Monday, June 8, 2015

Authors Being Dickholes

There is no shortage of authors behaving badly thanks to a culmination of social media, self publishing, and Max Rager in the water (is it Tuesday yet? No? DAMN IT!).

This one comes courtesy of the most pretentious of names,

As our vampire hunting president put it, "You can't please all of the people all of the time. Now duck while I stab this bloodsucker in the heart."

People have every right to say what they do and do not like. Trying to force everyone to only discuss things they love sounds like the plot of a dystopian novel.

Authors, you might be really really tempted to rush in there and defend your words or refute something a reader got wrong but don't. Even if the reviewer called your main character "one dimensional," your plot "invisible," and the writing "broke after I plugged it in" do not rise to the occasion.

Nothing freaks a reviewer out more than seeing a response from the author/creator. You just know they're coming to raise some hackles and rattle chains. And if they're not, if they have a very civil response, it still feels creepy.

It breaks down that invisible wall that readers want their review to be for other readers. When an author responds, your brain goes to the old canard "If you can't say anything nice..." and you want to rush to hide over your words. Actually, civilly responding to someone's 1 star review is a great way to get them to change it. They're reminded that it was a person who they just dumped all over and will feel bad. Their opinion of the material may not have changed but they're worried about looking like a jerk.

It may work, but is it honest?

And that's why I never respond to reviews I read (because we read them, we all read them). Good, bad, indifferent, I don't want readers to think I'm watching over their shoulder about to pounce if they don't click the right number of boxes.

For the sake of the reviewer I keep it all to myself and my dog.


Larry Kollar said...

I agree with all that. For me, there's one exception, and only one, to the "don't respond to reviews" rule: when the reviewer says "I want to know when the next book is coming out," I'll provide a guesstimate.

What really helped me to cope with reviews early on was when one person gave me a lovely 4* review, and other one a grumbling 2* review, both pointing out the exact same thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. That is quite the meltdown. His book contains "so much gnosis?" A poor review of his book is "an utter disgrace to the human condition" and "waging war on the consciousness of humanity?"

I think this might be the best quote: "What bothers me is when people that operated at a low level of consciousness defame the work of people that are trying to help humanity, and no one helps humanity better than artists."

Wow. Just wow. I'm guessing that poor reviewer was on to something when she said his prose was pretentious.