Join us as Lisa Henry goes Outside the Margins.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to write for this month’s guest post.
Then, on Goodreads, something happened.
An author wrote a book and named a character after a reviewer who had dared give her a less than stellar review in the past. And when I say, in the past, I mean several years ago. Which is a damn long time to hold a grudge against someone for their opinion, but hey, if we start listing some of the crazy stuff this author’s done, we’ll be here all day.
The original blurb for this book (since changed in what I’m sure is only a momentary lapse of sanity) read, in part: “My name is [name redacted] and I’m a reviewer–no scratch that, I’m a living god in the review world…I have zero tolerance for the weak-minded attention seekers, nor do I have respect for the self-proclaimed geniuses of the Indie world.”
You know, this could have been a fun book. Maybe even a book I would have picked up. It’s M/M, and it’s about a reviewer and an author who hate each other. I love enemies-to-lovers stories! But the second the author chose to name her spite-filled reviewer character after a real reviewer, no, just no. Not only will I not read this book, I’ll tell everyone I know exactly why I won’t read it, and why I don’t think they should read it either.
I’m sure that right now the author is claiming this is parody, or tongue-in-cheek, or something, but I’m not buying it. Not any justification the author wants to give, and sure as hell not the book. Because what this author did was make a conscious decision to, at best, mock a reviewer, and at worst to try and hurt her. And, frankly, I don’t see any way to even begin to try and justify that.
Books are our product, and reviewers help sell them. Seriously, we writers have a great deal here. You guys literally help us sell books, without us having to lift a finger. Shh! Don’t tell anyone how we’re using you!
Frankly, the idea that a writer would do this to a reviewer disgusts me beyond words.
And here’s another secret that you might not know: even bad reviews help sell books. Crazy, right? I’ve had plenty of reviews now, ranging all the way from OMG I WANT TO MARRY THIS BOOK to DESTROY IT WITH FIRE. And every one of those reviews has got my name and the title of my book out there.
Ever read a low-rated review along the lines of “I hated this book because it contains xyz”? Yes, I’ve had my fair share of those reviews. And that’s okay, because even though that one reviewer doesn’t like xyz, one of their friends might love it, and decide to give my book a try.
All reviews are valuable.
I’m tired of seeing authors complain that reviews aren’t helpful or constructive. Firstly, you’re not supposed to get constructive criticism from reviews. That’s what your beta readers and editors are for. And not helpful? Well, I’m pretty sure they’re helpful to other readers, even if they don’t tell you how to write a better book.
Are there such things as truly unhelpful reviews? Probably. If a reviewer says, “I hated this book because it’s orange and I hate orange”, well… um, okay. That’s still your opinion and you’re still entitled to it. Also, I’m pretty sure nobody else who reads the review will actually give a lot of weight to your opinion. Except other people who hate orange, in which case they probably weren’t going to buy the book anyway.
Reviews are for readers.
This topic really does make me angry, because every time a reviewer is abused or mocked or hated by an author for sharing their opinion, it makes that reviewer think twice about reviewing. And that’s bad for all of us: reviewers and authors alike.
So, to everyone who’s ever given one of my books a try, thanks. I hope you liked it, and, if you didn’t, I hope you have better luck with your next read. In the meantime, please review my books however you’d like. That’s your absolute right.
For the record, I haven’t linked to the book in question because this isn’t my blog, and I don’t want to overstep the boundaries of a good guest. But if you happen to follow me on Facebook or Goodreads, you’ll see it there.
~ Lisa Henry
About Lisa Henry
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
- Blog: lisahenryonline.blogspot.com
- Twitter: @lisahenryonline
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/LisaHenry
- Website: lisahenryonline.com
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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