Bad reviews

I just thought that, as a relatively new author, I'd make some comments on negative reviews.

It goes without saying that there are more readers than there are writers and the web has made it far easier for your average 'man in the street' to review books that they have read. However, I have discovered, and it may seem obvious, that there is a whole world of difference between private and public appraisals.

I have no problem with private appraisals. By this I mean things like performance reviews with an employer or similar. Public appraisals are another matter as, by definition, they are open to the whole world.

Before I wrote my first book I had written many reviews of other people's books. For the most part my reviews were positive but on the odd occasion I had been negative. At the time I did not give it much of a thought but all that changed when I got wind of a negative review of my first effort.

The reviewer in question could not bring himself to find a single positive (well not that I noticed) about my book and even suggested that it should not have been published at all. You may be able to imagine how I felt. The best part of a year's worth of work dismissed in a couple of paragraphs.

It was a valuable lesson that I learned that day. The lesson was not to be too eager to slam the work of others. If you genuinely cannot find anything positive to say about a book (or any other product for that matter) then say nothing. Otherwise be critical but in a positive way. Not all people have thick skins (I certainly don't) and to destroy someone's confidence and then claim it was in the interest of consumers is wrong.