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How I handle negative book reviews

Hobnob with Authors

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Jan 24, 10:48pm Top

There was the recent case of an author who got personal with a book reviewer and began stalking him, much to my surprise. This is how I handle criticisms.

Edited: Jan 25, 7:31am Top

I need criticism, else how to improve? Every writer has blind spots, nobody gets it perfect (nobody). In fact I'd rather know what you thought was wrong with it than what you liked. Encouragement doesn't hurt, but it doesn't point out what I need to work on. Besides, I don't think anybody's a tougher critic of my work than me, I'm never completely happy with it.

Jan 26, 2:36pm Top

>2 Cecrow:
I think getting criticism is helpful in learning what you could improve... but frankly, I want to get that criticism before I publish the book, not afterward. I look to my betareaders and my crit groups and my editors for that kind of thing. Book Reviews tend to be written for readers, not for authors, anyway.

So eventually I stopped reading mine.

As a result, if anyone has ever given me a negative book review, I don't know about it. That seems as good a way to deal with negative reviews as any. :)

(My publisher does try keep an eye out for reviews, though, and has promised to tell me if there is anything I really should know about. Just in case.)

Edited: Feb 12, 10:25am Top

>3 LShelby:, what about your reviews here on LT? You can't tell me you don't read those, can you? ;)

I have to speak theoretically in my case rather than from experience. But I think I would be okay with any opinion that provides a rationale and try to learn something from that; and dismissive of criticism that's equally dismissive without justifying itself. Good or bad, it's interesting to know whether people are reacting as I intend them to, as long as they can provide the why/why not.

Feb 12, 4:21pm Top

>4 Cecrow: "what about your reviews here on LT? You can't tell me you don't read those, can you?"

Er... yes?

I started reading them and then later stopped.

I just went and checked, and my author page says I'm up to 10 reviews now. I'm very sure I haven't read all 10.

I don't go hunting for the ones posted in Talk anymore either, although if they show up in one of my groups, I do end up reading those, obviously. .

..So, if you are counting that sort of thing, I guess the answer is actually no.

But it's the intent that counts, right?

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