We all want reviews and there’s always the one that makes us regret politely asking that people leave reviews. Then we go right back to asking for them because they’re part of the life blood of an author. Reviews are the highs and lows of our adventure, which are becoming harder and harder to come by. Now, the methods of getting reviews are numerous in amount and range all across the morality spectrum. Instead of poking fun at how we get them, I’m going to give some T&C tips about reacting properly. I have to say this is humorous because it’s a topic that people take very seriously. Been there before and don’t have any plans of revisiting that debate again.
- Do NOT publicly react to negative reviews even if they get personal. If you have loyal readers then they will handle it, but responding in person tends to create a worse situation than before. Besides, most people will read a review that’s all personal insults and not take it seriously. Unless you start a flame war with the reviewer and begin threatening their loved ones. Do I even have to tell you that such a thing is bad form?
- Do NOT copy a 5-star review and post it on your blog in an attempt to show people what you think everyone should do. Post it to say thanks and give the person credit for brightening your day. Holding one review up as the ideal can cause two problems. First, you end up insulting anyone else who gave you a positive review. You know those stars can be changed, right? Second, now you’ll get a bunch of 5-star reviews that are carbon copies of each other and an email from Amazon that your books are being taken down. Oops!
- Do NOT send pizza to positive reviewers and gefilte fish to negative reviewers. It can come off as creepy and the second option can be mistaken for an attempt at poisoning, which means the police get involved. Gets even worse if you don’t warn anyone and leave people wondering how you got their address. There’s also that issue of the pizza going bad before it arrives since it might be long-distance. As far as that happening with the gefilte fish, who would really notice?
- Do Not tattoo full reviews on your body. You only have so much space and some can be fairly long. Not to mention the creepy factor, especially if you post pictures. Whoever is tattooed on your butt might have some harsh words for you too.
- Do be proud of the reviews you earn and take some positive energy from them. At least the good ones. Learn from the negative ones and improve. Wait . . . I don’t think this is a funny one.
- Do Not complain to Amazon that somebody gave you a negative review. This might be out of sight of people and maybe you can find a rationale about how it’s a terrible, unfair thing. Yet, it won’t get you anywhere other than a possible warning. On the other hand, you can complain about a positive one and get that wiped out in case you feel like being masochistic.
- Do Not write about a review when emotional, which mostly goes for negatives. You will inevitably say something foolish and find yourself spending more time putting out fires than writing a new book. Vent to a friend in private, write poetry that you will never share, and whatever else it takes to calm down before touching social media.