How NOT to respond to reviews.

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Sommer Leigh
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Sommer Leigh » March 30th, 2011, 10:06 pm

Guardian wrote:
My writing is just fine!
But regardless from her behavior, she is raising a very good point. Who is this reviewer? Why the reviewer is hiding and writing under an alias? Personally I would handle his reviews with great skepticism, because as I know the industry and professionals and their practices, they love to create phantom reviewers and reviews (Games, movies, books) to ruin indie products which are better than the pro industry ones (Which is not a hard task in the present.). So, when a reviewer is not capable to use his real name, when he is hiding behind an alias, writing reviews under an alias and you actually don't know anything about him, why should we take him seriously and why should we accept every word what he is saying in his reviews?

Of course, the present "event" is presenting how not to respond to reviews, but as #1, we don't know anything about the reviewer and his credibility, #2, as there are some interesting contradiction between the statements of the reviewer and author, I would handle all of these "no name" / "under alias" reviews with caution. Right now this BigAl's review site sounds as a typical industry "Phantom Review and Discrediting Factory Co. Ltd." which is producing reviews about self published books in every 1-2 days, which is almost impossible if the guy is doing it alone and if the novels are around 50-70k+ / each. Maybe I'm wrong, but this review site sounds a bit fishy to me, especially after this line in the Submission Guidelines... "I will post reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon UK as applicable.". If you're a blogger, you're not doing this, especially not for free. This site sounds as a bait to me and translates the following... "Send me your ebook, I'm going to review it under an alias and do you like the review or not, I'm going to present my opinion as the universal truth on every possible site.". Now, whoever is writing under an alias, that one doesn't take responsibility for anything he writes, regardless that review is capable to determine the outcome of sales and the reviewer is well aware of this.

So, always observe everything from two sides, not just from one. Yes, the author made a great mistake, but if the reviewer is not read the up to date version, while the author said to do so, in this case, the reviewer is also made a great, or even a greater mistake (Directly or indirectly, it's really matter.).
We're not talking about a professional reviewer who writes for a newspaper or magazine, we're talking about a book blogger. Book bloggers read books and write reviews because they like books. Writing under a "persona" is not any different than writing under a pen name. Or any of us who have forum names. It is not a reason to consider a person untrustworthy. Book bloggers who review books because they like to review books and share books with people is a passion. Some of my favorite book bloggers do not post under their real names because it is a separate part of their lives.

Also, most book bloggers do post their reviews on Amazon, GoodReads and LibraryThing and other sites like it. And yes, for free. It's because they like books and they like the authors they read. Many book blog reviewers do get free arcs and review copies and most put up disclaimers that by giving a free copy doesn't necessarily mean a good review. Some of my favorites are:
http://loveyalit.com/
http://stephsureads.blogspot.com/
http://www.thestorysiren.com/
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Guardian » March 31st, 2011, 3:34 am

Sommer. The difference between those sites what you linked and this one is the "About me" section. Yours have true names and photos about the reviewer. The site which is in this thread has no name, no photo, nothing. But this is the site that about everyone talks so sudden, because there was a clash between an "anonymous" reviewer, dozens of "anonymous commenters" and an "author." This is why I'm suspicious as this is remembering me for some unethical corporate practices. As I written, I can be wrong and it's possible I'm very wrong this time, but I rather cautious with sites and events like this, especially when we have an "anonymous" reviewer, dozens of "anonymous" commenters and a great media echo.

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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Mike R » March 31st, 2011, 12:46 pm

Bottom line:

She asked for the review.

She got the review.

She went bonkers.

I've had critique partners like that. It's bad form to go off on the person giving their opinion even if you disagree vehemently. I doubt her work, though I have not read it and will not, is so good that some industry muckety-muck has targeted her.

It is her response that gives independent authors a black eye and makes reviewers reluctant to review self-pubbed work.

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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Leila » March 31st, 2011, 1:15 pm

polymath wrote:
Leila wrote:Does that make sense?
Yes, it does, and in perfect accord with my more enjoyable reading experiences, though I'm becoming more conscious of and alert to subtext in literature and in life. Recent civil rights events opposing tyrranies for example. I was finally able to read and fully appreciate William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair, though it took me a month to read through, because the subtext was at last accessible after decades of trying to read the novel.
Ah, another book to add to the pile of 'to be read'! Thanks!

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Marla Warren
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Self-published author goes ballistic about review

Post by Marla Warren » April 1st, 2011, 1:27 am

A self-published author goes ballistic when a blog review criticizes the book. The author's comments are unbelievable.

http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... owett.html
“Good writing should be smooth, clear and short, and the art of saying little in much must be avoided at all costs.”
--Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Self-published author goes ballistic about review

Post by Guardian » April 1st, 2011, 3:14 am

We're already discussing this event here...

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3504

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Marla Warren
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Re: Self-published author goes ballistic about review

Post by Marla Warren » April 1st, 2011, 9:13 am

Guardian wrote:We're already discussing this event here...

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3504
Thank you, Guardian. Sorry I didn't catch it.
“Good writing should be smooth, clear and short, and the art of saying little in much must be avoided at all costs.”
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Mira
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Mira » April 1st, 2011, 4:57 pm

Wow.

Poor thing. She really lost it.

This whole thread was fascinating as a picture-in-time view of human interaction: her reaction, her dialogue with the reviewer and the posters, and the follow-up reactions of the posters. Alot of primitive human emotions taking over everyone.

I understand it, I can definitely go there on the internet. I have to be constantly vigilant, and even then, I still can go there sometimes. Heck, I can go there in real life. You do NOT want to be driving next to me when I'm in a mood. Or near me if you go through the 15 item line with 20 items. Because, trust me, I'm counting how many items you have. Arrgghhh. I can lose it. It's embarassing, but I have a side of me that is just well, embarrassing.

