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Forums > Published vs. Self-Published > To Answer or Not Answer Reader Comments

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Julie L. York
Posts: 26
OK, this has been grating on my nerves ever since I decided to jump head first into making a go of being an author. To answer negative or personal attack comments, or let them slide? In the olden days, there had to be a serious effort on the part of a reader to complain about a book; letter to the editor, letter to the publisher, an ad in the local paper...

Nowadays, it's just too damn easy for someone to blast hate-filled rants, off the cuff remarks, and general stupidity to the universe, without thinking of the consequences. I've ignored it till now, even the personal attacks I've gotten, though I do read everything that's said. But today I read a comment where the reader literally threw down the gauntlet by being disparaging and using my name at the end... "it was free....Ms. York." It's almost as if s/he's angling for a fight or response. I'm fiercely protective of what's mine...the Mom instinct and all that, but I know better than to let fly. I've done "battle" on behalf of my kids, but it was in person, or over the phone. The Internet is a totally different opponent.

So, how do you deal with negative online comments? Everyone can read them, everyone's gonna have an opinion one way or the other, regardless of what you do or say...but how do you protect yourself (your brand) online? When is it appropriate to say something back? Where is the line between protecting yourself and retaliation? How long do you take the high road before saying "Enough" and setting things straight? Anyone have a story about saying something back and wishing you'd done something different? Anyone wish you Had said something because it got out of hand?

Julie L. York

2014 Jun 22 07:06 pm |Quote

Ginger Simpson
Posts: 5
I certainly understand your desire to defend yourself, but one of the things required of authors is a thick skin and knowing you'll never be everyone's cup of tea.  Even if you check some of the best-known mainstream authors, you will find they are not exempt from negative reviews.  The best advice I ever received, and that I follow, is walk away and forget it.  You only make yourself look desperate...let the good reviews speak on your behalf.
2014 Jun 22 07:06:38 pm | Quote

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