Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You Can Reeeeeally Go Off Some People…

So AngieW’s got her column up on RTB. This month, she’s tackling crappy reviews and gushing reviews and whether or not authors have the right to ask for negative reviews to be removed from review sites (Amazon). Interesting column. I was with her all the way.

Upon scanning the comments however, I came across a post by Mary Janice Davidson:

“As a published author (Undead and Unwed, The Royal Treatment, etc.) I’m sort of amazed that *other* authors even care about Amazon reviews.

Doctors can only be reviewed by other physicians, you can’t supervise teachers without a graduate degree, you can’t get a doctorate without the help of someone else who has one…or, more likely, a whole committee…the list is endless. But any asshat can post a review on Amazon and trash a book. Or love a book. So who cares? It’s never going to be an even playing field. I’ve gotten gushes and I’ve gotten the “axe to grind” kind, and I pretty much ignore ‘em all and keep my head down and write.”

I was nodding my head in agreement, until she started insinuating that unless you’re a writer, then you’re not qualified to review books. WTF?

I think it’s great that she keeps her head down and keeps writing, but why make the comparisons between writers and doctors? That makes about as much sense as Britney Spears marrying Kevin Federline.

Anyway, seeing as I was in such a good mood, I felt it was necessary to share some of my legendary pearls of wisdom:

“Marianne, I’m not gonna disagree a little with what MJD wrote, I’m gonna disagree a whole lot. Basically as far as I can figure, in MJD’s opinion, if you aren’t a writer, then you shouldn’t be allowed to judge a book? What absolute bollocks. Who paid for the book in the first place with their hard-earned cash? That’s right, the ignorant reader.

Whether authors appreciate it or not, readers have every right to trash a book if they want to, or to wax lyrical to their heart’s content over certain books/authors. For me, the key thing is honesty. If you’re honest, then as far as I’m concerned, that’s all that matters.

I may disagree with certain reviews, and usually do, but I’d say that was my right, wouldn’t you?

Of course no author wants to see their baby kicked up and down the street, especially after the hard labour that went into producing it in the first place, but I still firmly believe that if you’re a writer, and you put your work out there, you’re asking for it to be publicly scrutinised. Suck it up.

If it’s a good review, great, if it’s a bad review, then just bloody well grin and bear it.

Worse things happen at sea.”

Talk about suffering from NYpublisheritis. Sheesh.