I have a problem. You see, I lurk at a message board where readers talk about … what else … books! And I really love going through the threads where people talk about what they are reading, because I end up with a massive TBR that way and tons of recommendations. And, yes, every once in a while I get a thrill when someone mentions they are reading one of my books! But recently, a thread popped up titled: Books You Hate That Others Love. I’m curious … but should I click?
Confused Lurker In Turmoil
Are you a complete masochist? Sure, you’ll see everyone mention what books they don’t like, and how much they hate on them … but WHAT IF YOUR BOOK IS IN THERE? Really, in a thread like that, only pain awaits you. Don’t click, C.L.I.T.
I read a review one minute ago that really, really, REALLY pissed me off. I really want to call the reviewer an ignorant pig. What should I do?
Not an Ignorant Pig
Back away from the keyboard. No, if you can read this screen, you’re too close. Turn around, walk into the kitchen, and eat the pint of Ben and Jerry’s stashed there. Go outside and run a mile. Kick your husband off the sofa and curl up with your favorite book. Tell your husband/friend/writing partner that the reviewer is an ignorant pig. It’s probably better to do it in person or on the phone. If you use e-mail, make sure you really, really, really trust that person.
Then, slowly, ease back into your seat. Now, is the review riddled with errors? BIG errors? Not, “you spelled the heroine’s name with an extra ‘L'” or “Jesus Christ, didn’t you notice the gun on the mantle in the first act that the heroine used in the final confrontation? WTF do you mean, ‘out of nowhere?’ Can’t you read??!!!111′” but “you said that the hero tortured a kitty to death on the first page before shoving it down the heroine’s throat — when in fact, he gave her p**** a good licking and then kissed her.” If it’s a small thing, or a matter of taste, or you just don’t like the grade they gave your book or how they interpreted your character’s actions, LEAVE IT ALONE.
But if it’s not, and you absolutely have to respond — and if you can do it without writing an insult anywhere within the comment — maybe you can reply either by e-mail (if it’s a blogger) or in the comments (for bloggers or Amazon) and make your clarification. And it doesn’t hurt to preface that correction by saying something like, “I’m sorry that the book didn’t work for you.”
Sometimes readers will still be upset that you corrected a big error in the review, but most won’t be. And anyone else coming across the conversation will note who is polite and who is belligerent/crazy.
A chick e-mailed me and said she can make my penis bigger! Only, I don’t have a penis! Now I’m confused … am I really a man? After all, I am tall. And I think boobs are pretty awesome. Should I pay her the $199.99 and get a pleasure stick that will make her scream all night long?
No. There’s no point.