When hotels receive good or bad reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, you’ll often see someone from the hotel respond. They may apologize for the experience or clarifying their version of events if the customer didn’t provide the whole story. And when there’s a good review, they’ll thank the reviewer.
Meanwhile, in booklandia, the merest whiff of an author disputing a bad review is treated as a classic case of “authors behaving badly” and the gloves come off. A few weeks ago, when Angie Thomas suggested reviewers shouldn’t tag authors with bad reviews on social media, a vocal minority lost their minds and responded with racism. She didn’t even fight back against a particular review!
A few years back, when I criticized a growing culture of over-the-top and (I believed) overly personal bad reviews on Goodreads, some people put my books on bookshelves named with slurs.
Sure. We can all think of an author who totally lost their minds over a bad review and responded in an inappropriate fashion.
But should authors really be held to a different standard than, say, a hotel? Is every case of an author pushing back on a review really grounds for a witch hunt?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
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