Tempted to respond to negative reviews? Don't!

There's been a real dust-up over Emily Giffin's latest. You can read about it here..

Unhappy with a review? Unhappy you didn't reach number one on the NYT bestseller list? Leave it be, leave it be, leave it be. (And ask your husband to leave it be, and your assistant.)

Or you'll end up with anonymous callers leaving voice messages like this for poor reviewers: "Saying I should just kill myself for being such a miserable person for attacking poor Emily."

I don't think it's a bad idea to respond to good reviews. But try to be Zen about bad ones.



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I've already promised myself I will never respond to a negative review. If I ever get published, that is. ;)

Seriously though, it's such a bad idea. It never ends well for the author.
There is no way an author can come out of this sort of thing looking good, no matter how unfair the review. Even if you are totally in the right, you end up looking ungrateful and petty.

I hope I have the grace to just ignore bad reviews, if I am ever lucky enough to get a book published.
It is so hard. You want your book to succeed so much.

But anything you do on the Internet doesn't ever really go away.
It takes strength of character. Not just to ignore them publicly, but ignore them privately.
Emily needs to put a muzzle on her husband. I can see there being some serious marital issues in that family now! I am now very grateful that my husband doesn't know Kirkus from a cuckoo clock and basically stays out of my writing life. He gives me the much-needed perspective, that one review on Amazon or Goodreads doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

But this is a great illustration of how drama gets stirred up on the internet. Both sides kept on stirring and stirring the pot... it takes two to wage a war. If they wanted the drama to cool down, all they needed to do was walk away.