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How NOT to receive a review as a writer

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michellemoran
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How NOT to receive a review as a writer

Postby michellemoran » Mon June 29th, 2009, 4:09 am

Alice Hoffman's reaction to one review.

In addition to playing the Famous Writer Card on Twitter, Hoffman also played, among others, the Feminist Card ("Girls are taught to be gracious and keep their mouths shut. We don't have to"), the Provincial Critic Card ("This is a town where a barking dog is the second top story on the news"), the Lousy Paper Card ("No wonder there is no book section in the Globe anymore - they don't care about their readers, why should we care about them"), and the Post Your Enemy's Email & Phone Number Online Card (encouraging fans to further validate her reaction and "tell her what u think of snarky critics").


Yikes!
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boswellbaxter
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Postby boswellbaxter » Mon June 29th, 2009, 4:28 am

I was just looking at that on Twitter. I read one of her early novels years ago and enjoyed it--but talk about a respect-killer!

Maybe she and DebbieMac should become BFF. That would make for some interesting get-togethers.

And Hoffman can't even spell Anne Tyler's name correctly.

Edited to say that I didn't read one of her books years ago: I had her confused with a much classier author. So my respect for the other author still stands, I'm pleased to say.
Susan Higginbotham
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michellemoran
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Postby michellemoran » Mon June 29th, 2009, 4:29 am

Talk about taking a leave of one's senses!
Last edited by michellemoran on Mon June 29th, 2009, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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boswellbaxter
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Postby boswellbaxter » Mon June 29th, 2009, 4:34 am

Here's her Twitter page with the Tweets in question.

http://twitter.com/AliceHof

My favorite is "And we writers don't have to say nothing when someone tries to destroy us." Geez, woman, get a little perspective here.
Susan Higginbotham

Coming in October: The Woodvilles





http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/

http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon June 29th, 2009, 4:44 am

You learn a lot more about a person by how they respond to criticism (deserved or not) than by how they respond to praise.

Chatterbox
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Location: New York

Postby Chatterbox » Mon June 29th, 2009, 5:00 am

One would think that someone who has been writing as long as she has -- and putting her work out into the market -- would have a more grown-up attitude to criticism. No one ever likes everything you do. The best you can ask for is a balanced review from someone who understands what it is that you are trying to accomplish as a writer. Which is what she got.

It's the level of anger that truly disturbs me here -- and in the link to the page about Maureen Dowd that I clicked through to on the same site. OK, Dowd's critique of chick lit is anger-driven and a tad bitter, but then we have the following: "Lauren Lipton remarks, "Here's a gal whose livelihood is based on a tiresome catty-chick schtick; reading her column is like being forced to listen to some endlessly snippy, shallow sorority girl."

Since when did criticism become so scornful? When did people begin feeling entitled to lash out violently and publicly at criticism they don't like? I've had people diss my reviews on Amazon; if they leave a comment, I try and respond to their criticism in rational terms and explain why I said what I did. It only works about 5% of the time. The rest of the time, it's as if it makes people feel good to cling to their anger.

And yeah, I put any author who reacts this way onto a personal blacklist.

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sweetpotatoboy
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Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Mon June 29th, 2009, 11:28 am

Delicious! Get some dignity. A thin skin is not an attractive feature.

And, since when were only other writers deemed worthy reviewers? Is she only writing her books for writers? (I know most professional reviewers tend to be writers, but still...)

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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Mon June 29th, 2009, 12:05 pm

OMG. What is up with some authors these days. On the flip side of things I really didnt need to know, nor do I care who Roberta Silman. The end felt like a pissing contest.

What it boils down to is the woman was criticized by someone who read her book. She needs to get over herself and her enormous head and deal with it. If she wanted to respond how about making it constructive and not snarky.
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Leo62
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Postby Leo62 » Mon June 29th, 2009, 2:10 pm

:eek:

The thing is, with Twitter - or with any online forum or email for that matter - it's all too easy to snap something off in the heat of the moment when you're feeling p*ssed. Then it's out there for the world to read forever more. I bet she'll regret saying this stuff when she calms down and sees how spectacularly it has backfired.

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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Mon June 29th, 2009, 2:32 pm

Will these authors never learn that we the readers are the customer? The one who buys their book? They really need to sit on their hands and cool down before putting something out on the internet. It always backfires.
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