Because I’ve seen comments on other venues about some writer’s fans going after a reviewer who didn’t like their favorite writer’s books…please, should you find a negative review or comment on mine, don’t be those fans. There will always be reviewers who don’t like a given book…there are reviewers and book bloggers who don’t like mine…but let them dislike it in peace. If it’s a venue where a lot of reviews are posted, and you feel like posting a more favorable one, go ahead, but I don’t want to be the occasion of an attack on a reviewer/book blogger, whatever. Such storms nearly always end up leaving muck all over the writer, who may not have wanted the row in the first place. We have a pleasant bunch here, and I don’t think it’s likely any of you would start a row, but just in case you’re tempted.
A writer whom I find amusing to read (blogs and Twitter, though I…um…haven’t read her books yet) commented today that people were kicking up a row on GoodReads because of a misreading by one person that’s been taken up by others, and she’s getting furious emails about having ripped off something for her book…which was written before the real-life events she’s accused of ripping off, and besides…they misread the book, so the parallel isn’t there anyway. Typical internet row, feeding off itself rather than fact-checking. Should you ever be tempted to think someone ripped off someone else, do check the copyright dates. (One of the funnier–but annoying–ones I ran across was someone claiming that Tolkein’s LOTR ripped off Terry Brooks’ Shannara books.) You may remember the row when the first Hunger Games movie came out because an important character was a person of color (with careless teen readers claiming she was added for political correctness) when in fact the character in the book is clearly a person of color.
Anyway. Should you come across a review you think is wrongheaded, the best thing to do, IMO, is to let it alone, and write your own if it’s a review venue. No attacks, no protracted arguments. That applies to anyone’s book, not just mine. People have a right to dislike any book, even if–to you, me, and the gatepost–it seems their dislike is wrongheaded. Maybe I stepped on their toe in fifth grade and they never forgave me. Maybe we’ve clashed somewhere about politics (since I’m not shy about saying what I think in several venues.) Or maybe, to them, the book is pretty much like a pile of reeking rotten fish. I get stuff in email, or run across it here and there, that’s very negative, but…that’s the way the world is. It hasn’t yet stopped me writing fiction (and won’t.)