Tuesday 5 March 2013

On Review(er)-Bashing...

Stop trashing reviews and reviewers! There – I’ve said it plainly enough. It’s hard enough to get non-writers to review indie books on amazon. Many of my non-writing friends have never written a review in their life and the thought of logging onto amazon (and possibly creating an account – they may not have bought the book there) has never occurred to them. But they do it because they know it’s important for an indie author. And they write their thoughts. Their own thoughts – to which they are entitled.

They think that actually they might read some more indie stuff. And leave a review. They might love the next book or they might not. But they leave a review anyway, because that’s what reviews are for, isn’t it – to give potential customers a heads-up on the book?

And the author, instead of being grateful that somebody bought their book and took the time to voice their opinion, cries “xxx said my book was dull” or “yyy said there was no plot”. And all the authors’ friends rush over to the offending review and vote it down, or worse still leave a comment and criticise the reviewer. And the reviewer shakes his or her head slowly and resolves never again to buy another indie book.

Maybe a bit over the top, but you get the idea? Why do people do this? Readers are our friends – we should cherish them. They are entitled to have any opinion they like. If they think your main character has a stupid name, or the dog is the wrong breed or even that the whole story stinks, it is their prerogative to both think and say so.  Maybe we think that isn’t relevant in a review but that is none of our business! Yes, there is a facility to comment on the review, but it’s not there for people to review the reviewer, really it’s not. Nor is it a good idea to go whinging to amazon. You might think you’re doing the author a favour, but you’re not – you’re just making it harder for anybody else to be brave enough to review his/her book.

If you want to support a writer – particularly one who’s had a bad review – there are some simple answers. Email them privately and commiserate. Get together and drown their sorrows. Or best of all – read the book and write a review yourself.


Ey Wade said...

Well said, thank you very much. I've pretty much had it. It seems to have become a came of 'old whine is me someone didn't like my book'. Sometimes I jut want to say suck it up baby or unpublish your book. As a writer having a bad review is something we have to accept and get over it.

Debbie Bennett said...

Thanks, Ey. I don't think it's all the author though - sometimes they're just guilty of having a moan. It's the army of "friends" that are doing the damage, IMO - and I really don't think they do the author or indie publishing in general any favours.

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