Say nothing at all

Memories of summer
A  friend is upset because of a poor review. I sympathise. I've had some myself. We have to accept that not everyone has the same taste, in books, reading or in anything else, but some people seem so sure that the fault lies with the author and not with their own poor attention span or the fact that they chose the wrong book for their reading tastes?

These so-called reviews often consist of one star and one line, perhaps two, and  make no effort to describe the setting, the writing style or the story. They are not reviews at all, and Amazon ought not to publish them. The author probably took a year to write the book, and a one line bad-tempered comment is hardly a fair reward for that effort.

 Such people fail to find even one good point, but instead claim the book is boring, boring, boring, dismal rubbish, or words to that effect. All this in spite of the fact that the author has several good reviews from people who enjoyed the book and gave it five stars. Perhaps they don't read reviews before they buy? Perhaps they should. Or perhaps they just like writing miserable comments because it makes them feel better?
It's become a joke that there's always someone on the Trip Advisor website who rates the hotel or venue as one star with a catalogue of faults listed. I assume they were hoping to get their money back - and I hope they did not!

In these days of instant access to the world, it is so easy to rush into print if the slightest thing has niggled  your day. If causing pain and misery is your aim, then go ahead and write negative one-liners. The sensible ones among the reading public will take no notice of them, but simply sigh and say oh s/he must have had a rotten day to write something like that.

My mum always said "If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all." That's good advice for all of us.


Anita Davison said…
I am so with you on this Jen. Nasty one liners can only be a deliberate intention to insult the author. If a snippy review is all you can offer - don't leave one. Funny though how as authors, we always focus on the one bad review - and 'bad' as a word is subjective where reading is concerned - yet in our own heads this negates the twelve good ones we have received.

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