October 10th, 2010


Why some authors react badly to reviews

amber_fool said, in the previous comment thread: I'm not an author, so maybe it's just that I've not experienced this, but I don't get why EVERYONE is expected to like an author's work? It's just not going to be some people's cup of tea. I'd think reviews that say "I liked book x, but not this one, and I didn't like it for reasons a, b, and c" would be useful to other readers, and could be useful to the writer if they were trying to attract fans of book x, but it's not even a reflection on the book itself. But I've seen reviews like that where the author responded and it turned into a flame war, basically.

I think if you approach all of reading as a reader, everyone isn't expected to like an author's work. Putting on my reader hat, as I frequently do at the store, I'm aware that there's even more at play: there are books I don't like that I do think will work for some of my customers, and I will without hesitation recommend those if any books that I do like don't seem appropriate.

But yes, I'm aware (clearly) that there are books I simply don't care for. Sometimes it's a quiet "not for me", and sometimes it's a raging "omg I hate this book!", but in either case, that reaction is about me. I try to put that reaction aside in the store, because I'm not trying to find or recommend books for me in the store; I'm trying to recommend books for a broad range of customers.

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