I began this blog several months ago because I hated the powerless feeling of getting a book review—good or bad—and not having a way to respond to the reader. I know, I know, as an author I’ve heard it before…DO NOT RESPOND TO BOOK REVIEWS! I’ve heard that challenging a negative review can lead to embarrassing online drama for all the internet to see. I’ve also heard that responding to a positive review can lead to rumors that you’re getting your best friends to review your book. It’s so frustrating.
So this blog is a great place to release my thoughts on what others think. When you write a book and it’s published, you are inviting the entire world to stand in front of you and tell you what they think. Thanks to online reviewing, those people now get to hide in anonymity while they tell you what they think. It can be awesome or it can be hurtful.
But today, I got the best three-star review I’ve ever received, nay, that I’ve ever read.
First of all, it was truly about my book. It wasn’t about me as a human being or about me as a mother. It was strictly about me as a writer who chose to write about autism. The reviewer did not love my tone of voice and my forceful “in your face” mentality. He didn’t appreciate the bossiness in my writing style.
But, the reviewer made the best point: the book is short and cheap and contains some good ideas.
Basically, the reviewer did his job, namely, warning potential readers that they might not like the book. But at the same time, he also basically said, “If you can stomach the attitude problem, you will learn a few things and it won’t cost you a lot of time or money to do it.” (My words, not his.)
That was awesome. That was someone’s way of saying to the world that we’re not all going to agree all the time but that we are all worthwhile and we all have something worth saying. Even better, he was telling others that I’m quite a meanie sometimes but that learning about autism and learning how someone else overcame some of the issues just might be worth having to tolerate the negativity. The opinion was extremely valid—after all, I can be quite bossy and be quite a jerk, especially when it comes to something I’m passionate about—but it was presented respectfully and honestly. That reviewer did his job. And for that, I personally thank you, whomever you are.