aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Authors: don't succumb to temptation

As an author, if you see a bad review of your book, or you go to Amazon and watch your star rating start to slide, it's easy to panic - or even get angry.

But if you're going to do something, think twice. It sounds like Sara Gruen was worried about her Amazon ratings on her new book, Ape House. According to one Amazon reviewer, she reached out to all her Facebook friends, and wrote this:

"Dearest Beloveds, I am being slaughtered on Amazon. If you have read APE HOUSE already and actually feel this way, could you please post a positive review and help me bury some of the horrific ones? Many merci beaucoups."

I think that's a bad idea because a) it makes people who haven't read the book feel it might be bad and b) a lot of people who are your "friends" on Facebook aren't really your friends at all. In this case, the recipient posted Gruen's request on Amazon for everyone to see.

The request, the reaction, and the reaction to the reaction.

So authors, if you are going to ask people (hopefully people who have read it) to make positive comments about your book, make sure to do a better job of keeping it on the QT. Or, better yet, let the book speak for itself.

Of course, this isn't the first time an author should have thought twice before reacting. When Alice Hoffman got a mixed review in the Boston Globe, Salon reports, "She came out swinging, calling reviewer Roberta Silman "a moron," quickly moving on to "idiot," then expanding her repertoire to dis the newspaper and the city of Boston itself. But the real jaw-dropper in Hoffman's two dozen plus tweets on the subject was her suggestion that "If you want to tell Roberta Silman off, her phone is [Silman's phone number and email address]. Tell her what u think of snarky critics."

Read about other famous author reactions here, including shooting the critic's book, spitting on them, and more.

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Tags: bad reviews, reviews
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