Gorok and Wulf Host a Blog

Gorok and Wulf Host a Blog

Watch a writer blather about writing that gay Barbarian and Mage story that insisted on being finished. Anti-scam rants and ebook links inserted for free.

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Monday, April 04, 2005
A Bad Response to a Bad Review

James D. Macdonald says that one of an author's big mistakes is responding to a bad review. My guess is that this applies to others associated with the publisher as well.

If you read Neil Gaiman's blog, you've probably already seen this link. Oh, well. You can go make a sandwich instead of reading this post. ;-)

Here is a negative review plus responses to the review from a representative of the publisher. You'll have to scroll down past the review to read her reactions.

At one point, she tries to demand that the reviewer (Steph) take down the review because it is negative. All I can say is... Oh. My. God. Hasn't she ever read a magazine or newspaper with a book review/movie review/restaurant review section? Can you even imagine a major publisher reacting this way to a negative review? They know better. They know all that would do is put them in a truly bad light.

On top of that, she praises Harriet Klausner's reviews and calls the reviewer an anti-Christian liberal because she hates the book. And that's just at the beginning! She also calls into question her professionalism, makes assumptions her her age, and all in all, acts as if Steph has no right to an opinion. Later, after going on and on and on, she has the gall to gall Steph a "whiner." Helloooo? Oh, and it should be no surprise that she also brought up comparisons to Goebbels and Hitler. I evoke Godwin's Law! As far as all the rest goes, that's all simply nutz. Why assume someone is a liberal (or for that matter a conservative) when they dislike a book? I know plenty of Christians who have hated certain much vaunted inspirational books, and for that matter, I know atheists who love the "Left Behind" series and read it as an adventure.

Then again, Windstream Publishing Company is a very small publisher. That explains a lot of what they did, though it certainly doesn't excuse it. I only saw two of their books listed on Amazon. I guess they still have to "grow into" learning how things are done. But I must say that I wouldn't submit my book to a publisher who responded to negative reviews this way. I would suspect that they ... uhm... weren't entirely professional. Sure, they might learn better over time, but they are starting off on a bad foot. Heck, they may be starting off on a gangrened leg.

I like the reviewer's response at one point, where she comments, "I think you’ll find that, as an expression of Christian values of tolerance, peace, and forgiveness, Jesus really couldn’t have said it better himself."
I hate to be picky, but the "reviewer" in question is a she, not a he.

Otherwise, well said.
Thanks! Fixed it. I don't know why my brain did that. :-\
Just happened on you in the Absoulute Write forums and recognised you from when I used to lurk at Forward Motion.

So, did you ever get the gay barb and wizard story completed? I was looking forward to reading it someday.
I finished the barbarian and mage story and started writing query letters, which sent me into some kind of psychic shock. ;-) (I hate writing queries.) I started the Moonstone story when the idea wouldn't let go of me, as a "temporary break." It ended up being more involved than I expected. Then I thought of some edits I wanted to make before sending the query letters out. But those shouldn't be too involved...
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