4luvofwriting – 2008-04-10 1:13 AM To published authors: How do you handle negative reviews or irate readers?
I can’t say I’ve ever had a horrible review. I think the worst that’s been said was “It isn’t great literature.” But I’m not certain of this because I stopped reading reviews years ago. I decided there was no point to it. I can’t change what’s in a review, and as they say, if you believe the good ones, you’re honor bound to believe the bad ones, as well. So I don’t read any of them. Besides, I don’t really care what a review has to say, good or bad.
I’ve had only two really irate readers who took the time to contact me. One argued that San Diego was a hundred miles inland, and was really ticked that I placed it on the coast. The other dug out my phone number and called me, and was incredibly angry about the cover of the book, something I have no control over.
I have had readers send me some interesting gifts, good and bad. I received a beautiful, hand-carved wall plaque of the cover of one novel, and an incredible hand-carved statue of a protagonist from another novel.
I’ve also received an unwashed pair of socks a reader wore while hiking a trail I had in one novel. One reader sent a pair of lady’s dress gloves, another sent a pair of panties, and yet another, a beautiful blonde reader, sent a photo of herself. She was, uh, somewhat skimpily dressed.
So being published has been a positive things nearly all the time. But reviews? Well, who cares what a reviewer has to say? Not me. John Osborne once said that the relationship between critic and author is that of the dog and the lamp-post.
Sounds about right, to me.