In my last post, I talked about good and bad reviews. Today, let’s look at reactions to said reviews.
A thank you is a must, always. Even if they say something you don’t like, they took the time to look it over. If you don’t thank them, it’ll get around that you’re ungrateful and you’ll have a hard time getting other reviewers.
As a rule of thumb, reacting like someone murdered your baby is never a good idea. If the review stings, cool down. You don’t have to agree with everything they say. Do not, under any circumstances, write them an impassioned and angry response about how stupid and tasteless they must be not to understand your masterpiece. You asked for their opinion. Deal with it.
This one is debatable. Personally, I like it when the writer I reviewed responds to my comments with their opinions or explanations. It’s a way to see into their thought processes and learn the ‘behind the scenes’ information about their story. Likewise, I’ll respond to another person’s review if I feel they’d be interested. Not only can it open up discussion between two writers, but it lets me think ‘out loud’. If I have to clarify a point to multiple people, I must have done something wrong. I can look at the explanations I gave and work them into the story. Some of the most fun I’ve had on writing sites is bouncing ideas back and forth after a review.
However, some people find this annoying, especially if the reviewed writer tries to say all their comments were wrong. Remember that they only see what you sent them. Saying “Don’t be stupid. That’s explained later” is silly when they can’t possibly know that.
The bottom line is: be tactful and gracious. Reviewers put a lot of effort into their comments. (Or they ought to. I’ve received my fair share of reviewers who clearly didn’t even look.) Respect that.