It’s a fact that a bad review stings. This business requires a strong backbone and nonexistent gag reflex because, at some point or another, someone is going to say something about your writing that you don’t want to hear. That’s life; 100% of the people aren’t going to like your book. Get over yourself. How you react to it is what makes you gracious under fire or a rabid gasbag. How you are perceived should matter to you because it’s everything in this business.
This article is a shining example of what I’m talking about. Alice Hoffman’s over-the-top reaction to Roberta Silman’s review of her book reveals the intelligence of a bing cherry. She is a gasbag. There are people I would NEVER work with again because they proved to be bing cherry gasbags. Gasbags don’t sell books.
But Alice didn’t stop there. She blasted Roberta’s home phone and personal email over the internet, imploring others to contact her. Whoa. Now she’s no longer just a gasbag. She’s wandered into I’manutjob Land.
Alice, here is a newsflash, darlin’; there are idiots who don’t stop at sending nastygrams, and you need to know the risks you’ve placed on this reviewer. Idiots sometimes stalk and do horrible things. I know because I’ve had this very thing done to me, and it scared the holy hell out of me.
And what about your publisher? Have they swallowed a carton of Rolaids for the embarrassment you’ve caused them? It’s no small wonder that you are suddenly “on vacation” and your Twitter page was pulled down.
I’ll tell you what; if you were my author, you’d be on something more permanent than a vacation. You’d be out on your butt. It wouldn’t matter how much money your book makes – who needs a psycho? You’ve ruined your reputation to the point where I’m hearing, “Whoa. What a bitch. I wouldn’t buy her book if it were the last thing in the store.” Your kind of nuttery doesn’t sell books, so who needs you?
Authors who feel the need to vent at a rejection or bad review should use that pent-up energy by smacking a tennis ball around or jogging. If you’re hurting, keep your feet moving and your mouth shut.