I don't really do posts on authors being professional because if you read my twitter stream, you will see I am a complete goofball. But there are professional lines I know not to cross, and one I have been seeing others talk about a lot recently: Authors behaving badly about reviews.
When someone decides to publish their story - their baby - they know a certain level of criticism will be involved. The story needs to go to editors or beta readers, people who read it with a critical eye and point out flaws. The end result (hopefully) is a flawless book. But we all know no book is perfect. Still, we put our book out into the world in hopes that people will enjoy it.
Not everyone will though, that's a fact of writing life. When reviews start flowing in, not all of them will be glowing and shiny. Some will claim your book was all right, while others say it wasn't for them. Then there are the reviews were a person gives the book one star and completely bashes the book. I dread getting my first one of those. So far, I have been lucky. My low reviews, the reviewers were polite and honest and did not tear me a new one.
Even if the reviewer was mean, saying I am the worst writer in the world and spit on a tissue is better written than my book, I would never think of making a fuss. Sure, I would cry to my hubby and friends. But it would be in a private way, not on twitter or facebook. Because that is the one professional line I know I shouldn't cross. I've seen horror stories where authors have ranted and raged over a bad review. The most recent one the author called the reviewer a bitch! My mouth was hanging open in shock. In what universe did that author thing that was okay? Even if the reviewer gave a scathing review, the author should know better.
It's just one opinion. Why does it matter so much when you have a hundred other three to five star reviews saying your book is good? What caused this lapse in the author's judgement? Sometimes, I'd like to see those authors' sales stats after their meltdowns. I'm curious to how it affects the sale of their book. I know for some, their star rating plummeted.
Reading these stories just reinforces my determination to let a bad review slide off me like water. That person is entitled to their opinion of my book. It doesn't have to agree with the other reviews. It can be the one lonely star in a sea of five stars and that's fine. What's not fine is acting like an idiot because of it.