Dear Author Who Asked Me to Change My Review….
Heidi Angell-Author
33

I didn’t read this book. I did read this article. Being an author, I understand both aspects of this contrary position. I usually don’t review for some of the reasons you state. I did question a review on one of my books with Amazon because they didn’t notify something that would have been a spoiler alert (and that it wasn’t something I wrote).

As all author now know, it isn’t necessary to respond to reviews, online or otherwise. However, she did write to you offline by email, so kept is private. Yes, she did things wrong by asking to change a review. But it seems to me she was polite about it. She was taken aback. We all feel that.

While I understand your listing of “errors” in the first 14 pages, I didn’t see any spelling errors, or grammatical errors when someone is writing as if in a verbal communication. That’s what those incomplete sentences looked like to me. They were follow ups to what was written before.

The “errors” you point out are thing that first writers do consistently. It is annoying. It seems like the construction of the way she lays out her cause needs to be addressed. This could have been done without being hostile.

If this person was your “hero”, I would have written her an email explaining those problems so she could fix them. When reviewers put everything up for all the world to see, there are consequences for that, one way or another.

I don’t agree that a review is only a “gut feeling” and not an analysis. It is both. Almost everyone takes a review as an analysis of something they haven’t read or to encourage what they’ve already read. When I read a book that affects me in some way, good or bad, I read some reviews to find out what others thought.

What this author said about reflecting on the reviewer is true, at least in reviews I’ve read on other authors’ work and my own. When reviews are overly distasteful, it shows more about the reviewer than what is being reviewed. Yes, I have one or two 1 star reviews. I have been trashed for writing that has won major contests. People like different things.

I didn’t understand this: “Some of those sentences were horrendous run-ons that could have easily been cut own or turned into multiple sentences, like this beauty:

And while being a “fast” writer may imply you can crank out more books than a “slow” one, that is also not necessarily the case (I put those words in quotes because fast and slow are a matter of perspective.)”

While this sentence could have been worded better, it’s not a run-on. It’s answering something that came before. Yes, fast and slow are a matter of perspective, but I’m guessing that she explained that somewhere before she got to this sentence.

I do empathize with what you are feeling, but just from reading what you wrote, it seems to me you have dragged out a common complaint that most authors have when confronted with a unpopular review. While I don’t agree with the author in contacting you, she did in private. I do think that you sharing her private email to you was not polite, though it was constructive for all those authors who would like to write their reviewers. Don’t do it.

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