Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Having A Thin Skin

Recently on a forum I frequent a self published author posted she gotten the following one star review:

Silly. Laborious - not a good read. Hard to get into and stay focussed. Not recommending this author. Not a good buy

Okay, fair enough. One star reviews can sting and can be sucky sometimes. When you put yourself out there, these things happen. Hey, look! Pride and Prejudice has seventy seven one star reviews! The thing is, sometimes these reviews are valid, sometimes not but in the end these things happen. Let it go.

Someone didn't get that memo.

The author's response:

This is the review.  This little story has not had any paid purchases for a long while.  That means to me that she downloaded a free copy.  If someone has this trash to report about a very short story that probably took them five minutes to read, why post a review at all.  I am floored!

There are two problems here. Whether it is a paid purchase or free download is irrelevant.Note: it says right next to the review it it was an Amazon Verified Purchase. The ponit is the reader didn't like the story. Further, the reviewer posted a review because they could and because they obviously felt the need to share her review with others. I hardly call "Silly." and "Laborious - not a good read." trashing the book. It's a statement of what the reader felt. Would this author have felt the same way if it was a five star review, that the person shouldn't have posted the review because they might have got it? free I doubt it.

Her friends were quick to join the pity party and trash the reviewer:

Ignore it ! We know your a great writer and story teller,
                           I loved all your stories..

It is hard for me to come to terms with a description of your work as "laborious," because it so much the opposite of the way I see it.  Not that you don't do the work of making it professional as well as unique and original, but because the spirit of the stories are so natural and meaningful.  

And how can a story be "silly" and "laborious" at the same time?

I am floored, to, at the actions of people who are so intent on harm.

Sigh. It goes on like that until they finally to get to ad hominem personal attacks on the reviewer, all because of one single one star review.

You want to play the "published author" game? Cool. Get thicker skin. Readers are a tough crowd.

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