This has been making its way around the intertubes, especially amongst writerly folk, but for those who haven’t seen it yet: Jacqueline Howett loses her shit over a mildly-unpleasant review.
Seriously, people. Don’t be That Guy. Bad reviews suck, but the internet is forever, and acting like a big enough ass that everyone and their brother is talking about it and people are even selling CafePress items commemorating your idiocy sucks even worse.
I read an article recently about a man who runs an online shop and is horrifically nasty to his customers. Why? Because even negative chatter boosts his site’s Google ranking, which gives him greater visibility and therefore more sales. Personally, I think maintaining that level of vitriol sounds exhausting, and I don’t think the take-away from that piece should be that acting like an ass on the internet can increase your sales. It may be true in the short run, but it’s not going to get you many long-term fans.
I think the more important thing to take from that article is that even negative publicity can boost your sales. So the next time you get a review that hurts, take a deep breath and please, walk away. I’ve been known to buy a book based on a negative review, because even while it was clearly not the reviewer’s cup of tea, it sounded like mine. But I will not give my money to authors who behave badly on the internet, and even just a cursory look at the comments on that article shows that I’m not alone.