1. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    Does anybody respond to reviews?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by XLadyX, Nov 2, 2014.

    I know they say it's really bad practice to respond to reviews because it could make you look bad, but if someone is saying something untruthful, sometimes I just can't help myself. After experiencing first hand as to why I shouldn't respond to reviews, I'm not going to anymore.

    I just think it's unfair how we can't respond to reviews and let review trolls think they can trash talk our books. Then again, I can see why it would be a waste of writers' time after what happened to me I'm not going to respond to those types of reviews anymore.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good decision.

    If there's something factually, incontrovertibly wrong with a review, you could probably send a private message (e-mail or whatever) pointing it out and asking for a correction. But engaging in public? Not a good idea. (And going beyond one single, polite private message? Nope. Bad idea there, too.)
     
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  3. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure that the reason that you're advised not to respond to reviews is because the Workshop threads should be 100% focused on the author's work. Responses to reviews would quickly lead to large discussions about what's right and what's wrong. That does not belong in Workshop section and is not fair to the author.
    It happened to me on my first (and, so far, only) workshop post and it was not a particularly fun experience. After maybe 15 or more posts (all sprung from one response on one review) one of the forum moderators had to step in to get an end to it.
     
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  4. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    @Komposten

    I think there is a slight varience in topic definition. There is the workshop critque for this forum, but I think the OP is actually talking about customer book reviews on a completed and finished project, if I'm reading this correctly.

    Take into account the definitions of critique and review. A critique is honest, constructive criticism and a review is an opinion, only an opinion. It is not designed to help improve a piece. It is the reader's thoughts on a completed project.

    The whole point of the workshop is to glean from the critiques and edit. And I will admit, I have seen some critiques that are more review than actual critique, but for the most part the critics in this forum are honest and good at what they do. Sometimes its a slightly bitter pill, but if you read between the lines its an invaluable tool.

    I had a piece that needed to be scrapped and the critiquers were right, (a huge shout out to the ones who read the piece...:agreed:). The second incarnation of my project was almost polar opposite and much more user friendly. It got my NaNoWriMo piece off to the perfect start.

    They say it takes all kinds to make the world go round and you will encounter those who just don't like your writing style. Take their words with a grain of salt.

    But back onto the topic of actual review, most discerning readers can judge for themselves if a reviewer is being a flaming troll. Ignoring them is the best way forward. Contact them in a PM or email, only once and if you have MODs, get them involved.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
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  5. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    Yeah, I mean actual books like on Amazon and stuff. Not here. I've had no issues so far and like this place.
     
  6. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    The Amazon forums are legendary for their trolls. Don't feed them, whatever you do...
     
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  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can see that it is hard to respond to reviews on Amazon -- but you'll never win. It's really not even worth engaging with someone. If the review is really vitriolic and over the top, and doesn't really address issues in the book, people will see it for what it is.

    The only thing I can think of that *might* be worthy of a response would be for a nonfiction work (or if, relevant in a fiction work if it is heavily reliant on facts), is something incorrect about the author's credentials. Like, if a review says something like, "This author gets everything wrong with respect to this virus. He knows nothing, and clearly has no education in or knowledge about biology or the brain." You could respond (as long as it were true), with "Actually, I have a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford, and an M.D. from Harvard, along with a residency in psychiatry at Columbia and am a board certified Psychiatrist."
     
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  8. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, my bad. :oops:

    And thanks for clearing out the difference between a critique and review. I have always thought of them as quite similar, but it seems they are more different than I believed.
     
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  9. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Critique is the art of give and take, breaking into the whithertos and the whyfores. What the reader liked, and what could be improved upon. :agreed:
     
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  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, you're not going to do anything to benefit your cause by engaging a reviewer who offered a bad review. I've had some bad reviews, but I've had far more positive reviews. If your work is of good quality, the positive reviews will outnumber the negative reviews. In the end, trolls or not, your stories will never please everyone. Just won't happen.

    Expending energy worrying about, let alone confronting a reviewer with what you believe to be inaccurate our unfounded views, is a waste of time and energy at best and will be counter productive to garnering positive reviews in the future. The best counter is to allow the positive reviews to leave the negative one or ones out of the mainstream. Sometimes other reviewers will confront the negative reviewer, but even then, it's best to remain out of the fray.

    Good luck moving forward and keep producing new works. Not giving up is another response to negative reviews.
     
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  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I wouldn't advise in engaging in anything. You'll look too defensive and draw other trolls looking for some 'fun.' Plus on Goodreads you can actually get kicked off or blacklisted if things get too heated.

    If they're being plain rude, ignore them but if they point out something legit - keep it in mind for the next book. I can't even scroll down any of the comments on Youtube anymore because of the trash talk.

    How is your book doing? Have you got some good reviews to balance out the negative one?
     
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  12. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    I've gotten mostly positive feedback, luckily. :) It's always just one or two people that have to rain on my parade. You guys are right. I bet those one or two people are like, 'oh, lots of people can't possibly like someone's work who's barely a new writer" so they always have to be the odd one out and hate it I think. I'm having a good time writing my bully book, too. I decided the first person non-fiction instead of doing third person fiction or something like that. My other book is third person so I thought it would be better for this one to be first person. Every time I've showed anyone a draft they've always had good things to say and I don't think they would lie to me because it's not doing anyone good to lie to be nice because they know I hate that.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Not everyone likes Homer, if he has his enemies what chance do you have?
     
  14. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I think if authors respond to reviews that could discourage other people from leaving reviews. This is especially true if the reviewer is not really a troll, but just leaves a not-so-positive review. The author then looks thin skinned and readers won't want to engage. (I don't think the is your case - I didn't see the review. Just something to think about.)
     
  15. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    This time it isn't because what I had published was non-fiction works so essentially the troll was insulting me personally. Had it been some fiction work nothing related to me, I don't think I would have bothered, but since it was experiences I first hand went through and the troll(s) misjudged/misinterpreted me, that's why it bothered me more than it should have.
     

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