It appears that at some point over the holidays somebody got into the Goodreads water supply and spiked it with something that is making authors who frequent that site go absolutely batshit insane. There have been at least three instances this week where authors have come down HARD on reviewers who leave negative reviews.
Now class, do I really have to go over again why this is something you just don’t do? Honestly?
Reader reviews are not for an author. They are for readers. If you’re really that much of a masochist, go ahead and read them, but DO NOT RESPOND. Not only is it rude and childish, but you’re going to piss off a lot of folks who might otherwise have bought your books.
It is statistically impossible for anyone to write a book that every single reader is going to like. Everyone comes from a different background with different likes and dislikes and different things trigger different people. One reader’s “Oh my GAWD! You have to read this like NOWZ!!!!111 is another reader’s “Holy shit, that was the worst piece of drivel I’ve ever read.”
I know, I know… nobody wants to read that somebody thinks the work they’ve spent years slaving away over is crap. It feels like a punch to the gut with a chainsaw. I know that feeling all too well and I’m not even published yet. But, if you can’t publicly hold your tongue/still your fingers when you come across a bad review, then maybe publishing isn’t the right environment for you. If you come across a negative review, your only response should be silence. Go ahead and bitch to your significant other, dog, cat (not that they’ll really care), best friend, mom, clergy. But do NOT try and get them to launch a campaign against the reviewer. Do NOT go on social networking sites and insult them.
It’s bad business, bad manners, and all around just bad. Don’t do it. And always, always remember that NOTHING that gets transmitted over the internet is ever truly “private”.