Behind the Scenes
It is always, always in bad form to respond to a negative review because your writing is personal and the reviewer, generally, is simply doing their job. Over at the website Big Al’s Books and Pals, the novel The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett, was reviewed, rather negatively. The writer proceeded to have a complete meltdown in the comments. Every writer should carry a Post-It note at all times that reads, DO NOT RESPOND TO A NEGATIVE REVEW. In the past few months, I’ve seen writers who should know better responding to reviews trying to “clarify” their intentions or taking issue with some aspect of the review and it only ends up making the writer look bad. When you receive a bad review it is natural to respond emotionally. That’s what your friends are for. They’ll tell you the reviewer was wrong and explain, in detail, how and why. They will let you ramble incoherently. They will buy you drinks. They will keep you from responding and making a fool of yourself. The moral of the story is this: if you are a writer, it is good to have friends because friends don’t let friends respond to bad reviews.