How was my writing?

Reviews. Love them or hate them, they’re there to help a customer make a decision on what product to buy, but nothing upsets authors more than a bad review. It’s understandable. You’ve spent hours, weeks, years on your writing and you want everyone to love it. You love it so why should anyone disagree with you? Because people are different. Nobody has the same taste. The world would be a pretty dull place if they did. So why should it be any different when it comes to your book? And yet some authors who get a bad review react like you’ve thrown acid in their face.

Not only do they attack the customer who dared to give them a low star rating, they gather their armies and send them to destroy the reviewer. If you’re an author who’s given the bad review, it could get worse. They could give your books 1* and get their army to do the same, sending your book falling down the rankings faster than a dropped piano, potentially ruining your career. All because you didn’t like their book.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We’ve read a book that has won awards and had praise heaped upon it from everyone who’s read it. It seemed everyone loved that book. Except us. Had we written a review, giving it the 2* we probably would’ve, we wouldn’t have expected a vitriolic backlash for daring to voice our opinions, because it’s something professional people shouldn’t do. Say we wrote a bad review for a microphone we bought on Amazon, we wouldn’t expect the manufacturer to attack us and get the rest of the company to start a vendetta against us, yet some authors believe this is acceptable. It’s not.

Everyone gets bad reviews. Even best-selling authors. We know we’ll get them and though we’re not looking forwards to them, we know they will happen. And we will certainly will not attack the reviewer, or incite our friends to attack them. It’s a form of bullying. Bad reviews are just part of an author’s life. Troll reviews are different. They’re written by people who have the personality of rotting fungus, who can only feel good about themselves by attacking other people.

For example, we know the way we look polarises people. We have people coming up to us in supermarkets (old ladies mostly) telling us how much they love our look. Then we get loud mouthed wankers bellowing at us how much they hate the way we look. We had seven years of being bullied for the way we look. We had two choices – continue to dress the way we do and accept that being attacked for it was just part of life, or dress completely normally and get no backlash. Guess what we did – yes, we continued to dress the way we liked and to hell with what they thought. Because it’s our right to look the way we want to look.

It’s the same with writing. If you want to publish your work and have people read it, accept that you’re going to get bad reviews. If you don’t want bad reviews, don’t publish your work. Do print on demand, give it to your family and friends and live off their adoration. But don’t attack the person who doesn’t like your work. Otherwise there could be a situation where authors are too scared to give another author a bad review, for fear of their own book being sabotaged. And that’s not the game we want to play.