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This is not, by any means, a new topic around blogland. It’s been discussed ad nauseam in many places and by readers and writers alike. (I’ll even add a nifty list of links to previous conversations at the bottom of this post, for those who just got here) However, given a recent example of loud, unprofessional and childish behaviour from yet another author, it seems that the topic has not yet been exhausted.

So let’s recap, shall we?

Good promotion should cost as little as possible and result in the highest number of actual sales possible.

Reviews from readers who bought the book themselves are free promotion for the author—which definitely falls into the ‘good promotion’ definition above. Regardless of the actual tone or grade of the review, it puts the book’s title and the author’s name out there for other readers to become aware of. Name recognition, in other words. If I know your book exists, if I know your name, it’s more likely that I’ll at least check out the back blurb of a book with your name on it than that of a dozen other writers whose names I don’t recognize, when I’m looking over the book aisle in the grocery store.

Many blog readers will read a review wherein the reviewer didn’t like the book, but because they, the readers, know the reviewer’s tastes and how they mesh or differ from their own, they will buy that book. Many of those potential sales, though, can be lost when the author feels the need to publicly explain how the reviewer didn’t like the book because she “didn’t get what the author was doing.”

It may be true, at least from the author’s point of view, but it is also irrelevant. The reviewer didn’t like the book, she explained why, she moved on.

Seriously, there is no need whatsoever to tell her that she didn’t get the book—or the author’s voice, or whatever it is—because she’s stupid. Or shallow. Or too afraid to read outside her comfort zone. Or whatever the condescending and insulting remark du jour may be.

Because, whether any of those remarks is true or not, will not change the fact that the reviewer didn’t. like. That. One. Book.

She may have liked other books by that author in the past. She may look forward to future books by that author. She just didn’t like that one book. It is not open to debate. “Explaining” the book to that reader won’t make that reader like it

So, what to do in the face of non-glowing, rather blah, or outright horrid reviews that slash your book into confetti? (more…)