Monday, October 20, 2014

Reviews: some glow prettily while others are simply ...

Yesterday, I read an in-depth article by a fellow author who chronicled her journey about a bad review her book received on a popular reading site. This post is not to re-hash that author's words or to even respond negatively or positively about what she expressed.

All our lives, we've been assessed. The first slap a newborn receives is a quasi-assessment that will not end until death. Everywhere we turn someone somewhere is critiquing us, testing us, judging us, reviewing us. It's the way of the way and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

As a newbie whose book will not be released until the beginning of  2015, I am bracing myself for the reviews. Be they few or many, be they wonderful or *gulps* disparaging. Before I began on this particular path, I was on another writing platform where I shared, under a pen name, my creative works for free. As such, there were those who could read and/or review if they chose to do so.

And they did.

Some were kind and encouraging. Others used expletives regarding my talent, and I believe a few told me that my parents should have aborted me. *shakes head* Admittedly at the time, I sometimes didn't handle the situations correctly. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I'd lament on my Facebook statuses about the difference between a review that could help an author improve and those that were simply based in hatred. Other times, I blasted the faceless, nameless reviewers calling them cowardly (since many times they were identified as 'Guests') and begging them if I sucked so hard, if my words bothered them so deeply, for them to stop reading.

They didn't.

And they also didn't stop reviewing.

As I look to 2015, I'm glad (who knew I would one day say or write that?) to have been apart of a community like that. It taught me a few things, the paramount being: an author should not engage in any reviews. Some, the really really ugly, painful reviews cut to the quick. I will admit that. Authors have, figuratively, birthed a child and that child enters the ugly, brutal world to face on its own. It's hard for any parent to see their child suffer and not become the overly protective Mama Bear.

Here is where I will hold up this sign (actually, I'm waving it like a lunatic):

Please know I'm not judging the author who chooses to respond to negative criticisms. That is his or her choice. What I am suggesting is: tread carefully. Tread very, very carefully, my fellow authors.

Do you write reviews on books you've read, if so, let's talk. Are you an author, do you read your reviews, why or why not?

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