Good morning readers. If any of you have time, would you click on over to this thread at Amazon for my book Doctor Luke’s Assistant. This was the one negative review (so far) of the book, a 2-star review. Actually, it wasn’t all that negative. I thought it was a good review.
The reviewer modified his/her original review based on the comment made by another reader that he/she had mixed up the two main characters as to who was a Christian and who wasn’t. The reviewer acknowledged that mistake, and modified the review. I decided to join in and speak to the issues the reviewer raised, agreeing with them as valid criticisms of the book.
I have a thread about my self-publishing journey at the Absolute Write forums. Someone posted this in that forum:
You’ve got some good reviews though, and I’m impressed with the way you handled the one negative review. Very professional and, if I may say so, very Christian. A good example set.
To which a moderator responded with this:
I’ve just read your comments on the review and while it ended with the person who gave your book a negative review agreeing to give your book a second chance, I really don’t think it was a good thing for you to have done.
The impression I got from the exchange was that the reviewer felt a little cowed by your comments, and was embarrassed when you responded. I don’t think you meant any harm by responding in the way that you did: but if I were considering your book and came upon that discussion, your response would put me off buying and reading it.
If you have to explain to a reviewer what your book is about then your book hasn’t done the job you’d hoped. The reviewer hasn’t missed the point; your writing has.
I’m sorry to be so blunt, Norman, but there’s a reason responding to reviews is called The Author’s Big Mistake.
Is responding to reviews “The Author’s Big Mistake”? What do you think? Possibly I need to go back in and say thank you to those who gave good reviews, to show I’m engaging readers, not brow-beating a negative reviewer.
I wish I knew what was right.