One thing I found heartening, though was the compassion that started to come through in some of the posts. Humans can have some wonderful qualities as well.

Speaking of which, Sommer - I thought your post was awesome btw.

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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Sommer Leigh » April 1st, 2011, 7:46 pm

Mira wrote:
I understand it, I can definitely go there on the internet. I have to be constantly vigilant, and even then, I still can go there sometimes. Heck, I can go there in real life. You do NOT want to be driving next to me when I'm in a mood. Or near me if you go through the 15 item line with 20 items. Because, trust me, I'm counting how many items you have. Arrgghhh. I can lose it. It's embarassing, but I have a side of me that is just well, embarrassing.

One thing I found heartening, though was the compassion that started to come through in some of the posts. Humans can have some wonderful qualities as well.

Speaking of which, Sommer - I thought your post was awesome btw.
Thank you Mira :-)

Also I am glad I am not the only one who wants to rip someone a whole new one when they take their 20 items into the 15 items or less line. And people who stand right in front of elevator doors when they open and try to get in even as you are trying to get out. Oh and people who stand in doorways at my work and have little mini meetings so you have to push and nudge your way around them. It takes all my effort not to grow claws and horns and say what I'm really thinking.

Oddly enough, I am fairly gentle in the car.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Marla Warren
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Marla Warren » April 2nd, 2011, 12:35 am

I have to say I laughed my ass off when I read the author's reaction to the review. It's always interesting to hear from the reality-impaired.

As for the author, I say "If you can't take the heat, then stay off the computer."
“Good writing should be smooth, clear and short, and the art of saying little in much must be avoided at all costs.”
--Benjamin Franklin

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Susan Quinn
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Susan Quinn » April 2nd, 2011, 12:01 pm

I haven’t read the whole controversy (purposely avoiding it), because I like to celebrate the niceness in life (go Nate B.!) and do my best to ignore bad behavior. However, here’s an interesting analysis of the “group” behavior that these kinds of events seem to inspire…
http://thestrangestsituation.blogspot.c ... psych.html
Susan Kaye Quinn (young adult and middle grade author)
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maybegenius
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by maybegenius » April 2nd, 2011, 4:45 pm

Susan Quinn wrote:I haven’t read the whole controversy (purposely avoiding it), because I like to celebrate the niceness in life (go Nate B.!) and do my best to ignore bad behavior. However, here’s an interesting analysis of the “group” behavior that these kinds of events seem to inspire…
http://thestrangestsituation.blogspot.c ... psych.html
I liked that blog post. Very interesting :)

Here's my two cents on the matter: Yes, I feel a little bad for the author and thought it was really crappy for people to jump on the bash train just to make fun of her and give her book 1-star reviews without reading it. At the same time, I do not have much patience for people who cannot control their emotions well enough not to go off on a screed, insult their reviewer, and curse at everyone in the vicinity. That is not appropriate behavior by any scope of the imagination, and it certainly doesn't endear me to that person. Sure, maybe she had a terrible day and that was the icing on the crap cake. But I have terrible days and it's still not okay for me to go out in public and abuse someone who is only doing their "job." It's not okay for me to go to my critique group and tell a critique partner to "eff off" because they're picking at my grammar.

Regarding the reviewer, I felt he was in the right. He received a book, he reviewed a book. Really, he COMPLIMENTED the book. He actually said the story was interesting and enjoyable to read. His criticism was that the author's grammar and editing was so poor that it took him out of the story. That is 100% legitimate criticism. It's not as though he found two or three typos in the work and knocked her for that. The work had these issues throughout, to the point of being distracting from the story. To say that a reviewer can't or shouldn't ding an author for poor grammar/bad editing is sort of ludicrous statement to me. If the reviewer actually had trouble figuring out what the author was trying to say, that detracts from the work. He also responded politely to the author, despite her attitude, and didn't get involved in the bashing that followed. I believe he closed comments when he realized how out of hand it had gotten.

Anyway, blahblahblah, writing an essay, sorry. Anyway. I'm not a fan of snarky/intentionally mean book critics, but I do think authors have a responsibility to check themselves and not behave unprofessionally. If you want writing to be your career, you need to treat it like a career. You can't go around telling your boss and co-workers that YOUR WORK IS JUST FINE, EFF OFF when it's been said otherwise. Even if they're wrong.
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Dana-Lynn
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Dana-Lynn » April 4th, 2011, 8:45 am

Mike R wrote:Bottom line:

She asked for the review.

She got the review.

She went bonkers.

I've had critique partners like that. It's bad form to go off on the person giving their opinion even if you disagree vehemently. I doubt her work, though I have not read it and will not, is so good that some industry muckety-muck has targeted her.

It is her response that gives independent authors a black eye and makes reviewers reluctant to review self-pubbed work.
I totally agree with this and what others have said.
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*It's the writer's job to keep upping the ante on the complications, starting a bigger problem the minute the last one's resolved, keeping the reader turning those pages.*

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Marla Warren
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Re: How NOT to respond to reviews.

Post by Marla Warren » November 8th, 2011, 12:34 am

Jacqueline Howett responded on her blog:
http://jacquelinehowett.blogspot.com/20 ... spect.html

It's interesting...

(By the way, from the sidebar of her blog:
"If you would like to request an author guest interview, please email me….Subject line: guest author request. Then I shall send you the questions. Thanks, Jacqueline)

How very thoughtful! She doesn't make interviewers think up their own questions. Has Christine O'Donnell tried this approach?

(Sorry, couldn't resist ;) )
“Good writing should be smooth, clear and short, and the art of saying little in much must be avoided at all costs.”
--Benjamin Franklin

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