Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Bad Reviews: Nothing Personal, Just Business

Today’s Brew:  All the coffee.

by Kristen

One star reviews blow.  There’s no way around that one, but there’s no way to prevent them, either. You wrote the book you had to write.  Not everyone is going to agree that it’s a masterpiece.  That’s fine. I have read plenty of much hyped, best selling books that I can barely stand to finish.  I usually just don’t review them.

As more of my friends release books, I find myself spending more time paying attention to the reviews books in general receive.  Everyone has some clunkers.  Like I said, nothing wrong with that.  A one or two star review with valid reasoning of why someone did not enjoy the book is helpful to other readers.

A mean spirited insult fest is not.

There seems to be a crop of these mean reviewers online who enjoy doling out these spiteful reviews. It’s pretty easy to do, sitting anonymously behind a computer screen using a screen name.  I have to wonder if they put themselves out there at all or attempt anything creative.  It’s pretty easy to criticize when you have no idea what goes into a creative process.

What really got me hot was a recent one star given to a fellow writer.  It had 22 comments.  I clicked on it, figuring it would be people disagreeing.  I was absolutely disgusted by what I found.

The thread developed into a personal attack on the writer. Making fun of her and her bio.  What. The. Actual.  Fuck.  I can’t even begin to tell you how uncalled for this is. And if it’s a surprise to you that this behavior is considered piss poor, get off my blog. Now. Really, I’ll hold the door for you. If you want to be considered a professional book reviewer (this person had an advanced copy of the book), you need to pay heed to that first word. Professional.  Personal attacks are disgusting in middle school and even more deplorable from adults.  I hope the publisher of this book bans this reviewer from getting any more advance, FREE copies of their books.  Again, not because of the bad review, but because this person doesn’t deserve the perks of their job until they learn how to express their opinions in a professional manner.

For all the people who joined in on this attack, shame on you.  You write a book, you put yourself out there, and then after it’s all said and done, go back and read what you wrote.  I’ll wait.  You should be ashamed of yourself if you’ve participated in this.  Dislike the book all you want, but don’t attack a person you know nothing about.

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10 thoughts on “Bad Reviews: Nothing Personal, Just Business

  1. I completely agree. Unfortunately, from what I see on goodreads, a lot of bad reviews seem think that “insult-fests” are witty and hilarious.

  2. Yyyyeah, people suck >:[

  3. kandykayscaramuzzo on said:

    I love the picture you used to illustrate your post. It fits perfectly. I actually work with adolescents everyday and that is one of their favorite things to do, get together and trash someone else. I try to teach them not to do it. If adults are doing it, you are pretty much looking at a lost cause. It is a sad state of affairs.

  4. Doesn’t matter what a reviewer says you know if its good. Ignore, ignore, ignore.

  5. dylanjmorgan on said:

    My rule of thumb when I review is to be honest yet polite. If I thought the book was great I’d say so, but I’ll also point out something negative about the book, too (nothing is ever perfect). If I don’t like the book I’ll say so but in a respectful manner, and I’ll even mention something good about it (if there was anything) because generally nothing is ever totally awful.

    My current pet hate with reviews is that there aren’t enough of them, for me personally, anyway. People don’t seem to be bothered to give an opinion of what they’ve just read.

    Nice post, Kristen.

  6. People with this mentality are usually emotionally immature and egotistical, unable to step outside of their own slippers to walk in someone else’s shoes. I can’t stand some of the reviews I read because there’s such an obvious lack of compassion, almost a lack of humanity and human decency. I’m always careful how I review books because I’m well aware that there’s a person on the other side of that computer reading the review and having their life affected by it.

    I do think bad reviews are necessary, because there’s also the issue of spending money on a supposedly good book that you then can’t finish, but there’s a way to do them, and it’s not the way most people do.

  7. So.. just out of curiosity, what ever happened to “if you’ve got nothing nice to say, shut the fuck up?” The problem here is this is a single step away from cyber bullying.. Plain and simple.
    If this were happening to children, Janet Reno would already have a swat team in action.
    Reviewers… Please consider what you are saying to each writer.
    “No thank you.”, or “It wasn’t my style” are so much better and more meaningful than being Captain and lead Pilot of the SS Douche Canoe..

  8. kim culpepper on said:

    The top is hard and when you get to the point that you want to be then others can get violently jealous. Jealousy of talent is a beast, an ugly beast at that. An unprofessional negative comment is always viewed as jealousy to me. No published author deserves that downgradement because all writers work hard to get where they are but the most talented are always the ones that suceed.

  9. No, that seems horribly mean. if you didn’t like the book, fair enough. But the author? That’s getting way too personal.

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