Friday, August 24, 2012

Social media

Has anyone else read the crap storm that Emily Giffin and her husband managed to create by responding to a bad amazon review. I read about this on Dear Author, and apparently Giffin's husband responded to the review by calling the reviewer psycho.

Dear author posted the review, which is measured and fair and perfectly reasonable from a self-professed fan of Giffin's work.

And Dear Author is coming down on Giffin and her husband and rightly so, but my first reaction was where were her friends. Bad reviews suck, and it's why we have writer friends to whine to, to reassure us how great we are and to talk us down from the ledge.

I'm starting to believe there's too much information out there, too much access to reviews, amazon rankings, twitter diatribes and about a thousand review sites.

I read two review sites, and I trust them when they tell me a book is good. Other than that, I'll check Goodreads when I've heard some buzz about a book. but I honestly think, for authors out there, the amount of opinions can be really distracting and worse, possibly confidence destroying.

Unless you're a person who can read a bad review, or negative comment and not let it affect you,(which would exclude most writers I know) I would recommend not reading them at all. Avoid Amazon, Good reads, at least when it comes to your own books. Do you need extra voices in your head as you're writing? Do you need a thousand opinions of what a great character is, or does, or who prefers their heroines to be sweet, or rebellious?

It takes a pretty clinical person to step back and go is this helping or hurting my writing? But it's necessary and anything that hurts, cut it out, or at least back to a minimal amount. And to reiterate Stephanie's point from yesterday. Do not engage.

No matter how unfair, or ugly, the review.


Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, I didn't read about this. But you're right. The question is: where were her friends?

I'm sure we all want to call reviewers psycho now and again. But that's for private time.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Exactly! Vent away if you don't like a review - to someone in private!

And while I wish I could say I avoid all reviews I don't. There is a need to see sometimes if you're work is being received well.

But at the end of the day I do agree. Each one has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Some you will love, some you will hate. Some will make you laugh.

So read them or leave them - and maybe learn from them or not. But the bottom line is the reviews aren't for you.

They are by readers for other readers and people write them because they feel a need to talk about books publicly.

I think it's great.

But no mattter what you do.... DO NOT RESPOND! Certainly not negatively.

Molly O'Keefe said...

It's so out of left field for her as a hugely professional and popular writer - I can't even figure out why she cared about the review? I mean there are thousands of reviews of her work out there in the world - why that one?

Maybe she had a mental break or something.

And she'd got a STAFF I'm thinking of people she can talk to about this - editor agent etc...

yeah - big dumb mistake on her part but another good lesson for all of us tempted at one time or another to respond to a review

Eileen said...

It's so hard. It's why I avoid goodreads and amazon reviews, etc. Sometimes even blog posts about my books. A professional review is generally a fairly measured or thought-through critique. The stuff on goodreads and amazon? Not so much. I've had my feelings terribly hurt by some of these so now I just don't read them. They can send me into a tailspin that lasts for days and days.

The only time I respond to those "reviews" is if a blogger puts up something nice about one of my books. If I see it, I'll generally leave a thank you note as a comment.

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