I’m often asked about reviews. People want to write books, but they’re afraid of bad reviews. It’s a serious problem.
There are useful negative reviews.
And there are trolls. These people hide behind fake names (and often, elaborate fake profiles, biographies, photos, etc.) and relentlessly attack to destroy people.
I’ve been using the Internet and the web since the 80s. I’ve been the moderator (manager) of a number of forums, some of them rather large. Trolls have always been around. It’s not new and it’s not going away.
That’s why I believe in real IDs, as in, using a real name to post. Not just a name: there should be substantial online presence, including Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and perhaps a Twitter account or a website. If someone writes a review but doesn’t use his name, don’t reply. It’s likely fake.
In general, don’t reply to negative comments by unknown persons. Better yet, don’t read the reviews of your work. Just keep writing.
Here are several articles about reviews and trolls:
- Am I Being Catfished? by Kathleen Hale. When publishing her book in the UK, she was warned not to reply to reviewers. She did anyway. Here’s what happened (Guardian 17 October, 2014).
- Discussion of trolls in 3QuarksDaily
- Inside the world of Amazon Vine book reviewers by Suzanne McGee
- More about trolls.