Saturday, December 31, 2011

Does This Book Make My Butt Look Big?  (The art of the negative review.)

I'm not a writer so I have no idea what's it's like to spend months or years on a book.  I don't know the blood, sweat and tears of pouring my heart and soul into a story, watching as the characters move from my imagination and onto paper.  Being able to see/touch/feel what was once just an idea turn into something solid with a pretty cover that now sits atop a shelf in my local bookstore is beyond my comprehension because again, I'm not a writer.  

I don't know what it feels like to have this work, this creation, this "baby" if you will, out there for people to read and OH MY CUPCAKE! voice their opinion about it.  Then those people tweetblogfacebookmyspacegoodreads EVERYONE.THEY.KNOW!  *chews nails*  What if they hate it?!  What if nobody buys it?!  

The only thing I can equate it to is... 

Giving birth and people telling you, "That is one ugly kid!" or
Shopping with a friend and asking, "Do these pants make my butt look big?"

I am not a writer but I AM a reader/reviewer/blogger and while I'm certainly no expert I do think there is an art to writing a negative review. (OK, so maybe it's not an "art" but it's sounds nice doesn't it?)

If I don't like a book, do I still write a review?  Yes. I do.  Why?  Well, because I think the author wants honest feedback.  Maybe I'm wrong.

Not every book is going to WOW! you because frankly, there are some lame books out there.  It's also a fact that not every book is for every body.  Why?  We're all different and we like to read different things and that's OK!  

I honestly don't understand when a reviewer crosses the line and starts attacking the author's personal character simply because they didn't like what their story was about.  It's not cool and damages the reviewers credibility in my opinion.

Each time I write a review I always consider the author and their feelings first.  If they ever come across my review of their book, how will they feel when they finish reading it?  My hope is always that they will be encouraged in some small way, even if it's obvious I didn't like their book.  

I stress over negative reviews a lot more than I do over glowing ones because I never enjoy the idea of hurting someone else's feelings - even complete strangers who most likely could care less about mine.  Ha!

When you think about it, the art of the negative review is much the same as the Golden Rule: "Review Unto Authors As You Would Have Them Review Unto You."

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