Today we have one of MinnChica’s favorite Romantic Suspense writers Jill Sorenson here. Jill’s newest release Tempted by his Target is available now from Harlequin. Welcome Jill to The Book Pushers!
Hi Book Pushers! Thanks so much for having me.
A few weeks back Has wrote a post about online behavior that can bite an author in the “arse.” The author in question had advised aspiring authors not to write negative reviews or rate books on sites like Goodreads with anything less than five stars.
Even when an author’s intentions are good—and they usually are—this kind of warning rubs me the wrong way. It suggests that authors keep tabs on reviewers and hold grudges against them. Rather than seeing an honest review as an act of support, they consider it a personal attack. Attitudes like this are not helpful.
I’m tired of authors telling anyone how to review. We shouldn’t attempt to stifle criticism or limit discussions in any way, because word of mouth sells books.
Here’s a list of other things for authors to avoid:
- Write a controversial post and then freak out when someone disagrees with you. If you can’t respect dissenting opinions, stick to soft topics.
- Respond to a negative review or a critical comment when your feelings are hurt.
- Threaten, belittle, or berate a reviewer. They are discussing your book and doing you a favor! Say thanks or say nothing and move on.
- Correct a reviewer’s grammar or spelling, or point out minor errors. Unless the mistake is serious (such as getting the entire plot wrong or confusing Jill Shalvis for Jill Sorenson) let it go.
- Create a sock puppet to defend your book or make nasty comments as “anonymous.”
- Rally your author friends to talk trash about a reviewer or review site.
- Apologize for your creative choices, make excuses, or try to enlighten the reviewer. You can say “sorry it didn’t work for you” and leave it at that. Be like Henry Ford—never complain, never explain.
- Let criticism paralyze you. If you don’t find it useful, don’t read it.
I’m not saying that authors shouldn’t be sensitive, or that we can’t share our thoughts. But I think we would all benefit from encouraging honest criticism and treating readers with respect.
Feel free to tell me your opinion of my list, my books, or anything else. If you’d like to win a print copy of Tempted by His Target, my latest release with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, say so in the comments. Thanks!!
Thanks so much Jill! The contest is open Internationally and ends October 20th. Good Luck!