Monday, February 6, 2012

Psst, authors. Yeah, you.

So today I saw yet another example of how to get off to a roaring start as an author (hint: that's sarcasm. Perhaps I should use bold or italics...nah, too lazy). I won't mention the book review, but whenever the author jumps in and starts questioning the review, especially the final score, it's going to get ugly fast.

So, with that in mind, I thought I'd put up some helpful tips for new authors. I've really worked hard on this (blood, sweat, tears, and a couple of my toddler's dinosaur-shaped fruit snacks), so I hope it gives every author a quick template that they can follow to look classier than Ron Burgundy every time they decide that they need to get down and dirty in a reviewer's comments.

I want to note that I actually LOVE when an author takes the time to retweet a review, or make a comment on the blog. It makes my whole day, because I know that they're nervous about their baby being out in the wild review jungle, and that makes them seem that much more human. I don't even mind (too much) when an author wants to openly discuss things. But many many MANY (do you see what I did there? That's emphasis) MANY people do, and they'll get all "laws of the jungle" on you pretty quickly if you question a reviewer's opinions (which is exactly what they are. Like assholes, we've all got one, and some stink).

So, without further ado, here's the new template you can follow. That is, if you'd like to. No forcing here, nosiree.

Hi, (Reviewer Name)

Sorry to hear that (Title of your novel)

Choose One
  • Didn’t float your boat
  • Wasn’t your cup of tea
  • Didn’t have you singing its praises from the rooftops
  • Didn’t agree with your tastes in (Genre)
  • Didn’t cause you to go door to door like a Jehova’s Witness with it
Thank you for
  • Sharing your opinions. I love to hear what readers are saying
  • Taking the time to give it a thorough review
  • Taking the time to give it a try
  • Helping me see the errors of my ways
I hope that in the future
  • You’ll give another of my novels a try
  • I’ll write something that better agrees with your tastes 
  • I’ll get you to come around to this series with the second book.
  • You burn in hell (use only if you actually WANT to start a flamewar).
  • Thanks for all your hard work  
  • Thanks for your time
  • Thanks for all the fish (only use if you are Douglas Adams' ghost)
  • Burn in hell (Extra Flame Points)
(Your Name) NOTE: writing Burn In Hell here seems pretty clever, but you're over egging that particular pudding.


  1. where is this review?!  sounds like something fun to watch!

    not every book is for every person, even I've written some scorching reviews. Back in the early days of my blog, when I had even less web etiquette than I have now, I read a book I didn't like. I really, really, really didn't like it.  I wrote a really mean review and then threw the ARC in the trash.

    and then the author e-mailed me about the review. the e-mail went something like your blog post above. the author was friendly, honest, and non-confrontational. Didn't agree with my review, but didn't feel the need to be a dick about it either. the author was so nice about the whole thing that it made me feel kinda bad about trashing the book!

  2. I think that's the most interesting part. If authors really DID follow this template, then they'd look very professional and I bet people would either jump up and defend them, or decide to give them a look even though the reviewer didn't like their book. I know that's how I feel about Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns. I didn't like the first couple of chapters, so I put it down, but after watching how classy he is on Twitter and forums that he frequents, I'm going to give it another shot. (though it also helps that other people say it's the best book in the world).

  3. Wow.  That's too funny.  Fortunately I've had nothing but good interactions with authors so far.  Also, super glad to here you're reading Prince of Thorns! As you know, I loved it.