What’s an honest reviewer to do??

So, I have recently had my butt handed to me by an author who was more than a little unhappy with the two star review I left him on Amazon.com. The scathing email he sent me did not force me to take my review down, I read the book and I think I should have a right to express my opinion. Still, having this nasty response sitting in my inbox made me stop and think. Is it better to have a negative review from a reviewer and still be able to say that at least someone (whether good or bad) is reading your work and feels passionate enough about it to leave a review, or is it better to just be forgettable and other than the few friends and family members you have who are willing to leave you a nice line or two let your book fade into forgottenland with only a couple of positive reviews?

When I blog about a book or leave a review anywhere else, I do my best to give my honest opinion. Whether it is a self-published work or a big sixer or somewhere in between, I always try to remain objective. I try, literally and figuratively not to judge the book by the cover. I think the fact that I took the time to read the book and cared enough to leave a review should not be forgotten by the author.

As the war of Author V. Reviewer wages on with some very stark examples of why authors should never publicly belittle their reviewers ( just look at the authors behaving badly incidents on the net) I can’t help but wonder if this compromises the relationships between authors and reviewers of all kinds. There used to be a severe stigma surrounding the world of “Indie” authors when it came to whether a reviewer would read and review their work. Isn’t it the same with all reviewers and authors now though? If you are daring enough to be honest and suddenly legions of adoring fans, friends and family members start cyber stalking you and leaving you angry messages, will that not make you think twice about leaving a review that you can’t rate at at least 4 stars?
It has always been my philosophy that I would rather have people talking about something I am trying to promote than not talking about it. If I have to suffer some negative feedback…well that’s part of going public with anything, be it art, music, literature, whatever. You can’t please everyone all the time. I do hope that the more mature authors realize that any press is good press and sometimes, even in my case, seeing one or two negative reviews made the other reviews a bit more believable. I mean, if the book has ten five stars the first day it was released and nothing else, I may question the validity.
So I will continue to do what I do best. I will form an opinion, try to be constructive and most of all I will be honest. My blog even has a warning label about my honesty. Curious to see what others think about this. Thank you!

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is NOT being talked about.”–Oscar Wilde

One thought on “What’s an honest reviewer to do??”

  1. Being nasty to the reviewer is very unprofessional behavior. On behalf of all writers I apologize for what this writer did to you. When I receive a bad review what I do is thank the reviewer and let them know that I hope I can become a better writer. Thank you for your work as a reviewer Ionia. You are helping both readers and writers.

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