Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kudos to Reviewer M!

Yes, yes, yes. Reviewer M, we love you and agree wholeheartedly. We think you may have even said it better than us:
What bothers me about many of these reviewer + fans verses author + fans is they all seem to follow this pattern: 
1) Reviewer posts a review, harboring the presumption that his/her words are somehow "final" and "off limits" to authors/author's fans. This is a very ignorant presumption in the first place. Reviewers should understand that they are sharing their private opinions with the public. The public is free to respond. If reviewers are uncomfortable with addressing particular people about their reviews, I feel the reviewer owes it to their audience to post disclaimers indicating they don't acknowledge comments from authors on their reviews and that author comments are unwelcome in their blogs, threads, or what have you. 
2) The author of the work reviewed responds to the reviewer. The quality of the response may range from very civil and professional to heinous, but all the responses get lumped under the same label, namely that the author DARED to reply to the reviewer's comments and that is SO NOT ALLOWED, even without any disclaimer or other reasonable notification of the reviewer's feelings on this matter. 
3) Before you know it, the "injured" reviewer is posting all over Goodreads and anywhere else s/he can find how she just HATES it when an author "attacks" her reviews. The reviewer's fans chime in with their "How horrible and unprofessional!" and "Authors have no business responding to reviews! Reviews are for readers only!" and "I'm adding this author to my "boycotted authors list." And so on.
4) Alternatively, the author may not respond directly to the reviewer or his/her review, but may opt to post a blog entry or LJ entry or something either ranting about "mean reviewers" or ridiculing bad reviewers in some way. Inevitably, this gets back to the reviewers and their fans and they use this information for yet another "Authors are so horrible" powwow. 
QFT. There's a bit more. Go read the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, then there are the mixed messages. The reviewers who tweet the review at the author but don't want the author to respond and the reviewers who get mad when an author doesn't say thank you for the review. How should an author know which a reviewer prefers? Why are authors who respond politely considered behaving badly? What happens when the author is responding to something said about them personally, to set the record straight. They liken authors to public figures, well, public figures DO make announcements to set the record straight when tabloids spread lies about them. Why then do they think authors as public figures should not be allowed to defend themselves against false accusations? Why do they think they should be allowed to lie and lie and lie while no one points out the facts and truth?

    These are the same people who cry about their right to free speech? Is there a reason why they have the right to free speech, but anyone who disagrees with them do not?