Professionalism: Why Attitude Matters (even in writing)

In light of the recent shenanigans that have been going on regarding authors and bookbloggers, I’m feeling the urge to grab my soapbox. While it’s usually (as in, almost always) a bad idea for me to stick my nose in where it doesn’t belong, in this case I feel a bit validated in doing so. So, let me roll up my sleeves and dive right in.

First of all, I know that it stinks to receive a less than glowing review. I understand that authors put their hearts into their work and it must be incredibly difficult to read a negative review, or one that is seen as negative. If I were to write a book, I know I’d be heartbroken by a poor review, or what I see as a poor rating. Which is why I would choose to not read any reviews of my book at all. That’s an absolutely valid choice, authors: you can leave Goodreads and other such sites to the readers.

Barring that, there are some great ways to handle negative feedback. You could read the constructive criticism, learn from it, and use it to improve your work. Or you could discount it and carry on about your business. Either way is fine. What is not fine is verbally attacking a reviewer because you disagree with their opinion.

Reviews are just opinions. That’s all. Not every book is for every person. What one reader loves, I might hate, and vice versa. It’s important to remember that one negative review does not mean your book is crap, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed as an author. It won’t kill your career.

What can kill a career is an unprofessional attitude. In this day and age, how a person presents themselves online will be seen and taken into account. Not only will other readers balk at reading a book written by someone who acts in a vindictive manner, publishers might also be wary of working with that person. Harassing a bookblogger, or other reviewer, online will be noticed and it will affect future interactions. Please be aware of that.

That being said: bookbloggers, we also have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to not sink to a low level as a retaliation. The way we present ourselves also matters. We can (and should) stick up against bullying in the bookblogging world. But we can do so in a mature way. Even when it’s tempting to call names, let’s avoid that.

Lastly, let’s all remember why bookbloggers do what we do: we love to read. Authors, we want to give glowing reviews. We want to shout about your excellent work from the rooftops. Our opinions can help get a book noticed. And of course we want new, amazing stories to read. Let’s continue to work together. You write ’em, we’ll read ’em (unless you throw a temper tantrum).

Now, I’ll pack up my soapbox and head back to my massive tbr pile.

18 thoughts on “Professionalism: Why Attitude Matters (even in writing)

  1. Definitely agree with you here. Nothing wrong with ignoring a review or taking it on board- the only wrong thing to do is attack the reviewer. And harassing a blogger will always look terrible. But love your point about bloggers not sinking to namecalling as well. Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been attacked by multiple authors regarding reviews of their books when I said I didn’t like the book. I’ve been called nasty names, had around 30 comments added to the review post with copied & pasted good reviews to “show me I was wrong about the book”, and been stalked on Goodreads by an author “you liked (book) and it’s just like mine, why didn’t you like mine”.

    I just don’t respond. I try to think about what might be going on. Are they having a bad day and now here comes this bad review? Is something going on in the life behind the scenes that they’ve chosen to take their frustration out on me? Since I don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes, I just let it go.

    Then again, I’ve been book blogging off and on for about 14 years, so I’ve developed a thick skin. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel guilty when authors whinge about bad reviews, but I’m always honest, and that is, after all, what reviews are for. Having said that, I can see why they can’t ignore Goodreads on their own books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really doesn’t make sense. In this particular instance, an author went off on people who gave them 4 star reviews. It wasn’t even a bad review that the author was upset over. That being said, some people responded in equally cruel ways. It’s the whole “2 wrongs don’t make a right” thing. I know it’s hard to stay calm when people see that sort of disrespect, but there’s a line.

      Liked by 1 person

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