This little post is in response to a recent scandal involving a way-cray-cray website created by a spiteful writer in order to revenge herself anonymously upon snarky reviewers by stalking them, going so far as to post their addresses and personal information online. And all of it in the name of "stopping bullying" (except for *cough* the fact that all the legitimate anti-bullying organizations she linked to refused all association and demanded the removal of their banners from her page). But the fact remains - how should authors react to negative or snarky reviews?
Well, search no more, because AnimeJune has the answer.
So, let's imagine you're a crispity-cool magic-fantastic writer of published novels, and let's say you're innocently surfing the internet when...
A negative review of your CRISPITY-COOL MAGIC-FANTASTIC NOVEL!
A lot of emotions might be going through your head right now.
Your first instinct might be depression, because someone didn't like all the cool things you wrote, which means they don't think that you're cool, which makes you start to doubt if you were ever crispity-cool and magic-fantastic to begin with.
Your second instinct might be rage. After all, rage is more productive, right? This reviewer clearly didn't even read your novel, at least not the way it was meant to be read - and he or she is telling everyone how to read it THE WRONG WAY. They're threatening your career! They're spreading lies and misconceptions about how your book isn't crispity-cool and magic-fantastic - WHEN IT CLEARLY IS, BECAUSE YOU WROTE IT!
Decisions, decisions. What would a truly crispity-cool magic-fantastic author do in this situation? It's not like there's a guide on the internet.
WELL, NOW THERE IS! THE ULTIMATE DO'S AND DON'TS FOR RESPONDING TO A NEGATIVE REVIEW:
DO eat your feelings.
So many magic-fantastic feelings...
DO drink wine. It's nature's Control-Z! And it helps you live longer, like the French do, because we read it somewhere in a magazine. We think.
DO call your mum. DO call your friends. They're your very first fans, after all! They'll understand and listen to what you're going through!
DO cry in the bath. You are an artiste! You are not a machine! Your passionate heart is wounded!
The bathtub of an artiste is a judgement-free zone.
An artiste's feelings are very exhausting.
DON'T write nasty posts or e-mails to the reviewer. You are an artiste! Your work must be engorged with love, not with hate!
DON'T use the Internet to track down that reviewer's personal information, credit rating, or address.
DO use the Internet to find pictures of kittens!
DON'T go after your reviewer with a knife...
...unless it's to offer them chicken in a gesture of peace! Dark meat or white meat?
Mmmmmm, chicken. The anguished, hungry goddess of vengeance is appeased.
DO keep writing. Writing is YOUR passion, and YOUR dream - you don't do it for the reviewers, after all. You do it for yourself, because you are a crispity-cool magic-fantastic author.
The writing-space of an artiste is also a judgement-free zone. And Mama's gotta make her deadline.
Lasty, DO remember that you are a crispity-cool magic-fantastic author. If people are reviewing your book, that means people are also reading your book. And the more people are reading and talking about your book, the more people will find out about and start reading your book. And that is awesome.