Whether I would ever say this again after becoming a published author, I don't know.
But, for now at least: HURRAY FOR BAD, AWFUL, HARSH REVIEWS. (<--Sincere.)
Why? They do great things for me, as a writer and a reader.
1. As a reader: If no one ever got up and ranted about a book, the community of book-lovers would sort of have no standards.
2. As a reader: It's also just plain helpful to know if a book might not be worth your time. For subjectivity reasons, it's good to try books anyway, of course. But maybe you'll check it out of a library first.
3. As a writer: First, I have to say, as someone aspiring to published authorhood, they scare the crap out of me. So in that way they're probably a great reality check--even if I get published, it is guaranteed that someone is going to HATE my book. (Eeek!)
4. As a human being: Especially if it's a very popular book or a book I loved, it's kind of exciting to see someone be really displeased with it. It forces me to question my opinions and think a lot about things.
5. As a writer: I really enjoy this one--you can learn A LOT from reviews of any kind as a writer. But with a bad review (keeping in mind that this is just one person, of course), the learning experience increases, and can sometimes get a lot more specific than good reviews. These are the reviews that tell you what NOT to do, in terms that are hopefully more explicit and forceful than anything a CP or beta would use with you.
(Sorry reader-friends, these are mostly writer-focused from here on out.)
6. As a writer (and reader I guess): Sort of a restatement of point 3, but especially if you liked the book they're ranting about, it proves to you just how subjective a thing love for stories can be.
7. As a writer: Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but always I feel like seeing this happen to other people's books helps me develop my thick skin somehow. NOT saying I would want to go around and read my own reviews. That still sounds like a very bad idea.
8. As a writer: It makes you see flaws in your own work that it would have been hard for you to acknowledge any other way. "Oh, that's a good point. Ohhhhh. I do that too."
9. As a writer: It makes you feel good about yourself. "Look! I didn't do that in my manuscript. Yay me!"
What's your stance on bad reviews? If you've seen a particularly scathing one lately, please share it with me here or on Twitter--seriously, I need more of these in my life!
If you write them regularly/freely, DEFINITELY give me a link to your blog below or tweet it at me! I would love to stop by and check it out!
And now that I've written this.... *looks fearfully into the future, and vows never to read her own reviews unless vetted by a caring friend*
Post inspired by: This *seriously harsh* vlog review of Fallen.