It’s nearly Christmas, we should all be relaxing, drinking eggnog and preparing to watch Die Hard and Chicken Run on the big day. Maybe Chicken Run is a UK thing but seriously, it’s the best Christmas movie. The only thing even remotely Christmassy about it is the Christmas lights in the big finale, but when I was growing up, it was THE movie we watched on Christmas day.
Anyway, I should be relaxing but writing, reading and blogging is just too darn addictive. The only day that there won’t be a normal blog post is tomorrow: Christmas day – but I’ll still be popping in to say Happy Christmas!
Shana at Bionic Bookworm is taking a holiday from the Top 5s over the Christmas period but I wanted to carry it on myself with the shortened version: Top 3s. (I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes!)
I don’t know if you’re aware of the drama with author Yvonthia Leland but it’s been doing the rounds lately and it all started with her reacting to some bad reviews on her book.
This inspired the topic for this week: Top 3 Things Authors Shouldn’t Worry About in Bad Reviews and also next week’s topic: Top 3 Things Authors SHOULD Worry About in Bad Reviews.
1. Cups of tea
It’s a common phrase in bad reviews. “It just wasn’t my cup of tea.” That’s fair enough, the book wasn’t for them and they probably won’t read it again or any of its sequels. No biggie. Problem is, it’s a little ethically skewed to post a bad review just because you’d have preferred coffee.
Unless the bad review talks about formatting issues, editing issues or plot issues, you can probably assume that the bad reviewer was being just a little thoughtless or maybe just having a bad day. Either way, this comment or one just like it in a bad review should probably be swept under the rug and forgotten. Authors doubt themselves enough!
2. Accusations of shenanigans
One of the biggest “yay” moments in my blogging career so far has been when the publisher Thames & Hudson asked me to review one of their books “Ancient Magic.” It was a great book and I gave it 5 stars (check out the review here). One other reviewer had reviewed this book before me and they hated it so much they gave it 1 star. Fair enough.
Problem was, this reviewer got a bit offended that my opinion differed from theirs and went on to change their review to accuse me of being paid by the publishers to give it a good review. I’m not the richest blogger out there by any means but I have enough integrity to never accept money for a review, good or otherwise.
So, if a bad review mentions the five star reviews being paid for etc. the chances are the reviewer is just a tad annoyed that people aren’t agreeing with them. Although sometimes (unfortunately) there can be some truth to these statements!
3. “I’m not racist, but…”
There’s actually very little more to say about this statement. If a bad review has to spend time justifying why it isn’t racist/homophobic/transphobic etc. then it’s pretty clear what the reviewer’s motivations might have been when writing it.
I had this happen to one of my books with lesbian protagonists. Claims of “porn” and “smut” were banded about which might have been a fair shout if there had been anything more steamy than a kiss between the characters. The “I’m not homophobic” comment was quick to follow these accusations.
As ever, this probably isn’t the case 100% of the time but generally speaking, if a bad review exaggerates or outright lies about the contents of the book to support their prejudiced agenda, just throw that review out with the trash where it belongs.
Thanks for reading!