Hi loves! I was inspired by my blogger friend, Bree over at inloveandwords to start a discussion segment on my blog. She does TeaChats which are monthly posts where she pretends to have a cup of tea (with her readers) and chat about what she’s been doing lately. Such a cute idea right?! So, with Bree’s TeaChat inspiration in mind, I decided to do Coffee Break with you and talk about… well, I guess anything that’s on my mindToday’s topic is Authors Responding to Bad/Negative Reviews. I want to know how you would react to these authors and what you would say to them.
Recently, I read a book that I didn’t really enjoy and at the end of the day, it just wasn’t for me. You see, I don’t normally email authors to explain my feelings about their books if I liked them — usually 3 hearts/stars or above. And, even when I DNF or do not like a book, I don’t email the authors. Since most of the books/ARCs I receive are through publishers or blog tours, I would just say it wasn’t for me, but thank you for the opportunity and here are the links to my reviews which will be posted on this date on my blog, goodreads, etc. Most of the time, I don’t even get a reply and when I do, it’s just a short Thank You email.
With that being said, for this situation I felt like I needed to share the reasons why I didn’t like the book with this particular author because he/she emailed and asked me to read and review it. So, I told this author why her/his book just didn’t work for me. I don’t think I was “mean,” but I was very HONEST with my thoughts and opinions. Cause that’s what we as book reviewers should do. Just because we get ARCs for free from publishers or authors, doesn’t mean we should give positive reviews so they can keep sending us those ARCs for free.
For the most part, I do give plenty of good reviews. My average Goodreads rating is 4.40 and I know I rate about 80-90% of the books I read 4-5 stars… but that’s because I really do like the books. I’m not a professional book critic or an editor. I read for fun and entertainment. I read to escape the real world and travel through books and experience the FEELS. I try to choose books that I know I would ENJOY reading so I don’t have to make myself go through a story I know will just bore me to death. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get what I mean right? If it’s something I’m not going to like reading, then I’m not going to request or accept to review it. Simple as that… I accepted to read this book because the premise sounded really fascinating and interesting. I thought I would like it… I really did, but sadly, I couldn’t get into the book. That happens sometimes. Anyway, I’m totally babbling now, but we all have different tastes.
So, after going over my reasons for not liking her/his book, I told this author that it’s my personal opinion and that maybe the timing wasn’t right because it was way too heavy and overwhelming for me. Whatever I said, I tried to be as subjective as I can because it was MY PERSONALY READING EXPERIENCE and mine alone. Maybe other people would have completely fallen in love with his/her book. Then, I went on to say good things I thought about her/his book — How I thought it was imaginative. How even though I didn’t like it or get into the story at the moment, it’s still on my mind and I plan on reading it in the future — to try again and give it another chance. How I thought this aspect of the book was really fascinating. Cause… I really do think those, but it’s hard for me to read/finish a book if I can’t connect with the characters or the overall story.
It truly pains me to write “bad” reviews. There’s nothing about it I like because I know authors work so hard on their stories… blood and tears and endless nights. So, as a reviewer, I try to find something I like. But, at the end of the day, sometimes a book just doesn’t work for me. AND, that should have been okay. I’m one opinion against hundreds, thousands, and millions.
I think the author should have just said – “I’m sorry my book wasn’t for you, but Thank You for taking the time to try it,” OR just not respond at all except with a simple Thank You.
Instead, I felt a little bit attacked. This author emailed me back and went on to explain that I as a reader didn’t get what he/she was trying to convey/do with his/her book. As if my mind can’t comprehend the “artistic” way he/she wrote or the symbolism and all those jazzy writing/storytelling techniques.
I know bad reviews do hurt authors. But, a bad review is still a review. A bad review still took time to write. A bad review doesn’t define the author’s writing career or future books. It’s one bad review.
What do you think? What are some of your thoughts on this? How would you feel if an author responded to your bad review and made you feel “ignorant?” How would you react?
Anyway, thanks for reading my rant and allowing me to vent. I just needed to get it off my mind and set it free so I can move on and not let this get me down…