Once upon a time there was an author named Christopher Pike. This author decided to write a novel, The Secret of Ka. It was not his first novel; indeed, he had been a New York Times bestselling author.
This novel was, surprisingly, not put out by the notorious vanity house, Publish America but by Harcourt Children’s Books, a large and well-known publishing house. The reason, boys and girls, that this is a surprise is because the author who presumably made it through a damn good editorial process, turns out to have made up everything. Not just the storyline and not just the characters, but the customs, the country’s capital, the country’s geography, in fact everything that should be fact.
Some of the Amazon reviewers are Turkish and took offense at the portrayal of their country. This reviewer in particular was outraged.
The author soon found the reviewer’s revew and began to exress his unhappiness. But not under his own name. Apparently choosing the name Michael Brite, he began to argue with the reviewer in public. He accused her of threatening violence. The stakes began to rise. For the author.
I’ve written about authors going bananas over reviews, even Amazon ones that are not technically reviews but reader commentaries. That doesn’t make them less valid than professional reviews, just different. But regardless of whether it is an Amazon review or a professional one no author should ever—and I mean ever—take public umbrage with the reader’s or reviewer’s opinion. Editors, agents, publicists, and other trade professionals are damned careful to tell authors that. For this reason: attacking someone because you don’t like what she said about your book is nothing short of stupid. It is also counterproductive. You think reviewers don’t learn about things like this? Think again. You, the raving–and-ranting author not only don’t do yourself any favors by striking out, you don’t do your house any either because when it comes time to notify reviewers about your next book they are at the mercy of those reviewers’ memories.
If you even get a contract for a next book, that is.