In Mike Duran’s blog piece, “Review. Rinse. Repeat,” Katherine Coble said, “My review elicited a private email (NOT from the author but a fan/friend/relation of hers) saying that I had just killed any chance I ever had of getting published in the CBA.”
In response, Mike Duran said, “As a sidebar… I recently spoke to two industry reps who’ve been involved in the CBA for a long time and who are both familiar with my blog. I asked them if being openly critical of some things in the CBA hurts me, my career, or reputation. They both said “No.” In fact, I was told that not only am I voicing what many personally feel, but that many CBA insiders read this blog. I’m not saying this to boast of myself, but to suggest that there really is a type of echo chamber effect where readers / reviewers / aspiring writers are afraid to voice… the truth.”
What has happened when the writer cares more about his “art” than the reader? When we send bullying emails or comments to our reviewers or delete their reviews because it won’t sell books? What does that say about us? When we ask our friends and families to flood our book sites with positive reviews what does that say?
We think our novels and books are wonderful. Everyone should be reading them. We invest our time and money into writing, but we knew going into it that we’re not going to get rich off of this career. We should focus our effort on writing well and learn from our mistakes; take what is useful from bad reviews and toss the rest. Not everyone will love my writing.
My bad reviews won’t stop someone from buying your book or novel. I am not Oprah where I can announce support for a presidential nominee and have the whole world fall in line and vote for said nominee. In some cases, my bad reviews have made people think, then buy them anyway to see for themselves.
Writing is more than just a calling, its a journey. It’s about people. It’s story. We reflect the life around us. We’re not anymore special than our neighbor across the street just because we have a book on a shelf.
So please respect reviewers (and readers’ pocketbooks) by allowing honesty.