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Old 07-22-2012, 08:49 AM   #31
issybird
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Tackitt View Post
I respond in the same tone of voice as the reviewer. If it is caustic or sarcastic so is my response. If the tone is courteous, so is my response.
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
It is up to you to do what you want, but you asked for opinions, and as a paying reader, I wholeheartedly disagree with your approach. I might stop and look at your page, the same way people stop to gawk at a traffic accident, but I would never actually buy a book from someone who does what you do. It smacks of the mark of the amateur to me, and with so many other books in my to-read pile, I'll stick with people who can conduct themselves like grown-ups
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Tackitt View Post
That's the kind of commen I respond to: "I'll stick with people who can conduct themselves like grown-ups" You were doing just fine until then, replying with courtesy and with your opinion, to which you are certainly entitled. But, you apparently couldn't help getting in one last caustic little snide comment eh? Pehaps it is because you hide behind a shield of anonymity. I have noticed that those who hide behind a fake name seem to let their inner sniveling out the most.
While you claim to respond in the same voice as a comment, I can't help reading this exchange and thinking that you ratcheted up the ante significantly. You took a general response and made it personal; you added fuel to the situation by raising an extraneous point (anonymity); and you used fighting words (caustic, snide, sniveling) of a much lower flashpoint than those of the respondent (amateur, grown-up).

Aside from what I might think of the author as a person (ficbot was taking the time to try to help you), the inference I draw from this about his general writing style in regard to voice and nuance would keep me from wanting ever to read one of his books.

Last edited by issybird; 07-22-2012 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:20 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
I don't care if he channels God through his fingers; I refuse to read him. Period.
You get Kudos for that one.

I have read him, but when much I was younger and he wad still serving his apprenticeship as a professional anus - before he graduated. In my teens I developed a liking for SF. At the time he was not notable, just one of many "adequate" SF writers. Like you, I would not knowingly read anything of his nowadays.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #33
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I have been on the internet, since its opening to the public in 92, and I was on ARPNET, FIDONET, and others long before they were popular. I am nowhere near as old as some of you , only got my start in computers in 83, but old enough to have been burned many times over. I would offer this advice...

1) NEVER reply to malice, hatred, or purely inflammatory reviews or posts in kind. All you will do is escalate the emotion, and you will look like the bad guy AND give legitimacy to the original attack.
2) If you MUST reply, never ever address the personal attacks, the insults, or anything of the like. Stick to polite objective facts only.
3) ALWAYS take the high ground. In the long term this will help you, and your case. If they other person is being vile and mean, and you are polite and kind the unseen observer will tend to think much higher of you, and much less of them. This will almost always work to your favor.

Keep in mind, people may stop and gawk at a car wreck, but they do not LIVE there.

And, no, I am way to emotional and hotheaded to follow my own advice perfectly, so I never reply to reviews on Amazon, B&N, and so on. I do reply to emails, comments on my blog, and posts on forums when I seen them though. My goal in those replies is to follow my own advice.

As a side note, I gave up on anonymity when I decided to market myself (blogs, books, services,etc) as a product.
Opened to the public in '92? Cursed by Tim Berners-Lee in '89 would be closer to the mark. It was fun before the WWW dragged all the teenagers and grandmothers out of hiding.

I took up a degree of anonymity when blogging became popular. My employers made it clear that their writers would remain anonymous when expressing (unofficial) opinion online - or risk their careers.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:52 PM   #34
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I took up a degree of anonymity when blogging became popular. My employers made it clear that their writers would remain anonymous when expressing (unofficial) opinion online - or risk their careers.
For the first 10 or 12 years I was anonymous successfully. With out a court order to my ISP you could not find me. However, I left that behind. Pros and Cons on both sides, IMO.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #35
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Opened to the public in '92? Cursed by Tim Berners-Lee in '89 would be closer to the mark. It was fun before the WWW dragged all the teenagers and grandmothers out of hiding.

Pretty sure 1992 is the year it went from educational and research only to allow commercial traffic. It is also the year Delphi began marketing the Internet to its subscriber making the first big ISP. I got on via a small local BBS called Cybercomm in 1992 when you had to dial into the BBS, open a terminal shell on their server and fire of a proxy page that Lynx and other early browsers could use to get to the web. Email had a min 30 min delay, but was light compared to other networks.

I could have my dates wrong, that was a long while back.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Pretty sure 1992 is the year it went from educational and research only to allow commercial traffic. It is also the year Delphi began marketing the Internet to its subscriber making the first big ISP. I got on via a small local BBS called Cybercomm in 1992 when you had to dial into the BBS, open a terminal shell on their server and fire of a proxy page that Lynx and other early browsers could use to get to the web. Email had a min 30 min delay, but was light compared to other networks.

I could have my dates wrong, that was a long while back.
As I recall, Tim Berners-Lee had it up and running in '89, every Electronics and Computing magazine was full of it. Then they developed HTML in '90. I was playing around with it in '91, but it was through CSIRONet and might possibly have been exclusive to CSIRONet (A Government agency.) It skyrocketed from '93 after Mosaic was released. I had my first website up in '94 - hosted by what is now Melbourne IT. No PayPal or "Shopping Cart" software then so it was hard to make it commercially successful.

I still think that was more fun back in the days of Fidonet, mail-lists and Newsgroups. The web made it into something quite different, totally changed the character.

Last edited by DarkScribe; 07-22-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:58 PM   #37
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I read a blog by some woman or other who saw it as a sort of customer relations exercise. When customers were unhappy enough with her book to leave a scathing review she'd contact them and ask how she could improve it for them. A lot were so amazed by that they changed their review, but a lot of the commentators on the blog said she was just bullying them.

