Not all authors, however, follow the same principles...
Sylvia Massara decided to take a different approach. Here it is, as taken from her website BEFORE SHE DECIDED TO CHANGE THE ORIGINAL POST:
Today I want to raise a very delicate topic: the unprofessional reviewer.
As authors, we must all take the good with the bad. We cannot expect to get excellent reviews every time we write something. We must expect that from time to time we will receive a bad review.
Recently, this happened to me. I received a couple of what I would call "trashy" reviews, and for a while I felt bad. But then I went and read some of the reviews written on a large number of best selling authors' books and found that they, too, received plenty of bad reviews. These authors, who are now making millions, received heaps of bad reviews--but of course the good reviews far outweighed the bad ones. Luckily, this was also the case with me. So why did I allow these couple of reviews get to me?
Well, for starters, the reviewers were not professional. They were not objective in what they had to say. I found their comments to be subjective and sometimes downright malicious. Two such blogs that have set themselves up as reviewers of books are "The Book Binge" and "Chick Lit Plus". Now, I don't expect everybody to like my books, but what really gets me is when amateur reviewers use words like "predictable" and "one dimensional", but they don't quantify this. They don't back up their comments with facts.
So what do they mean? Your guess is as good as mine. For instance, how can a romance novel not be predictable? Boy meets girl, there are obstacles that keep them apart, then boy and girl overcome obstacles and they get together and live happily ever after. Of course, it's predictable!That's what romance stories are all about. Would these reviewers rather that we killed off someone in order to make the romance "unpredictable"? If so, go and review a thriller or suspense romance.
This is why I am warning authors to beware of this kind of reviewer. When you offer your book to be reviewed, first take the time to check out the reviewer. Have a read of some of the reviews they wrote in the past. See if they trashed someone else. Make sure they back up their reviews with facts and objective criticism. I learned my lesson the hard way and didn't do my research first, as I should have done.
Oftentimes, the people who set up these kinds of blogs have never written a thing in their lives, except maybe a grocery list. Most are avid readers who think they are qualified to review someone else's work. So it's very sad when they go about damaging the image of upcoming small press and indie authors with the rubbish they write.
My message to them is this: if you cannot write an objective review and back up what you say, then don't write anything at all. And next time you use the words "predictable" or "one dimensional" try to quantify what you mean--that is, if you are able to write about it. Please bear in mind that writers work very hard at their craft and the last thing they need is a smartass who makes subjective comments because they don't know how to do anything else.
Finally, I will leave my fellow authors with this wonderful quote by Stephen King. Someone told me this not so long ago and it really helped: "You cannot write something that will please all readers, therefore write to please yourself" (or words to that effect. LOL). Thank you, Mr. King. And I wish for all the hardworking authors who read this blog that one day, just like you, we'll be laughing all the way to the bank with our huge royalty checks despite the flak we copped from those unprofessional book reviewers.
Comments on this blog are invited. If you are a reviewer and you think that you have been criticized unjustly, welcome to the club. Now you know how us hardworking authors feel :-)
Yep, she just went there... Called out actual blogs and everything, because they'd given her negative reviews.
I just want to offer my sincere thanks to all those authors who have been extremely supportive of my books reviews, especially where negative points are concerned. I like to try and stay professional, and I'm glad y'all are too. Just to say: I won't be touching Sylvia Massara's books with a bargepole now - THAT'S what a post like the above achieves.