To write a book take immense pressure, both physical and mental. The moment the idea comes to your mind, conceiving and reproducing it takes several stages. Hence it is heartbreaking to see a trashing review after all the hard work. I am an author and I know it. But when there are genuine negative reviews, it is a chance for the authors to learn and grow. Sycophants just make you redundant.
Of late, I have personally experienced a high degree of intolerance from top bestselling authors towards honest reviews. A female author who’s an inspiration for me via her bestselling book went into the sea of bestselling formulas and started writing stuff for the sake of the masses and drifted from her forte. Finally, when the sequel of her bestselling book came, I informed the publisher how deeply it moved me. She was back on track. She mailed me telling me about her happiness in hearing that I liked the book. But, when I started that “she is back after a cascade of average books” in my review, she took offense and commented that she was surprised that I didn’t like any of her other books. But I took it in my stride. Later another bestselling romance author was very forthcoming to my review of his book and even asked me for my WhatsApp number. Seriously! Of course, I denied it.
Then he read my review of his previous book, which was slightly critical. There goes the ego shoot.
There are more personal experiences.
I posted the review of the aforementioned authoress’ latest book. Of course, there were many good things to say and bad things too. Again she took offense and was fast in replying. Same old pattern. Others liked it, they said this and that. I chose to look at the bright side until I read her blog post on “How to write a review?” I was appalled.
There are a few points in agreement with her.
She told that a review shouldn’t be a mini summary. Kudos. You’re right there. Never give spoilers.
Mention the author, publisher, and book name. True that! You must give credit.
Don’t reproduce the blurb.
Write about writing style etc.
Very very true
She says that if you have something that you hate about the book you can say that too (didn’t mention that the author would jump to justify her book by stating others’ opinions) Never mind.
According to her, some reviewers give negative reviews just because the protagonist didn’t act according to their wishes. And this happens because the book is exceptionally written. Like seriously? Isn’t it applicable the other way around too? Some people like the book because the protagonist acted how they wanted them to and not because of the finesse of their author’s craft?
A book doesn’t become a great book just because “Many people loved it”. It just makes it a bestseller. An author should not let that success get into the head and think that what they write is a perfect piece and the reviewers who don’t accept it don’t know their job.
The author had shared a perfect review according to her in the post, which was nothing but back scratch. I am appalled to see that the person who I have looked up to for all these years would come down as a self-entitled one. I am disappointed. My idol just broke.
The scathing trashing reviews like “the author doesn’t know the job”, “the book is crap” etc don’t come under the critical reviews I mentioned. A review of the first edition of my book stated that it is a “holy mother of grammicide”. But it helped me in reworking my book and releasing a better second edition.
Critical reviews are the ones that summarily state the pros and cons professionally. The reviews are written passionately. If you know the craft, you can recognize them. Just that you have to take off the imperious veil.
Honest reviews are not some low creatures without any insight.
In the post, it is stated that she has rarely come across a PERFECT review. Seriously? Ma’am, how many perfect reviews should I show you? No, not mine. Mine is just average. I give it to you. If you have rarely read perfect reviews, that’s because you have rarely written perfect books. The one book and its sequel are just perfect. But the rest were written to be bestsellers and were worked on with impeccable marketing skills. Accept that.
She says that even if you don’t like the book, you find something that you liked about the book too. If you don’t like the book, that’s because there is nothing you liked. Why should you say something good for the sake of it?
To conclude, she has shared her Instagram stories where she has reviewed the books. She says I have written negative reviews but I have stated good facts too. So, let me conclude by stating a few perfect negative reviews of hers, to sum up, what she preached. “I didn’t like this one. Found it very unconvincing. Twists and twists and twists. Just for the sake of it. This is not for me”
Balanced review. Isn’t it? At least learn to take what you give maam. There are more.
I have unfollowed her and decided not to review her books anymore. Not that she would care. In front of her, I’m just a worm. But I will have the satisfaction of taking a step against people with self-entitlement and double-standards.