Always seems to be some author willing to stick their neck out -- whether in well-meaning ignorance or malice or genuine cluelessness -- and point the finger at someone who gave them a review they didn't like. Normally, I stay out of this stuff, but on this one, I have to comment. Rant alert. I warned you...
I don't get it. Really, I just don't. Being published means that people are going to read my book. Not all those people will like it. And not all those people will write a review that I think does the book justice.
So suck it up, and move on. This is the real world, and it does not owe me good reviews, or readers, or sales, or a legion of contented fans. It does not even owe me courtesy or a 'fair chance'. In an industry that releases several hundred books per week, I am lucky if my book gets read at all.
A reviewer has taken the time to read my book, when they have literally thousands of other entertainment choices. They have then taken the time to post a review. Whether I like what it says or not, that person has spent hours of his or her life on me and my book.
Sorry, but the only appropriate response to that is "thankyou". Even better, a private message that says: "Thankyou, and I'm sorry the book wasn't for you. Here's a link to your site on my blog, and would you like review copies of my other books?" Even if they say "no, thanks, I'd rather fork my own eyeballs out than read any more of your trash", I've lost nothing.
It's simple arithmetic, folks: readers are more willing to give a second chance to an author who is gracious than they are to one who's an asshole. Maybe they'll like my next book better. And if I can get one more reader by being nice, that's a win. Last I heard, "nice" is still free.
Remember, the reader doesn't know if this is the Book Of My Heart, or just something I tossed off during the cricket lunch break. What's more, they don't care. All they get is the words on the page. And all they care about is the entertainment value I've provided them for their money. I know this, because I'm a reader too.
Hey, I wish as much as any author that inadequately-explained "this book was rotten" reviews would go away. But like it or not, by publishing your work, you are putting yourself out there for criticism. It's not for the faint-hearted. You have to learn to be gracious. Retweet the so-so ones as well as the good. Offer copies of your new release, even if they didn't like the last one. And if the review was genuinely rude, inappropriately personal, or by someone who clearly has it in for your genre and is looking to pick fights -- maybe the best response is simply no response at all. And then ring your crit partner and cry, if it makes you feel better.
If you can't do those things? You'd better take a long walk in the hall of mirrors, snowflake, and ask yourself if you really want to be an author.
P.S. The worst review I ever got was for my very first book, from Kirkus Reviews (yeah, nothing like getting sniggered at as a debut author in the Serious Literary Press, in front of, oh, I don't know, thousands of potential readers?). They absolutely loathed SHADOWFAE. The review mocked my plot, laughed at my sex scenes, derided my writing style -- by quoting verbatim sections it thought were particularly disdain-worthy -- insinuated that I must be one sick mo-fo for even writing something like this in the first place, and concluded by saying something like: 'this book isn't for everyone, and hopefully it's not for anyone'.
I'm still here.