Papi Prompt will be live in the morning, right now I want to discuss haters. So, pull up a chair close to the fire my friends, and let ol’ Papi Z spin you a tale.
Today, I learned how not to deal with haters by watching how someone chose to do it. This person shall remain anonymous here.
Negative reviews are a fact of life, you don’t like them and I don’t like them. What is the best way to deal with an honest, well intention-ed negative review? Learn from it. Set aside your ego, your pride over someone “attacking” your baby, and listen to what they have to say. For that particular person, your book was not to their taste, for whatever reason they give. Absorb the criticism, look at it through their eyes, and determine if the points they make are valid.
If they are valid, then make the changes as you see fit, or don’t, it is your choice. Doing so may make your book a better buy, or broaden it’s audience appeal.
If they are not valid, then chances are this person is not a member of your target audience. Maybe they are an elderly church lady looking for the latest steamy “christian” romance. “…Oh Beauregard, I do declare that your Bible is looking mighty fine this day...” for example. She may have come across your “active” romance. “...As he thrust his mighty man stick into her velvety folds of womanly love she cried his name over and over again…” again, for example.
That lady is not your target audience. She will be hard pressed to find one thing nice to say about your sinful book. She may even start a letter writing campaign against you, or try to bring you to church to save your soul. Nothing you do, however, will make her ever like your book. So accept the criticism, and move on to the next project.
Another way a review could not be valid is if the reviewer is simply attacking the author and baiting you into responding. The best way to handle these is to ignore them. These are internet bullies, cyber-trolls, and they want to gain entry to your head space.
You are not writing effectively if you are thinking about them. You are not living your life if you are thinking about them. Essentially, they win. So, you ignore them. Your friends ignore them. Your fans ignore them. And they go away, like the creeper they are.
You can read the review and think this…
What you must not do, ever, ever, ever, do, is engage the troll. You can think it, you can say it to yourself, to your mom, your teddy bear, or even your dog. Do not attack reviewers, do not attack honest reviews, and do not attack other authors.
*Full disclosure…My first, second, and thirty-third instinct is to engage the troll. I enjoy lovely banter back and forth with the mentally unarmed(trolls), and can amuse myself for hours at their expense, then banish them from my site with a click and guffaw. I have learned from my mentors though, to not engage. If I can ignore them, you can too.
This person chose to attack both valid and invalid reviews and reviewers. It was the perfect example of the “author behaving badly” that these trolls like to tout as a reason to attack the rest of us. I understand that it is hard to not engage. I hear you, you spent X amount of time, sweat, and tears to bring your book to life and they are attacking it. Ignore them and they will go away. They will move onto the next author that couldn’t abide someone besmirching their masterpiece and forget about you.
If they do not forget about you, if the behavior continues and you have done nothing to cause this, that is what Amazon and GoodReads is for. You report the abuse, and they will take care of it. If the matter is brought to them, they take their terms of service very seriously. They are not the review police. You must report the bullies and trolls, while not engaging them.
In closing my friends, we need to remember to act courteously in the online realm, and when others are not as courteous, we ignore them. Eventually they will go away, and if they don’t then they get reported to the recess supervisor(Amazon and GoodReads) and they can’t play outside with the rest of us. It really is just like Kindergarten out there, and if you can remember that, you will be just fine.
As always, thank you for stopping by.