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Friday, February 1, 2013

Author in training: A critical review that did NOT make me want to rip out my hair

Picture by Davi Sales,

In addition to many positive 5- and 4-star reviews, I also get my share of less enthusiastic and downright negative ones. I read all of them. I rejoice in the glowing ones and have grown a thick skin when reading the negative ones. Here I distinguish between critical and negative. Critical reviewers are those who point out stuff they didn’t like about a book in a professional manner. Negative ones are often just plain hostile. I particularly take issue with reviewers who don’t like a book and for that reason belittle or condemn those who do like it.

The other day, I received a 2-star review of Love of a Stonemason. This was an intelligent albeit critical evaluation. The reviewer stated that this was a book one either liked or disliked and that she unfortunately did not like it. She also mentioned that after reading some of the glowing reviews, she gained a different perspective and appreciated it. In other words, the reviewer respected other readers' opinions, although she did not share them. I am sorry that she didn't like the book, but I value her honest and professional assessment of it.

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