I’m sure you have heard the tired old proverb “The customer is always right.” Having worked in a retail environment for many years, I can unequivocally say – THAT IS NOT TRUE! Everyone has an opinion, but many opinions are lacking a factual basis, common sense, or even common decency. It’s not wise to argue with a customer, of course, as the employee usually ends up in trouble no matter how the encounter ends.
Book reviews are similar in many ways. Writers often find themselves on the receiving end of mean-spirited, unjustified, or ignorant opinions – left out in the public eye for all to see. Authors have to develop thick skins to protect their fragile ego’s and stave off discouragement.
Fortunately, there is some good along with the bad. Many readers share their heartfelt admiration, with encouraging words which affirm and delight. Even better, there are a select few who understand your story so well, you can honestly say “They get it!” Finally, there are those rare gems who go beyond “getting it” to seeing things the author may have never even considered.
It will continue to amaze and humble me when my readers teach me things about my own books! Would it shock my readers if I should admit they found something in my work I hadn’t even noticed before? No, no, that would never do. One has to maintain a certain all-knowing mystique after all…