Avoiding Reviewer Meltdowns: Tips For Authors


From my experience of having one thousand plus stories etc published since 1986:-

Don’t react in any circumstances to a negative review of your own book if you are an author with a reasonable fanbase.

But if you are an author in the small press world where reviewers, authors, publishers and readers are often the same people, please do still think very seriously before reacting to a negative review of your own book. Try to avoid doing so.

If you do react to a negative review of your own book because you have no rational or emotional alternative as a human being but to react, then try not to react to the reviewer’s own reaction to your reaction especially if he or she shows any signs of going into meltdown over your initial reaction. But you may have to live with the repercussions and continue to fight your corner against the reviewer’s public meltdown rather than against the initial review.

Give the benefit of any doubt, whether you are author or reviewer … or both author and reviewer.

The review I remember most is the infamous one that appeared in SF EYE in the mid-1990s of one of my works. This was resolved amicably in public.

Luckily, since 1986 I have only twice had problems with reviews of my work where I needed to conscientiously enter the uncharted waters of standing up for myself.