It's been a busy week on my blog. If you haven't heard about this, you can read the nine yards of 'oopsey-doodle, I'm making an ass of myself' here.
I was reading this kerfuffle as an objective author who's received more than her fair share of 'less than glowing' reviews and shouting in my head to the author, "Stop. Stop now while you're behind."
Temperance like tolerance are the better sides of valor. You have to take the good with the bad. Sometimes you have to bite holes in your tongue to keep from shooting yourself in the foot. Those are all things you learn when you take a dip in the professional author pool (or if you intend to walk out your door and deal with people in the real world). It's the whole "Stop. Stop now while you're behind."
There are things you learn in this industry when it comes to reviews.
First and foremost, buy yourself a pair of teflon-coated panties and get ready for the wild ride that is having a book out for public consumption and criticism. Never, ever take a bad review to the web and then call the review site non-professional. It comes across as an inability to work and play well with others. Aside from that, it's dishearteningly childish.
Second, you are a professional who is running a professional business. You are the face of that company. You have to conduct yourself as you would if you were meeting with a client in the real world or having lunch with a potential business partner. That's a simple fact of running a business and it is imperative in this industry.
Third, a bad review will happen. It's not a matter of 'if' but 'when'. Take it, nasty or great, for what it is worth. If it's tear-worthy and sucks the air right out of your lungs, get over it. If you get a glowing review, count your blessings and move forward.
Fourth, if you haven't learned how to make lemonade from lemons, whip out a cookbook and do so real quick or just walk away. I mean that sincerely. Just walk away if you don't know how to take a bad review and make it into something fantastic.
Fifth, but probably something that gets lost more often than not, it's a fricken' story. It's words on a page. It's however long it is. It's not a baby. You didn't give birth to it. It's a story, and hopefully not your only one. Reviews like edits are not personal. If you aren't prepared to separate yourself from those two simple facts do not walk but run for the exit.
We can debate/discuss skin thickness all we want to when it comes to reviews, but the decision is yours to make. If you think you are going to just waltz through this industry with a stellar portfolio of 5 star/ribbons/puppy dog tails or whatever the review site uses to grade stories you aren't being honest with yourself. You will face the brutal reality that not everyone loves your story.
But the decision is yours. Step away from the computer and all the trouble you can get yourself into by going on a rant about a reviewer or shoot yourself in the foot because your feelings were hurt. It's that simple.
Trust me – opening the industrial-size can of worms that may happen if you do take your self-righteous indignation to the web is seriously not worth it.