A Learning Experience


I received a second email from the author of the book discussed in the previous post.

“I apologize. My tone was not correct in this email. I should have waited to think about it before I sent it. I was very upset when I read the review this morning, and it was not as respectful as it should have been.

I guess I always expected bad reviews on some books, but this one is so near and dear to my heart, I took it personally. I spent a lot of time and a ton of money on the illustrations to make it as perfect as I could, so it just hurt me personally to see what you wrote.

I also agree that you should never contact reviewers. I reply to a lot of fans via email and try to stay engaged, so I guess I just over stepped my bounds on this one.”

Awesome. That must have been difficult to write. A classy response.

I, too, am not perfect. I’ve gone back and looked at the review and decided I may have been too harsh. I need to remember it’s a bad idea to review too many books in a row. When they all turn out to be a disappointment, it’s easy to become insensitive when commenting. This may have been the first book for this writer and a big investment of time and money. It is impossible for creative people to detach from their creations, even though it is in their best interest to do so.

One thing ALL writers need to remember, myself included, is that there will always be bad reviews, always be people who didn’t like the book. As long as you’re getting more positive reviews than negative ones, you’re doing okay. See this site for examples. http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisritter16/11-beloved-books-with-shockingly-bad-reviews#23yafst In fact, if an author only gets glowing reviews, some readers may suspect sock puppets are in play.

It is never my intention to hurt someone’s feelings. This writer now has her/his first bad review over with and can be better prepared for future ones. We all get them. Even Twain, Whitman, Bronte, Faulkner, Salinger, Huxley, Fitzgerald, and the beloved Maurice Sendak received scathing early reviews. Shake it off and keep writing.


2 thoughts on “A Learning Experience

  1. I usually wait a day to respond to emails that I don’t like. That way I can respond in a less emotional/more reasonable way. I think it works for me. I think this could be good to suggest for others also.


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