Happy Tuesday! Here it is the last day of July. Where is the summer going? On Tuesdays I always participate in a weekly meme hosted by Cambria Hebert. Every week a new question to answer. Head on over to her blog, link up and grab next week's question!
This week's question:
How do you feel about negative book reviews? Writing them and reading them…
And the hot topics keep on coming.....The ongoing controversy between authors and bloggers/reviewers has at times gotten very ugly. If you are on Goodreads or Twitter I imagine you have witnessed a few of these ugly incidents. Someone writes a scathing review and the author gets irate and bad blood ensues. At first, I followed some of these controversies, but as time goes on, I have learned that it is best to stay far, far away from these extremely volatile situations. Sure, I have an opinion and often it depends on the current situation as to whom I tend to sympathize with. Needless to say, many of these outbreaks have gotten so ugly that people are going so far as to personally attack reviewers by posting negative things about them, exposing their identities, families, employment and where they live. This I feel is taking it too far! Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this country was founded on the right to free speech. Of course, we all can't and don't get along and it is okay to disagree, until the disagreements become vicious.
How do I feel personally about negative reviews? It all depends on how the review is written. We all know that we aren't going to love every single book we read. Some are going to be books that just don't appeal to the reader. For me, negative reviews are sometimes the most difficult to write. I personally adopt a constructive criticism approach. Those of you who read my reviews regularly know that I provide in each and every review a section dedicated to the parts of the book that I feel need some improvement. When I write this portion of a review, I do it constructively, I frame out what I didn't like, explain why, and at times offer how it could improve. Never in my reviews do I rant and rave, curse and degrade the book. I don't use funny pictures to illustrate my point, either. I know there are plenty of reviewers who post some rather nasty reviews, and these are always the ones that end up stirring the pot and causing the dramatic flare ups. Many of these reviewers have taken a lot of heat. I have to hand it to them, you have to have a strong back bone and be prepared to be attacked when you put one of those reviews out there. Do I agree with these reviews? Most of the time I tend to ignore them. If the reviewer is just spewing out nasty remarks, why waste my time. Now on the other hand, I know several reviewers who have written some negative reviews and validated their arguments and still come under heavy fire. I do not agree with authors attacking these type of reviews. If your negative review is well written and backed up with valid reasons, who am I to argue? Sure I realize it hurts to see someone criticize and belittle your baby, the book you sweat blood and tears over, but it is best to just hold your head up high and walk away. Stooping to flinging mud will only hurt your sales. I know many reviewers have black listed authors for bad behavior. The bottom line and the motto that I follow when writing each and every review, is be honest, constructive and treat others as you wish to be treated in return. I personally try and show respect to each and every book. Even when I don't like a book, I can always highlight one or two things that were good about the book. If you constantly write scathing and controversial reviews then you better be prepared to feel the fire. As for me, life is too short to waste time flinging mud. I would rather focus on doing what I love and that is reading books!
Weigh in, how do you all feel about negative reviews?