This Friday I sent out some Twitter #FF love to some of my favourite Book Bloggers, spreading the love between this author and some amazingly supportive people who have helped me on my journey to selling thousands of copies of my book and helping me to personally connect with my readership.
I've read with some incredulity that there is (or certainly seems to be) a certain tension between Authors and Bloggers. I just don't understand this - *head-desk*. It's not an overt thing but every now and then there are mutterings on the old Twitter stream or in various posts; usually when some author/blogger drama is erupting.
There was one last week (purposely keeping out of that one) and out the old tension came, [sic] "Bloggers are evil" v "Writers are precious and precocious". To be fair there have been those spectacular circus-moments of social networking when some poor misguided author (I always assume to be intoxicated because they wouldn't surely commit such kamakaze self destruction otherwise) responds to a Blog Post about their book. These attacks are rare but excite a lot of valid criticism, but rare or not - they give a lasting impression. As we all know, it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the taste of the rest.
As a writer I've been involved in the on-line book community for over two years and I have to say I have had nothing but positive experiences. I've also been the beneficiary of some incredible generosity. That DOES NOT mean that I have never received a bad review or a cutting blog post about my work. Fortunately they have been few and far between (enough not for me to knock my confidence or belief in my work). I always read all blogposts and reviews of my work; always with the humility before opening it that if they liked and loved it, then I am relieved and happy and if they didn't that is entirely their right.
Bloggers are people and it would be foolish and arrogant to assume that everybody you met in your day to day life fell in love with you - why is it any different for a blogger and your work?
Book blogging is a big commitment, it requires dedication, inspiration and effort. It has many rewards and is a great way of sharing and connecting with people, but every blog is the personal domain of the blogger and their opinions and critiques should not be censored because they are 'afraid' of booklash. (I meant to write backlash but I kind of like the pun)
There is no denying that a negative review, especially on a very successful and 'influencial' blog can be damaging to a writer's potential sales and it is incredibly galling if the reviewer has clearly misunderstood your work or clearly rushed / scanned the reading of it. Sometimes their review is biased by outside influences ie/ they don't like the genre
So whether a newbie (or intoxicated) may I offer this very-simple-never-to-be-broken rule: NEVER respond to a negative review or blog - never, not even to "inform of inaccuracies."
IF YOU MUST respond then do it positively: Find links to three of your most glowing reviews and Tweet and FB them. That way you can rest peaceful that you have regained control of the situation.
Finally but importantly THANK YOU to all those wonderful bloggers who have helped me on my journey and become good friends.