We've all read them, nasty reviews. Whether they were about a book we wrote or not, everyone has read at least one scathing review and cringed. The reason I'm writing about this is because it's been on my mind.
First let me say I don't expect everyone to like everything I write. Of course, that would be wonderful, but nothing is perfect. I've read plenty of books I didn't like. But, even before I was a published author it never occurred to me to write a rude review or reveal the plot in a public forum.
I cannot imagine why someone would behave this way. Most professional reviewers are just that professional. Let me make it clear that these are NOT the folks I'm talking about. I'm talking about someone who decides to half pay attention to the book, then quote it incorrectly, and give away every single plot twist in a "review." There are also those who call the author names. Or use words to describe the story like "stupid." That's just plain rude.
I had this happen to me recently and was caught between shock and horror. I still am. I keep asking, "Why would anyone do this?" Why not just say, "I didn't like the book because the plot didn't work for me, etc." Why be a jerk?
Anyway, I'm still baffled by this behavior. I suppose it falls into the confusing category along with why some people think a 3 star rating is good.
It's not just that I've been insulted. I've been published for 4 years this month and believe me my hide has gotten pretty thick. For some reason this reviewer's rude remarks really got to me.
Everyone who wants to improve their craft does want feedback, but there's a way to offer it: minus name calling and in a professional manner. Otherwise it's just hostile and while the author may read it and have their feelings hurt, that's likely all it will accomplish.
It's hard not to take things like that personally when you put so much time and effort into a story. It makes me wonder if I've done something to the reviewer (unintentionally since I do not speak to people that way) to make them treat me like that. I say me and not my book, because the review in question was so insulting it was personal.
I suppose my point is, if you review books and you come across one you don't like, at least be kind in your remarks and thoughtful of how you say you didn't enjoy the book. Think how you might feel if someone scanned 3 months of your life/work in 3 hours and called it crap.
It's perfectly all right to not like everything. Hell, it's a free country. All I'm saying is, there's no reason to be mean. The author didn't write that book just to piss you off/ruin your day/week, or whatever. I swear.