Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Irritation Nation – Bad Book Reviews

Sorry to come out swinging after an absence, but I read something today that just really hit me wrong. It was a review of a fellow authors work, and it wasn’t worth the pixels on the screen I was reading.

Let’s face it. If you’re a published author, you never want to receive a bad review. We spend hours and hours slaving over our work to make it the best it can possibly be. Reading each sentence multiple times to be as certain as possible we’ve used the correct word to describe the proper emotion, or setting, right down to the last detail. And that’s before the rounds of edits done by the publisher.

As adults, when we find out someone doesn’t like our work, mostly we manage to shrug it off and move on. It’s a big wide internet out here, and we understand that not everyone will love our work. Some people will just flat out not like it. And that’s okay.

I love Coke, and really don’t care for Pepsi. There you go. I doubt either company will lose one minute of sleep over my opinion.

But. I digress. And admit to confusion. Writers are supposed to be professionals, no? Following this happy trail, one would think a book review blog should be professional also. ...that screeching sound is the rubber meeting the road, as it were. Don’t get me wrong, there are several fantastic review sites which are run in a very professional manner, and it’s not these I’m referring to.

Thank you to the glorious internet, which helps all of us promote our books, it seems anyone who can type, can now also start a blog, review, and offer their opinion. Which is fine. I do it. You are absolutely entitled to do it also. But if you can’t even find the spell checker, I am absolutely entitled to not take one damn word seriously.


  1. Too true!
    I posted today and linked back to you, chica. Very well-formed and appropriate rant.

  2. Oh my Gosh! You've said what I've been thinking for months! And without stooping to their level, I'll just say those reviewers don't realize that while they are trashing someones hard work, they are also being detrimental to themselves.
    Thanks for posting this Sutton and Have a Sparkling Day!

  3. Thank you so much, Sutton, for all your support. You definitely help made my day and kick back at the horrible review. :)


  4. As my ma says to me: If you don't have anything nice to say, rather don't say anything at all. When I write reviews of a book I don't like, I try to write it how I'd say it to the author's face, knowing that he or she HAS put hours of work into their craft. I'd rather aim at offering helpful hints to how they can improve than slash and burn.

  5. Being an author and a reviewer, I've seen both sides and been on both ends. Getting slapped by authors who feel the need to defend their writing and reviewers who felt the need to tear mine apart. Which is why I try really hard to say something nice, or at least neutral in my reviews, even if I don't like whatever it is I'm reviewing.

  6. I couldn't agree more. There's a big difference between a bad review and a complete bash fest and I think the later reflects very poorly on the reviewer.