Recently I confessed my past a reviewer. While I miss the unexpected delivery of boxes of books, some of the experiences of fellow reviewers make me glad I got out of the business when I did.
When you get a bad review, it makes sense to behave like a Wild Thing, and gnash your terrible teeth. You may rant and moan and complain. You may cry or eat pints of ice cream or otherwise self-medicate. These are all reasonable responses.
Here are some things that are not so reasonable:
- Posting a point by point rebuttal on the reviewer’s GoodReads page (and Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. . .). Doing so on the commercial sites makes the writer look, in my opinion, petty. Doing so on their personal page is crossing a line.
- Sending a private message to the reviewer via Facebook explaining why the reviewer was just plain wrong. Again, this would be a big line between professional personal that should not be crossed.
- Calling the reviewer’s place of work to verify if (s)he is indeed a librarian in their employ. This is when the reviewer starts to get scared.
I have more stories, but the reviewers don’t want to reopen old wounds — or re-attract the attention of the writers. These actions led to the reviewers contacting the editors of their magazines (big magazines!). “Crazy and difficult” is not how I want to be thought of by the journals that can make or break my books.