Because I shot myself in it!
Well, not me, really. But another independent author has been garnering all sorts of attention, and not the good kind, for her response to a review her book received. Apparently the book was given an unfavorable review, and the author took to her blog. Now that’s one thing, and I’m certainly in the “it’s your blog, write whatever you want camp.” But the author named names, and called the reviewer unprofessional and took exception to the fact that her review was not objective.
There are a couple of things here that are not good for the author. First, reviews kinda have to be subjective! They are the opinion of the reviewer, not fact. For example, The Chosen is 206 pages in paperback, that is an objective statement. Were I to say that The Chosen “is an example of all that is good and joyous in fiction,” that would be a subjective statement. Fortunately, I don’t have to say that – a reviewer already did!
But that is her subjective opinion, and while I happen to agree with her, I can’t change the fact that her review is subjective, as are they all.
The bigger faux pas that the author made in this case, and I am going to avoid bringing any further embarrassment down on her by not linking to her post, is that she went after the reviewers personally. This is beyond unprofessional, which is oddly enough one of the things that the author accused the reviewer of being, it is also brutally stupid.
Most people that review books on the Internet do it because they love to read, they might get a few free books out of the deal, but they give their time away in exchange. And for this writer to bite the hand that feeds her not only screws her with this book and this reviewer, but also screws her for future books and a bunch of other reviewers.
I’ve gotten a lot of reviews in my life, mostly in theatre. Of course the good ones make you feel great and the bad ones sting, but you just have to suck it up and move on. You can’t go around bashing reviewers because they give you a bad review. It’s kinda like trying to have sex with a jackrabbit – you end up frustrated, and the jackrabbit gets pissed off.