This is a no-edit zone…
In the race for topping the list in rankings, many authors are reporting dirty tricks being played against them. These tricks are purportedly playing out in a variety of ways and authors naturally are concerned about them.
Here are a few hard and fast facts:
- Reviews are subjective and everyone is entitled to an opinion and to express it, whether or not it’s an informed opinion and whether or not their opinion is expressed in honest assessment or in nefarious activity. Since opinions are opinions and not facts, there are few tools for determining the true basis of said opinion.
- It’s always wise to be slow to accuse and err on the side of benefit of doubt.
- Not everyone will like any given book. (This is a plus. If they did, we’d need one book and one writer.)
- There are those who consider it legitimate to negatively review a book to kick it down a few notches on a list so that a book they want to move up will move up. Morally and ethically it is not legitimate, of course. But we all know that works-in-progress are not limited to books, they extend to people too. And some just haven’t yet learned the lesson that when you set out to harm another, you harm yourself. Take heart. They’ll learn, and you’re strong enough to withstand the onslaught or it wouldn’t be happening to you.
- It’s pretty evident to readers who read the reviews that these destructive types are at work. Some will blow off their negative reviews. Some will be angered by them. Some will pray for people who feel it’s okay to do something so underhanded, corrupt and destructive. And some will be repulsed and will take on a negative opinion of the reviewer that will stick like glue for a long time to come.
When reports started coming in on this taking place, I did some research. It became pretty evident who was panning a book because it just wasn’t their kind of book, and who was panning a book because they had an ulterior motive. So the bottom line advice I have on this is to trust your readers.
Readers are bright. Some just won’t like a book. But they’re slow to post really awful reviews on books much less free books, particularly if they’re authors. Maybe it’s because they know the work it takes to write a book, or maybe they refrain because they know being destructive on subjective opinions is, well, subjective and destructive. Or maybe they’re smart enough to know that a book not suited to their tastes might just be someone else’s dream read.