*Just like to forewarn, that this is just my opinion and mine alone. You can agree, you can disagree, no side is either wrong, but this is in regards to the major dilema that has built up recently with book reviewers vs. authors. So please, with patiences, I offer you my side of which I viewed this whole chaos ensued mess. Thank You.*
For myself, I've learned over the years to take criticism from people I don't know that well to those that I've gone to school with... to not take it completely to heart or at least with a grain of salt. On the other side of the coin, those that I'm closest to (i.e. - friends & family), their opinion shall matter. Thankfully to three years in AJROTC during high school, being told what to do, swallow pride, and accept a minor here or there public humiliation that I've handled gracefully, it taught me to roll with the punches and respect a chain of command that I worked with five days a week.
Anyway, because of my experience and the common sense in general, I can see where the line in the sand should be drawn with book reviewers and authors/editors/agents/etc... who wish to interact with us, in our world. This is more so with negative reviews.
Should they comment on such things? No. Why? Because they are asking for more than they should in regards than what is needed in the first place from a reviewer, who 9 times out of 10 is not paid, but willingly reading the book or received it from the publishing house with and exchange for an honest review in return. The review is not going to change, especially with some of the people I've met in the last 6 months of book blogging, they just won't budge and I respect them 100% for that commitment to stand by with what they said, even if myself agrees or disagrees, I respect that completely.
Now not all of those in the publishing world may not feel the same, but that's life. If it were easy, it would be like a scene out of that movie Pleasentville and we would have only fire departments rescuing cats out of trees and sock hop poodle looking dresses for girls. Seriously, that would be scary, because everyone would be too chipper, YIKES! haha
So if the said author comes across a review that makes their skin crawl or they want to punch the reviewer or anything along those lines, they should NEVER interact with that review, let alone touch it with a ten-foot pole because that is how the REVIEWER felt, not the author.
But as of lately, some just won't understand that there is a line of professionalism to master in grace and tact in regards to a negative review.
1) Just don't even go to any site that offers a book to be reviewed. If you take criticism, even negative ones, horribly, stay away from Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, LibraryThings, etc... this is how resentment build in the author or worse, they may actually try to reach out. That in itself is a no-no!
2) Roll with the punches. Seriously, just shrug it off and move along after reading negative reviews. Even if it's just one, that's just one opinion. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of other reviewers out there who may have ❤'ed your book and are praising it 5 stars as we speak! So don't just fixate on that one review, it's not worth it.
3) Use it as constructive criticism. You know how in grade school/college, how educational professionals would grade out papers and then return them with marks? Some come back with harsh words and more? Well this is just like that, but from the masses that are readings, not just one person. Take those comments or lines that point out the book's flaws and use it for good. Maybe you might even gain a broader audience if you do this... maybe you might do better the second time around... maybe even get a more highly anticipated word of mouth book in the book blogging community! Take those venomous words that scathed and turn it into something positive. A diamond out of the rough!
4) Don't Comment, PLEASE! After certain insanity from Goodread reviews being bashed through the social network called Twitter, it's starting to grow thin on everyone who reads and reviews books on there. Having authors comment left and right, left alone those that bash a reader, really not only offends that reader, but EVERYONE they know and then everyone they know and so on. That'w how i found out about a certain Agent mouthing off about a negative review, which by the way was just one star, but I absolutely ❤'ed, mostly because it was well constructed of what the reviewer didn't like, what she felt made no sense, and so forth, but in a very mature fashion. It wasn't even scathing. She did however said she read about halfway through the book, skimmed the rest and then went on to write her review. At least she read as much as she did, because people who get PAID to review books 9 times out of 10 actually skim through the entire book about 95% of the time, because they have no time to read a full book! So if the want to get made at anyone and speak their mind, even though it's the hand that feeds, they should take it up with those people, not use, the book reviewers who review books for free because we love books.
All in all, commenting can cause major backlash and worse from readers. Some are dead set on what they said, some are afraid of an author lurking, while others fear to post online because they won't want to become the next victim of a negative review attack. So please, authors/agents/editors/etc... don't comment on reviews!
5) Don't go around blaming the reviewer. That's just as bad as a reviewer blaming the author. Don't. Ever. Do. It! Blasting a tweet about it or emailing your other author friends, is just wrong and sends the wrong message with the way you stand behind your book: immature and not worth anyone's time. There are other ways to handle the situation. For instance, maybe avoiding that reviewer from now on. It's better than storming off, ranting and raving online about how "mean" the review was or how "unfair" they were about the book or how they didn't give it a "real" chance.
Look when a reviewer doesn't like the book it was never about the author, it was just mostly about how we never connected to the story or the characters rubbed us the wrong way or even how one word didn't sit right with us (i.e. - derogatory words don't sit well with most!). Also who knows, maybe that reviewer had a bad day, week, month or they are not feeling that genre of books at the moment (especially if they are reviewing an ARC received from the publisher), so never hold a grudge because it can come back to haunt you in was that can send your career going down in flames. I've seen it and it's not pretty.
Also on a different side of the topic... just my own two cents... it'll be an out there idea, so hear me out for a second.... I think for those that write scathing reviews, I feel a warning should be placed before the review itself, kind of to warn those that may take issue with it. I feel like a bunch of miscommunication has happened too much lately in the review community and we all can't read minds, let alone through a computer haha. So maybe if it's really ranting on about the book or slamming, put a warning. You don't have the censor yourself, just let the audience know what they are in for and it lets them decide if they wish to read or not to read the review. This alone could maybe help authors AVOID negative reviews that get commented on because someone didn't like it or felt offended. At least then you can say, "Hey I did warn everyone... it's on you if you read it. So don't complain about it", but that's just my opinion and nothing else. We'll agree to disagree on this odd take I have lol
Anyway... as I've learned, never judge a book by it's cover (but it's hard when a cover is so damn pretty! lol), but more so when in life, dealing with murky waters. Some people may come off nice, but is actually a raving b***h/a**hole in real life beyond their work. And people that come off mean at work or such, can actually be some of the nicest people you may meet. No one is perfect, we are all human and forget sometimes to check the drama at the door when we get offended and such, but sometimes we just need to let it slide, walk away, breathe, and sleep on it. Cause tomorrow it can be an entirely different story.
*I'm also not going to keep my fingers crossed that the drama is over (even though I hate drama, arugh!) but it would be putting all my eggs into one basket if I hoped for that too much. I can at least hope that it'll subside for the next few months...