Thursday, May 24, 2012

Negative Reviews and Negative Words…Yeah, I’m Going There

The latest blog blowup that’s popped up relates to an author who advises why it’s a good thing to reply to negative reviews. I’m not really going to touch on that topic, since I’ve made my point on that issue before. Reviews are for readers and as authors we need to learn to take the good from the bad. We also need to learn how to suck it up and live with the fallout when one of our books doesn’t meet expectations.

Not that I’m saying authors don’t owe it to readers to always try to put out their best product, because we do. I know that not all of my books have resonated with my readers, but that hasn’t been from lack of trying. I always strive to give my best product possible because I think you guys don’t deserve any less. One of the reasons why Ervin’s Dilemma came out a few hours late was because I was still tweaking things until the very last moment, because I wanted the book to be as to prefect as possible.

But, if even after all that, the books still falls short for my readers, I will never take it out on them. They are entitled to their opinions and what’s more, I value them. It also makes me determined to continue to hone my craft and to give a better product the next time. I sure as hell wouldn’t project the blame out towards you guys and refuse to look within myself.

I would also never, ever, ever expect you to adjust you original rating, just to please me. I would rather have a bunch of lower ratings that were given by real readers, then to have a ton of five-star ones from family, yes-men or sock puppets.

*scratches head* So, I guess this is my way of replying to the negative reviews. Thank you for reading my books. Thank you for pointing out what didn’t work, so I know what I need to improve on. Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to not only read my book, but to write out a review. Most of all, thank you for being there for me. For I would be nothing without my readers and EVERY review or rating that has been given to my books.

Now, I’m going to flip this conversation around and tell you the real reason this blog post bothered me. No, it wasn’t the whole negative review aspect, but rather how the author in question, brushed off the concern a reader had. The concern you ask, the repeated use of the ‘retard’ in her books.

The author defended herself by basically saying that she meant no harm and the word is used commonly in everyday language. To which I reply, yes it is. Nobody is more aware of that fact than me. I am also aware of how hurtful and harmful that word can be. Maybe if the author had said that the character developed in the story and learned the error of their ways,

I would have been more sympathetic. Instead, the author just gave it a shrug and justified it by saying since everybody did she should be able to as well. I think the biggest changes in the world have and can continue to come through literature. So, instead of just having characters use words, because that’s how things are, I challenge this author to be different. Use your words to make a change. Don’t be afraid to be different and to go against the grain. Most of all, learn the power of words and how they can build somebody up and how they can also tear them down.


1 comment:

  1. It's sometimes hard to write reviews for books that didn't work, but it's probably harder to get them. That said, sometimes I don't understand how some authors can publish work that is so obiously flawded (no, it was not meant for you). Several times now I've come across wrok that either wasn't edited or read back.

    As to your issue of hurtful words. It's not always easy to read work like that. Yes, it's used a lot. usually by ferals or people who don't understand. Mostly though, by youths. I've come to understand that, in Holland at least, it's not always meant as something bad nor as good.

    However sometimes hurtful words are used by a character to emphasize his personality. I think it would be subjective to the character undergoing change or not.

    That said, the author could probably have explained better. But then. I haven't read the post nor the book in question