Writers are at the mercy of their readers. I often wondered what my response would be if professionally I could respond to the negative comments or reviews. I’ve composed many mental responses to the less than positive but, of course, I’ve never posted them. I have wandered around my house for days readdressing the comment and what I would like to say. For example:
v Comment: “Made me wonder if she's a teenager addicted to the worst quality TV soaps.”
My wished for response: “Do you get off on putting writers down? You’re an idiot! Bite my …..!”
v Comment: “The nicest thing I can say about this book is ... I've read worse.”
My wished for response: “You suck! If you’ve read worse, why take the time to comment on my book or did I just get lucky?”
v Comment: “This book had great potential but where is the rest. Other than the book being way too short it was a good short story.”
My wished for response: “Okay, you knew it was a short story! If you’d read the description, you’d have seen it was a short story. Are you stupid or just plain clueless?”
I could go on and on but as all of us know when visited by the evil commenter, we just have to grin and bear it. Responding in the negative is inappropriate and unprofessional. On the other hand, nothing makes my day brighter than to receive a comment or review that glows with approval, such as:
v “I loved the book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't let go....”
v “Let me tell you i was up until five in the morning because the book was just the good!” or
v “It is SO good that I didn't realize I'd racked up 15 miles on the exercise bike while escaping into this story.”
So while the bad ones hurt, there are always those good comments which balance the scale —and most often outweigh the bad. While I’m reading a negative comment, I take the time to skip to a good one to ease the sting. I’ve learned to toughen my skin and accept that every reader has a different view and, while I might not agree, the right to comment, good or bad.
P.L. Parker is the author of two 99 cent e-books, Fiona and Riley's Journey, time travel romances.