So over the holiday weekend I took a break from writing/restructuring/proofreading/what have you and did some reading on some books and some forums and ran into something that, quite frankly, puzzled the hell out of me! In one particular forum there was a discussion about (and I'm paraphrasing the ever living shit out of this) how some readers and reviewers found that it was completely inappropriate for authors to contact their readers, especially via commenting on a reader's review.
ASDJKF!! *Minion moment* Whhhhhaaaaaat?
I didn't comment, finding that usually explanations are forthcoming if you wait a while and let the story unfold and zomgwtfbbqsauce! What a story!
Apparently an author I will henceforth refer to as Lady V. (As in she who shall not be named...) has not only contacted readers via commenting on the reviews on her work, but has come un-freaking-glued when that review wasn't what she considered a good review.
*Screeching tires, breaking glass.*
I wouldn't have believed it, but links were provided and I read the entire train wreck for myself, over 100 comments back and forth long! I felt sick.
Because as an author I understand not everyone is going to like what I write and I feel bad about it, but not enough to engage in an argument with someone over their opinion. I thought it was a constructive thing to open dialogue with my readers and found this whole shenanigans perplexing until I saw the reason for it! Now I'm left scratching my head but fully understanding the negative backlash I received from one of my recent blog posts.
It saddens me, it sickens me and to be honest Lady V. needs to grow a freaking brain! (My opinion, feel free to come and argue with me on that point, but I'm telling you it'll be pretty one-sided because I won't engage...)
When it comes to reviews, I read them all. I would hope if I get a negative one, it is something I can fix in future installments, for example: downgraded on technical merits such as grammar or punctuation. That I can fix.
If the story line wasn't your thing, meh, not much I can do about that, I hope that as a reader that someone would stick with me to see if future installments are better, but if it's not your thing I'd also hope that something out there is and I'm sorry I couldn't entertain, but by all means, please don't torture yourself with future installments of my stuff if you really can't stand me! We're all out here working for a living and I don't want you to feel like you've wasted your money! I really don't.
Circling back here, if my stuff isn't a reader's thing, then it's simply not your thing. I'm not one to sit here and try to tear someone a new one for not liking my stuff. If I feel like I missed the mark then sure I might have a conversation about it but I see that as different, and I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, just describe the intent behind this or that scene. I do not want to be perceived as being a Lady V.
However, all this being said, the precedent has been set and that really sucks. Like really sucks, because what I had intended to do innocently was perceived as malicious and that's never fun, so I say this.
I will still thank people for their honest reviews, pop in and give a little insight here and there for what's coming up next without giving too much away and will generally try to remain a positive force in the writing community and not let the shitty shenanigans of Lady V. and others like her get me down, because if I do, then the troll wins and I for one will not feed the trolls.
Happy reading everyone! Enjoy your opinions as I have enjoyed mine!