I haven't had any bad reviews yet, but when I do I'll probably just take a few extra pills and shrug it off. Their opinions are just as valid as mine or anyone else's. And at the end of the cliche, if they got something other than what they were expecting that's more of a failing on my part than anything else.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:59 PM   #38
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Leverage.

In various disciplines, Engineering, Martial Arts, War, Politics and so on we learn that the proper pressure, the proper hold, the appropriate force vector in just the right place at just the right angle and at the right time will achieve what we want or at least the best we might get.

On a site like Mobile Read, I don't want the baggage, good or bad, of my writing to interfere with my presence, so I traipse around as an unknown. That works nicely and I have only been challenged on it a few times.

As for reviewers of actual writing, commenters in various places, there are mechanisms that can be applied.
1. silence which is the usual best method (let the writing speak for itself)
2. express appreciation where deserved
3. speaking through proxies, other reviewers, interviewers, agents and publishers
4. round table discussions or speaking at various conventions, meetings

I believe that in all of these, mildness in attitude should be foremost in your mind when you speak to what someone else has said. In other words don't make matters worse, and try to avoid suits.

The only time I usually go at it with people is when there is disagreement on "dead writers," their works and meanings. There I am one to invoke that famous phrase "I speak for the trees."
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:57 AM   #39
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I happen to agree with you, Steve, except that if he did channel god through his fingers, I'd give his writing a try. Channeling god through his fingers might lead to a resolution of the greatest controversy of all: Is the bible god's word or man's word?
Don't care. Any God that would use Harlan Ellison as a mouthpiece is a God I want nothing to do with.

(We should probably move on from this particular line of thought...)
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:46 AM   #40
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I've decided not to respond to reviews at all, though that's hard for me. I'm the sort of person who would like to respond kindly to negative reviews. However, it's come to my attention that (a) some people see that as intimidating/bullying and (b) it can actually encourage trolls to post more nasty reviews in order to waste your time responding.

So I never respond to any reviews. But if someone emails me, I always respond warmly.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:18 PM   #41
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I read a blog by some woman or other who saw it as a sort of customer relations exercise. When customers were unhappy enough with her book to leave a scathing review she'd contact them and ask how she could improve it for them. A lot were so amazed by that they changed their review, but a lot of the commentators on the blog said she was just bullying them.

I haven't had any bad reviews yet, but when I do I'll probably just take a few extra pills and shrug it off. Their opinions are just as valid as mine or anyone else's. And at the end of the cliche, if they got something other than what they were expecting that's more of a failing on my part than anything else.
Although I've sold a number of my books, I've only had one review, and it was bad. Actually I'm not that surprised given the topic 'Global Warming', I would expect reviews to be bad, very bad or good, with nothing in between.

Although a bad review is disheartening, many people have their minds made up about this topic and nothing I (or any one else) can say or write will make them change.

What I would actually prefer is constructive criticism, so that I could (perhaps) revise what is written if it is factually incorrect (which I don't believe it is), but this review, in my opinion, is just unhelpful to me or to the other purchasers of my book.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:38 AM   #42
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Talking of which, I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with this reply.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R27N0...cm_cr_rdp_perm
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:11 PM   #43
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Talking of which, I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with this reply.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R27N0...cm_cr_rdp_perm
I would agree with you, in fact this one gives constructive criticism. If a book is set in the uk, then most people would expect it to be correct for the area. As the critic said, 911 is not the emergency number (999 is, although the number for the rest of europe (112) can be used as well. UK people use mobile phones not cell phones.

In fact one of the worst I read was by Matthew Reilly (can't remember which book though), where the hero was in a plane crashing towards the ground, and had around 40 seconds to defuse an atomic bomb, the defuse code was a memorable date for the person who set it (and was German). the hero keyed in the date in US format, (m,d,y) instead of European (d,m,y), which worked.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:50 AM   #44
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I am not a writer, and I'm coming late to the party ... but I thought, hey, why not add my 2c to the general rumble ...

... from very personal experience I can say that I find it very hard to respect people who are not even able to control themselves.

Yes, your ranting and raving might make the person at the service counter move faster just to get you out of his/her hair, and some people consider themselves successful because they can "use" bullying and insults as a tool to get what they want, sometimes.

Nevertheless, to me, the mark of "behaving like a grown-up" is (among other things) being able to control yourself and not lose your poise easily. Please bear in mind that you might create that impression when you "respond in kind" to stupid insults.

I, personally, prefer to buy books and read books from authors that I can respect, but that, like anything else, might differ for other people.

Best regards,
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Tackitt View Post
But, when a reviewer leaves either a hateful/spiteful/vile comment that is aimed at me personally as the writer (and the subject and material in my book does tend to attract some of those); or if the reviewer leaves a comment that is factually incorrect (my book has some technical aspects to it) then I respond to correct the erroneous information they have left behind for all of eternity. I respond in the same tone of voice as the reviewer. If it is caustic or sarcastic so is my response. If the tone is courteous, so is my response.

One reason, other than correcting factual errors, is that controversy tends to get people's attention. It is for now a part of my overall marketing strategy to be controversial in response to the hater's reviews. I have noticed, but can't document yet, that I seem to get a small sales spike after receiving a hater review and I comment back in kind. I don't see the spike after positive or neutral reviews, only the vilely negative ones.

What's your take on this?
People are going to make errors - either because you weren't clear enough, or they aren't careful readers. And there will always be some that don't like your writing, and even some that may attack you personally.

In all cases the best response is to say and do nothing. You'll just fan the fires, look defensive, and invite more "back and forth." I don't think the belief that "any publicity is good publicity." As an author you want a bad review to fade away - you don't want to shed a spotlight on it.

Just my opinion.
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