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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dakota Madison – Pet Peeve of the Publishing Industry: Reviews

Pet Peeve of the Publishing Industry: Reviews

by Dakota Madison

When I first started publishing my novels, I realized there would be readers who didn’t like my work. I certainly don’t like everything I read, so it’s only natural, my work would have detractors. What I wasn’t prepared for were readers who were mean and cruel (sometimes bordering on sadistic) in their criticism of me (as an author) and my work. I’d always been taught the Golden Rule: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Apparently that works everywhere but in book reviews!

I’m not talking about rational and honest criticism. Some of the reviews I appreciated the most were ones that helped to improve my work because they were constructive and fair. I’m talking about people being mean-spirited and nasty just because they can.

Imagine if you walked up to a co-worker in your employment setting and said, “I can’t believe you wore that outfit. It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve even seen anyone wear in my life and I gag whenever I look at you. Maybe if you didn’t buy all of your clothes at big box stores, people wouldn’t want to puke every time they looked at you.” Your co-workers would think you were mean, cruel and inappropriate. It’s possible that you’d even be reported to Human Resources and maybe reprimanded (or even fired). Why? Because it’s not okay to treat people that way. Yet, no one bats an eye about treating authors that way. I’ve had readers post absolutely horrible things about me and my books—things that were so mean and cruel, if they were said in another context, they probably could have been labeled harassment. But cruelty is considered acceptable when it’s a book review. Anything goes and authors are supposed to take it and not be offended or take it personally.

Authors are people, too. We have feelings and they can be hurt. Please remember that before you post your next book review.

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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

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