Every author knows the feeling. You get a so-so review and you think “Well that reviewer didn’t get it at all!” But of course if you have even two working brain cells, you pretty much know that the most you should ever do is correct any factual errors without anger or sarcasm. Just be cool, always be cool. Arguing with the reviewer is a bad idea because even if you’re right, you’re the one who ends up looking like a horse’s ass.
Someone should have explained this to Jacqueline Howett before she got into it with BigAl’s Books and Pals over his review of her book “The Greek Seaman” which was given two stars mostly for the amount of typos and mistakes. Ms. Howett’s response is to blame the reviewer for not downloading the “right” version of her novel, implies that he didn’t like her book because she’s English (OMG, my English ancestors are spinning in their graves right now.) and says she’ll stick with all the many good reviews from places like Amazon.com, three of which she proceeds to post in the comments section!
Reviewer proceeds to explain that yes, in fact he did download the file she told him to download and it’s still a mess, and no, it’s not her Englishness that’s turning him off it’s the crappy quality. Author replies that her writing is just fine and (forgive me, but I must quote this because I couldn’t begin to do it justice by paraphrasing):
“And please follow up now from e-mail.
This is not only discusting and unprofessional on your part, but you really don’t fool me AL.
“Who are you any way? Really who are you?
What do we know about you?
“You never downloaded another copy you liar!
You never ever returned to me an e-mail
“Besides if you want to throw crap at authors you should first ask their permission if they want it stuck up on the internet via e-mail. That debate is high among authors.
“Your the target not me!
Now get this review off here!”
Oh no she didn’t just tell a reviewer to remove his review from his blog! *headdesk* BTW, the mistakes? Hers, not mine.
She makes me embarrassed to call myself an author. You’ve got to read the thread to really appreciate the scope of Ms. Howett’s unpleasantness. Not only does she say that her writing is “great” she tells commenters to “Fuck off.” Yeah, really.
- Author Meltdowns Are Very Entertaining (slog.thestranger.com)
- Authors, Professionalism, and the Tantrum Heard ‘Round the World (eulana.wordpress.com)
- That Fuck Off Moment (benpeek.livejournal.com)
- On Reviewing Authors’ Books (selfpubauthors.wordpress.com)