Fellow Indie Authors,
There is a small but annoyingly vocal faction of peers in our midst. I'm of course talking about the Whiny Author Horde (a.k.a. WAH).
Please be careful associating with any members of WAH, for their butthurt of entitlement is known to be both contagious and career-destroying. The website, Stop the GR Bullies, is but one of their hideouts. That one is dedicated to lashing out at members of GoodReads who are really mean (i.e. post negative reviews of books), but rest assured they're lurking everywhere, waiting to jump on any negative review in order to protect their livelihoods. You may notice that you can't do both of those things at the same time, but don't worry. That only means you're still behaving rationally, and this is a good thing.
The best way to avoid being caught up in the WAH hysteria, or if you truly do feel like you may become the victim of a so-called bully reviewer and want to do something about it, is to read this list of protective measures:
1. If you receive a negative review, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.
2. If you receive a negative review, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.
3. If you have written a book and put it up for sale in the public marketplace, accept the possibility that you could receive negative reviews. Even really mean negative reviews that don't seem fair at all and might possibly affect your sales. That's part of the business of being a public entertainer.
4. If you receive a negative review, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.
There. I hope that helps. Again, I know it seems tempting to join the ranks of WAH, especially if you're getting a spate of bad reviews lately. The instinct to protect your reputation is obviously very high. You don't want to be made a fool of in public. No one does. And bad reviews are indeed quite embarrassing. But what's MORE embarrassing than a bad review is an author who does not know how to take criticism like a professional. That, along with legions of internet denizens just waiting to do a Print Screen on an impending Author Melt will destroy your career more than any scathing one-star Amazon or GoodReads review. It isn't your job to defend your work. Let your fans do that, if they feel so inclined. And if you say, "But I don't have any fans!"
Well... do you really think duking it out with a stranger on the internet is going to accomplish that for you?
Obviously, the internet is full of trolls, and there may even be several of them on GoodReads. I was recently informed about a user there being investigated for suspicious activity that involved leaving one-star reviews for hundreds of indie authors while giving five-star reviews to Big 6 authors. But that was something that was handled quietly. No one got up in this user's face and confronted her (that I noticed). If you see something suspicious like that, certainly let the powers that be know about it. They may not be able to do anything, but it's a better action to take than engaging in public dumbfuckery that will scare away honest readers.
We all hate getting bad reviews. We may even complain to our friends about them in order to soothe the burn a little. But let it end there. Go eat some ice cream. Go hug a homeless person or pet a kitten. Get drunk or smoke a doob. Do whatever it is you do to relieve stress. Then ask yourself whether your desire to avoid embarrassment is greater than your desire to create and sell your work. If so, you might want to take up another less public mantle of self-expression. Like clog dancing or basket weaving.
Just remember. There are no "GR Bullies." By following this advice, you'll not only protect your reputation, but the reputations of those of us who would rather not be associated with WAH.