Grab a coffee, get comfy, this is a long one...

Wow I've start this comment for the third time in regards to a posting by one of my friends here on BookLikes and now I've finally figured out what annoys me the most and I would just like to say "Gee Dear Author, thanks for assuming I'm a freakin' idiot." because all I do is look at what someone else thought about a book they read to know whether or not I should read it.

 

I would never look at things like the inside cover write up, exerts from the book or consider books I've read by the same author previously and whether or not I enjoyed them or if they were recommended to me by a friend or family member whose opinion I value and respect. Nope, not me I just count the stars and if there aren't enough I move on. Guess that means I'm too stupid to spend my money on your books, lucky me.

 

To be honest I'm more likely to pass on reading a book because I've seen evidence of the author's unprofessional behavior towards someone who doesn't like their writing, than I am because someone I know didn't like the book. I've encountered several instances where I've loved a book and one of my friends has not or they've even DNF'd it or vise verse.  I honestly very rarely even look at reviews before I read a book because I've learned by experience that people too often reveal parts of the story that I don't want to know until I read the book, I encountered a perfect example of this just the other day when someone wrote a very short review but in it they revealed a crucial piece of information that would spoil the story for potential readers. Did it bother me personally no, I've already read the book. I realize I may be an exception in this practice of not reading reviews before reading a book that's fine. The point is as a writer, YOU DO NOT have the right to tell people how to select their books or what books they will buy. If I want to decide that I am only going to read books written by authors with blue eyes...guess what? YOU cannot stop me, it's my choice to give up all those wonderful possibilities out there that were written by authors with brown eyes, green eyes, hazel eyes and whatever color eyes.

 

Am I ranting a little here, yes I fully acknowledge that I am. I am so tired of this battle over whether or not a person can 1 star a review. Sorry, they can it's their opinion and if you want to tell people how and what to think, well then I think you're possibly living in the wrong country.

 

But most of all stop insulting the intelligence of all the rest of us out here who haven't read your book and shouting about how we won't read your book because of some damned 1 star rating/review. Because guess what else if you hadn't had your hissy fit I probably wouldn't have noticed it or given it near as much  attention. But you did, so now I don't want to read your book. Not because it got 1 star but because you had your hissy fit. What you are telling me is that I am not entitled to my opinion and dear author I am entitled to my opinion I can choose to buy your book or not, to read it or not, to give it 5 stars or not.

 

My choice because of your behavior is to not buy your book to not read your book and to tell my friends that I've seen you have rants over 1 star reviews so they need to read your book at their own peril, in case they don't like it.

 

Ok so now I'm going to address the issue of authors saying they are being bullied, I try to be a fair person and I realize there are two sides to every argument so here goes. Are you claiming you're being bullied because someone gave you a 1 star rating? Sorry move on ignore it, a lot of us probably won't even notice. Your got a low star rating (1 or 2) and a bad review sorry again move on, it's the readers right and if you don't like it I do understand that but don't pull it into the spotlight by having a hissy fit.

 

Now we have things like the reader wrote a review insulting you personally saying you chew food with your mouth open and you have BO. So my first thought is:

1. Really? How does the reviewer know this?

2. What does this have to do with whether or not you wrote a good book? 

 

At this point I'm probably going to check out your book (guess what I might not have done that if the reviewer had simple said "I didn't like this book." So why you wonder would I check out the book because they insulted you? Because I'm curious why the reviewer chose to behave in such an immature manner as to resort to personal attacks on an author to be honest if what was said offends me enough I may even buy your book just because I'm annoyed at that reviewers irresponsible behavior. So now you can thank that poor review with the low rating for increasing your sales and why because you as an author took the professional high road and assumed that your readers and potential readers would judge your work on it's literary merits and not the mudslinging tactics that we associate with politics. 

 

Please note I feel the need at this time to say I have not personally seen instances of readers/reviewers insulting and slandering authors for no reason; any anger I've seen on the part of readers and reviewers has been in response to authors being angry over 'unwarranted low ratings'. But let me make it really clear here that I am not saying this does not happen I am saying I have not been witness to it, nothing more.

 

It all comes down to actions and reactions basic science I'm sure we all remember for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 

Author has a hissy fit and verbally harangs reviewer and/or reader = readers get mad and voice their opinion and very probably don't buy authors books, sales go down.

 

Reviewer gives unwarranted low rating and makes personal attacks on author = author takes professional high ground does not retaliate, readers get mad on author's behalf, check out author's books and possibly buy them, sales go up.

 

At the end of the day it all works out the same as a customer/consumer, if a reader or reviewer behaves badly we go home and we may or may not feel badly about our behavior depending on what motivated it, but there is no real, lasting damage done to us.

 

As an author/business if you behave badly it will cost your business irregardless of what caused it, people will remember how you behaved, how your reacted and they will show you in the most tangible way possible. Your best recourse as an author is professional behavior at all times.

 

That's not fair it's just reality.