Friday, July 10, 2009

Resolutions for Review

I'm pleased to say that DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD has not received a single negative review. Of course, it hasn't even been released yet--still eight months to go.

So why am I even thinking about reviews? Well, many of my Midnight Ink fellow-authors have gotten great reviews lately, and I'm Midnight Ink clipa little worried I won't be able to keep up.*

In addition, the brouhaha in cyberspace has attracted my attention. In case you're not "fully connected" and haven't heard about these incidents, here's the short version: Several authors** have "sounded off" (on Twitter and in blogs) about some negative reviews in questionable ways.

I like to think I'm a positive and polite guy. Therefore, I am making the following resolutions, well before my first review:

  • I shall not be nasty to any reviewers, no matter how ill-informed, idiotic, or full of crap they might be.

  • I shall not make any public derogatory comments about any reviewers, or their mothers.

  • I shall not threaten any reviewers with bodily harm, Internet flaming, or voodoo curse.

  • I shall not tell any reviewers to stuff any object, large or otherwise, into any orifice where the sun don't shine.

  • And lastly: I shall thank any reviewers who take the time and energy to read and comment on my book. After all, there are lots of books out there and I'll be grateful if they choose mine.


* I also need something to distract me from my work-in-progress and I'm sick of playing Chess Titans.

**According to a Salon blog, three recent rageful authors are:
Alice Hoffman, Ayelet Waldman, and Alain De Botton. Hmm. Does it mean anything that all their first initials are A?



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

These are sound resolutions!

I'm sure your book is so good that you won't get any nasty reviews. Midnight Ink only publishes the good stuff.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Patricia Stoltey said...

Funny and timely post, Alan. But you've hit on one great truth some authors miss: thanking the reviewer, even for a tepid review, is a gracious and appreciated gesture. It takes time and effort to read and review books, and when reviewers go to the trouble to do it accurately and honestly (without hostility), they deserves acknowledgment.

Vile and nasty reviews, on the other hand, tell us more about the reviewer than the book, I think. I'm not sure whether I'd ignore it, or play it up with humor. Hope I don't have to find out...

Patricia Stoltey said...

I mean...deserve acknowledgment. Need more coffee.

Alan Orloff said...

Elizabeth - Of course, I completely concur about Midnight Ink only publishing the good stuff :)

Patricia - Good point about how a vile review says more about the reviewer than the book. And I hope you never find that out, too!

Cassandra Jade said...

Congratulations on getting your book published. I think your resolutions should be something all writers consider and take the time to do when they are in the same position. A review is someone's opinion and an opinion cannot be wrong, though it might be poorly expressed.
Though, I laughed when I saw the voodoo curse comment. I wonder if anyone actually tries this.