By now, I’m sure that you all have had a chance to see this review (http://bit.ly/hgMrZ6) and the author’s response to it. In case you haven’t, be ye warned: it has a bit of “mature” language in the comments.
This review and the responses to it have really made me think about professionalism and how it can impact your overall writing career, whether you’re self, indie, or traditionally published. In case there are any lingering questions on the matter, let me be clear: NOBODY WANTS TO WORK WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN’T ACT LIKE A PROFESSIONAL. And what’s more unfortunate is that I know this particular author isn’t the only one out there who acts or has acted like this.
I could write an entire post on why it’s important to have your book professionally edited–whether you’ve self, indie, or traditionally published–but I won’t. I guess my point is that being professional is the most important part of the job, no matter what. Yes, getting a bad review hurts. It’s painful to see someone rip apart your book–your baby–that you worked so hard to produce and bring into this world. But you have to understand that every author out there (bestsellers included) have had at least one bad review in their careers. It happens. You deal with it and move on.
As a newbie author, you have a lot to prove. Every agent and publisher you talk to in the industry is going to ask himself or herself why your manuscript is better than the other three hundred sitting in the same pile. And although being professional isn’t going to guarantee that they’ll pick your book over the one next to it, it might make them that much more likely to remember your name or face. (Note: being unprofessional will also get them to remember you, but NOT in the way you want). I know, I know. I’m preachin’ to the choir, right?
I thought I’d end my post today by asking a question. Aside from the link I mentioned above, what’s the worst reaction to a review you’ve ever seen or read?