Friday, April 8, 2011

Follow Friday: How do you deal with a bad review?

This week's question:
Inspired by the spectacular meltdown of Jacqueline Howett on Big Al's Book Blog, how do you deal with a bad review?

Many of you are probably already familiar with the story that prompted this discussion; if you are not, click HERE. I am not a published author - yet - but the lessons here are clear. Obviously, we won't please everybody all the time, and I think the best way to deal with criticism of any kind is to glean whatever wisdom we can from it and take the rest with a grain of salt. Most important, do it with manners, grace and dignity. Because once harsh words have been spoken - or, worse, posted on the internet for the world to see - they cannot be taken back. And the damage is irrevocable.  

Suzanne Brockmann addressed this very issue in her talk at the Georgia Romance Writers meeting a couple of weeks ago. She was all about celebrating, recommending champagne and strawberries in response to a rejection or an unfavorable review as well as for selling a manuscript. And she makes a good point. If your work is rejected or reviewed unfavorably, well, at least it's out there. That alone is cause for reveling. I intend to keep a supply Nonni chocolate biscotti and a nice bottle of pinor noir on hand for such times as these.

Elizabeth Sharp of SomeSharpWords started this blog hop. So if you're a writer and want to participate, join in! Not sure if you qualify? Well, if you have a blog to add, guess what, you're a writer. Click the quill logo above to join the fun and view the spotlight writer, Liz Schulte from Bat Country, and her answer to this week's featured question. Here are the rules to follow:
  • Follow this blog (required).
  • Follow Elizabeth Sharp, the originator of this hop.
  • Follow the featured author of the week.
  • Go to SomeSharpWords and copy the image code there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you're there, too.
  • Copy and paste the rules in your post, as well as this week's question.
  • Answer the question.
  • Follow, follow, follow! Network, connect, make a community! We love talking to our followers and replying to your comments.
  • If someone stops by, says "hi," and follows you, the polite thing to do is to follow back.
  • Comment here; introduce yourself. You just might find a new follower or two.
Have a good Friday, everyone!


shah wharton said...

Hello there - stopping by to follow from Follow Friday - the linky without links! ;D Got you from the comments.

I too am an as yet unpublished author. This side of reviews is easier - though getting critiques can be winding! They are also fabulously educational. If everyone ALWAYS liked my work, I'd be suspicious but also ignorant. Strange, I answered the question better here than I did on my post? MMM! Might have to amend that. ;D

I can be found at

Shah .X

Pam Asberry said...

Shah, thanks for stopping by! You are absolutely right; criticism can definitely help us to grow as writers. The more I learn, the more I realize I need to know!

Laila Knight said...

Pam,that is great advice. Thank you. I'm still at the acceptance/rejection stage, but I've learned to deal with that one marvelously. It's all part of the learning process. I've added you to my favorites. Have a great weekend!

Julee J. Adams said...

Absolutely--thanks for reminding me to post in my blog for Follow Friday too and update who we're following this week!

I think some wine and some chocolate are very appropriate, then GET BACK TO WORK!! Jealous you got to hear Brockway speak, but thanks for sharing. Have a super week!

Lizzie's Blog said...

I completely agree. Getting your work out there for the world to see is cause for celebration. Actually just having someone talk about your book is half the battle. It is hard to hear negative things about what you have written, but you can't win them all.

Pam Asberry said...

Hi Laila,
You are awesome! Thank you for following my site. I look forward to getting to know you better.

Pam Asberry said...

Hey, Julee! I always try to be a blessing. I will hop on over to your blog after I reply to comments here; I always enjoy reading what you have to say!

Pam Asberry said...

Lizzie, you are absolutely right. We just need to develop thicker skin and learn to take it all in stride, the good and the bad, holding onto the good, and letting go of the rest. Have a great weekend!

Michelle Ferguson said...

Happy Follow Friday.

Pam Asberry said...

Back atcha, Michelle! Thanks for following my blog!

WordLuster said...

Thanks for stopping by Word Luster for Follow Friday! I hope you have a great weekend! :-)

~ Wolfe said...

If there's nothing to learn from the criticism, the best response is to ignore it and keep writing. If it helps me grow as a writer, I take what I can from it, possibly thank whoever gave the critique, and then keep writing.

Playing the misunderstood genius and blasting someone for their opinions just isn't worth it, I think. Even if you want to cash in on the drama which ensues.

Pam Asberry said...

You, too, WordLuster!

Pam Asberry said...

Wolfe, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your comment!

Nadja Notariani said...

Hi Pam! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love that you 'don't know' what you want to be when you 'grow up'. That's fantastic! I'm also still considering possibilities, so I am a wife, mother, writer, teacher, avid reader, ametuer home decorator, once in a while quilter, gardener, who loves to cook, bake, and host dinner parties.....
Who knows...maybe I'll add something else down the road. ~Nadja

Pam Asberry said...

I know what you mean, Nadja; it's important to keep learning and growing. The world is full of fascination and wonder! Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. Have a great weekend!

E Kelly said...

Newest follower here via the Friday blog hop. I am a new contemporary romance writer and a reader of almost everything! Hope you stop by and check out my blog.

Pam Asberry said...

Welcome, Kelly! I will hop on over there right now!

S.M. Carrière said...

On the 'how to deal with a terrible review' issue, it is just as important to know how to behave online when someone else reacts terribly to a review in a public forum.

I've read that thread, and what at first began as a genuine attempt at trying to reason with the author turned into a witch hunt of Spanish Inquisition proportions.

That poor author, while she did behave abominably, was torn to shreds by gloaters who claimed to know how to behave better.

One must wonder if they do know how to behave better, given their behaviour towards the author. Who knows what other torment she might have been going through that compounded the hurt of the bad review?

Rejections and bad reviews are never easy, even after receiving more than you can count. I know what it feels like to be rejected (though, so far, my only review has been stellar. I expect that will change). It's not easy to handle.

How does one deal with a terrible review on a public forum? With silence. Complain like hell to your friends.

How does one deal with an author who has behaved terribly online? With compassion. One day it might be your turn.

Pam Asberry said...

S.M., you are absolutely right. I was embarrassed for the author but ashamed of the way the rest of the commenters behaved. My rule of thumb is to conduct myself online - or when I am driving my car - the way I would if I were interacting with people face to face, and to treat others the way I would like to be treated. Sometimes I fail, but I never have regrets when I am kind. Thanks for jumping in.