Anne Rice: “There is no justice in the world of book reviewing.”

I have one more point to make on the matter of reviews, and I think it is an important one. There is no justice in the world of book reviewing, and any author in any time in history, is likely to come up against negative reviews that seem unfair. There is no way really to avoid this. And it is another reason why many authors don’t read reviews at all and shouldn’t. Answering a review is really pointless. Even if it contains the grossest inaccuracies, you will come off as defensive if you attempt to clarify what you see as injustice, misrepresentation, or misunderstanding.

However, you have every right as an author to be privately upset, aggrieved and angry and hurt by reviews. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are immature or over sensitive if you respond to a review with private tears. Sensitivity and deep emotions are virtues for writers. Growing a thick skin is not good advice for any artist. You want to “feel” and “feel deeply.” So when you find yourself brutally hurt by what seems an unfair or vicious review, let those feelings surface, commiserate with other authors, do whatever you can to give voice to the pain, get through it and move on. Again, there is no justice in the world of fiction reviewing. Some of the greatest books ever written have been slammed by reviewers and some of the greatest writers in English have been deeply scarred by reviews. It’s normal. Keep that in mind and I think things will go easier for you.

 Anne Rice on Facebook, May 14, 2017

Posting this here because negative reviews for any author is hard. That’s why the established ones tell you not to read them. It can destroy dreams and convince you that you’re no good. And one interesting thing about negative reviews or harsh critiques; it’s the only thing we remember over all the good ones.

It’s like one or two negative reviews negate ten positive ones because we’re just so hard-wired to be as good as we can be and oh-my-god but one person doesn’t like it and so I have to make sure I address all her concerns.

But stories sometimes have to be told the way they’re told. And some stories touch us and never let go and some don’t. Reader, move on. Writer, do the same thing. Don’t dwell.

Besides, there are more stories to be told.

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