Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Professional

This comes with being a business person. You need to be professional.

Over the weekend, I was reminded again of how some writers lack being professional.

It came up when a group of us were talking about reviews, and how we like to thank the reviewer for reading our books, even if the review is not a good one.

Some said they never respond to reviews, other say they do sometimes. I've been trying to respond to reviews only because I think of it as a professional courtesy, like thank yous to judges in a contest.

Then someone pointed out how not to respond to a bad review and gave us a link. I went an read what this writer had done.

Let me say, is this writer certainly burned her bridges to not only publishing, but to even trying to sell a book. She took the review to task for saying her book was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, and that the reviewer downloaded the wrong copy of the book, not the newer version.

This was a self-published book. The reviewer replied back telling the writer, that the reviewer stands by the review, in which the reviewer said it was a good book with a good plot, but difficult to read due to the typo's and grammatical errors. And even gave the version and date they downloaded the book.

The author came back defending herself, and called the reviewer a liar that the reviewer couldn't have possibly download the correct book. The others began to get into the act. Especially because the author said to the reviewer "You can't click through the book to the end, so you obviously haven't read it."

Several pointed out on a Kindle you do click to the end (just about every e-reader you either touch the screen or a button to go to the next page), and they too had read this writers book and agree with the reviewer.

This went on with the author continually coming back telling people they were out of their minds, posting reviews from Amazon, claiming everyone was out of their mind. More comments made by readers, all civil and pointing out the flaws in the authors replies, the author finally just posted an expletive.

Right there I stopped reading and said to myself "this author just ruined her career."

In the writing business, word gets out very quickly if you're not professional. With the Internet editors and agents can search on an author's name to see who they are, where they've posted, etc.

My Mom always said "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all." Holds true. To be a professional writer means being able to take criticism, to see reviews you don't agree with and to know that not everyone is going to love or even like your book.

As a professional writer, I live with that.

Have a great week.


Isabel said...

Amen! Just like in anything in our day to day, we need to keep it professional and use common sense.

Randi Alexander said...

Hi Marie, thanks for posting that reminder. I always comment with a 'thank you' for reviews. And would never even think of blasting a reviewer for stating their opinion - or in this case, stating the obvious. Crazy world, sometimes.