Disgruntled Authors: It’s Much Easier to Deny than Accept Readers’ Opinions
Guest Post by Irene Watson
Yes, I got another doozie I want to share with you. It’s been quiet in the “your reviewers suck” department until I received a dispute notification from PayPal. The author told them the reason for the dispute was “Not as described.” His complaint was that we “reek of scam or rip off.” His complaint continued to say we were “engaged in unscrupulous business practices, preying on independent authors…” Ouch!!
He gave PayPal this link:
so that they could see “my concerns [on] Amazons forum and am getting feedback that supports my suspicions.” You really do need to read the posts; all I’m going to say is that they are interesting.
Our review in question is posted on: http://readerviews.com/ReviewLarrisonSlipstream.html
Negative review? Sure, it could be. Reviewer’s honest opinion? Yes, it sure was and I stand behind Marty on this. Our website says:
The reviewers are encouraged to give their honest and fair personal opinion. They are never told what to write. Please consider the reviewers as your reading audience.
We also say:
…we have the option to post the review on our site and Amazon.com whether you agree with it or not. Asking for a review in itself gives us the permission to post the review. We ask our reviewers to give their honest opinion and we are obligated to value their opinion and pass it on to other readers.
We are very up front with what we will do…basically, if you don’t want to take a chance then don’t ask for a review. It can’t be more clear than that. There is no way I will tell any of my reviewers her or his opinion isn’t valued.
Although the author read the above quotes, referenced to them, and twisted around in his comments, he also made mention to taking some of the reviewer’s suggestions and implemented them in his book. Okay…so how does that go again? I’m going to complain and call you a scam but I’m going to use your suggestions? Huh? Sounds to me like that “unscrupulous” word would fit here.
Furthermore, as he alludes in the posts he reported us to Editors and Preditors . He was on a mission to destroy!
Many encouraged me to post a rebuttal and to back up our case. I decided not to do that. Marty, the reviewer, did post and I supported him in doing so. (He asked permission first.) It was important for him to post his rebuttal. For me it felt like wasted energy that would just add fuel to the author’s fire. He gathered up a few supporters and he was on the run trying to mend his bruised ego. I also felt it would be unprofessional of me to get into any argument with the author on the forum. You see, the only email I got from him he said:
I have a couple of concerns regarding my recent review. First of all, it looks like I submitted my work for the wrong evaluation. What I wanted was an evaluation of the work instead of a review. It would be nice if you would give a ballpark range for your editing services on your website so that I could get a feel for your services.
What? He wanted an evaluation instead of a review? So, why didn’t he ask for one?
At this point I’d rather spend my time and energy with authors that do appreciate comments from the reviewers on how to improve their books, either by correcting editing issues or revisiting their plot. And, I’d rather spend time with authors that have written a great book and are willing to do what it takes to find their readership.
I’m wondering…did James Patterson slam-blast-dunk 13 reviewers that gave him 1-star, 5 reviewers that gave him 2-stars, and 8 reviewers that gave 3-stars for his recent book “10th Anniversary” on Amazon? Did he contact them personally, or start a forum post, and degrade them? Highly unlikely. If Patterson would have the same dysfunctional reactions as the author I’m writing about he would have never been a New York Times bestseller more times than any other author, and, furthermore he certainly would not have sold more than 205 million copies in total. He accepts the good and the bad, and he moves on to write more books.
I think there is a lesson in this somewhere.
So, how did this end for us?
PayPal emailed me with:
We have concluded our investigation and have decided in your favor. Any funds that may have been temporarily held have been returned to your account.
Editors and Preditors emailed me with:
Judging by his referenced remarks elsewhere, it appears to be a case of disliking the review so there’s not much I intend to do about it.
Ya just gotta love the truth. Comments?
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.