LOVE YA author Beth Revis’ post on how to respond to negative reviews

I’ve seen some posts lately about YA authors and/or their supporters flipping out on reviewers online. It makes me curl my toes up. It’s just…not professional, you know? But it’s also not feel-good. It can bring a negative feeling for others watching the author flip out, especially if they’re mean or ill-behaved or rude.

I get hurt feelings over reviews. I SO get it. We bare our souls, we put SO much of ourselves into our books, and to have someone not like our books can feel like they don’t like us. And that hurts. Or to have someone really, *really* not get something that seems so basic or true to us can feel really hard. But that’s when you go rant privately to your friends, or write a letter and burn it, or go eat a piece of chocolate, have a cry, or immerse yourself into one of your favorite feel-good books that always makes things better. You don’t, if you can help it, flip out on the reviewer. We all have books that just don’t work for us, and what is good writing is always, always subjective any way.

I just read a post by Beth Revis on how to deal with negative reviews, and I gotta say–I LOVE it. (She was already one of my favorite authors just for the quality of her books, but this post nudged her up a bit.) She reminds us that there are people out there who hate chocolate, and puppies, and things that most of us would love–AND there are people who hate your very favorite books (she tells you how to get proof) and so, if they hate those things, then of course there are people who hate your books. But there are also people who love them!

She says it much better than me, so go on over and check out her post.

What do you think? How do you deal with negative reviews? (Or with rejection, if you don’t have a book out.)

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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4 Responses to LOVE YA author Beth Revis’ post on how to respond to negative reviews

  1. That’s a great article and a really funny way of looking at things. Thanks for sharing.

    I have a friend who always keeps me up-to-date on author v. reviewer drama, especially on Goodreads. You would think people would learn from others’ mistakes. I guess these things happen because of a moment of weakness / one drink too many on the author’s part? Regardless, it’s not okay.

    Even if the so-called reviewer has crossed a line from professional to personal, I think it’s the author’s job to take the higher ground and keep mum. Don’t even dignify it with a response, you know?

  2. I agree, Lisa Jenn! (Though I’ve been thinking about it–for me it’s different when it’s censorship, when people are trying to ban books. But a review is different.)

  3. Totally agreed, there is a huge difference for a couple of reasons. A book review takes advantage of freedom of expression, whereas censorship limits freedom of expression. And there are plenty of ways to respond to censorship that don’t devolve into name-calling and other unprofessional antics!

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