Diversity in Our Reading Communities

Reblogged from Lornographic Material:

You know, I dig the fact that not all of us like the same stuff. I mainly dig that because I get quite a few book recommendations from you fine folks on stories I never would have given the time of day. I rarely ever do not read something based on a negative review (in fact, negative reviews have sold me on more books than I can count), and, likewise, I do not always read a book based on a glowing recommendation. I think this is where some authors lose their minds. They sit at home with Goodreads and Booklikes and Leafmarks and Amazon and every other book site imaginable open in their browsers and continuously click refresh. (All this while they should be writing, mind you) And when the hammer drops, when that first negative review rolls in, they lose their shit. They go into crisis mode and end up doing more damage to their reputations than they ever would have by just shutting up. I've had numerous negative reviews. And guess what? People still buy my stuff; enough people to make sure my family lives relatively comfortably, too. I have proof that negative reviews aren't the end of the world. Responding to them, though, can be.


A good friend of mine (Hi, Lynn!) once said, "Anytime you get down about a negative review, hop over to Goodreads or Amazon, pull up your favorite book, and read the one-star reviews."


That's some of the best advice I ever received, and it has, to this day, kept me sane. I don't understand how over 5,000 people on Goodreads have given Stephen King's It one star, but you don't see me running around calling them all kinds of troglodytes and single-celled organisms. Because differing opinions matter. If everyone thought the same thing all the time, we'd still be afraid of sea monsters and sailing off the side of the world.


And before you think that I can say all this because I've never been labeled a BBA or that everybody just loves E., I shall inform you that I am currently on several Not-For-Me shelves. Why? Well, that's none of my business, is it? My point is, not everyone is going to like you, and those who like you today can easily start disliking you tomorrow. All you can do is turn the other cheek. 


Feel free to share this message. Not that they'll listen, but it's worth a shot.