Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How not to react to a review

As writers we all get stung by criticism of our work, whether it is published or just writing submitted on a course or at a writers' group.

But American author Alice Hoffman took her dismay a step too far when she launched an angry tirade against a newspaper reviewer on Twitter and worse still, published the reviewer's personal contact details, enciting her fans to attack her too.

The excellent How Publishing Really Works blog has a great summary of the whole fiasco and its ramifications here.

[For the record Alice Hoffman is a writer I feel I should like, but when I borrowed a couple of her books from the library some years ago I gave up on them. I hope she won't attack me for that...]


Anne Brooke said...

Oh lordy, that's a bit much really! I can send you a shield if you'd like, my dear ...



Jane Smith said...

Thank you for linking to my blog, and for saying such kind words about it, too. I am grateful.

(I've just added a whole new list of links to the article, which show all sorts of other writerly meltdowns. We're above such behaviour, obviously, and I've only provided them for research purposes: but they are truly astonishing, and essential reading for writers who are interested in learning how NOT to kill their careers.)

HelenMWalters said...

Oh dear! I don't think I've read anything of hers so I should be safe!

Anonymous said...

Had a look at the links you kindly posted. I don't think any writer appreciates bad press but it's so unprofessional to react this way.

CJ xx

Graeme K Talboys said...

I only reacted to a bad review once, but that was because the academic in question had clearly not read (or ignored) the introduction, because she spent four pages moaning about how the book had not included all the things I said I wouldn't be including. I pointed this out in a short, polite letter and heard nothing more. Sadly some reviewers are more interested in themselves, but on the whole I would agree - they are rabid and should be left alone.