We authors love reviews. Certainly the enthusiastic ones from readers who enjoyed the book are the best, because they make us smile and they make us feel good about the work we've done. But the reviews from people who didn't like the book, either in whole or in part, are a necessary evil. We need those almost as much -- if not more -- than the "I loved it!" reviews.
Why? you ask. Because reading what people think is wrong or unrealistic, while such opinions may be hurtful at first, educates us. Reading negative reviews can only strengthen us as writers, especially if we take those negative words and use them to improve our work. A writer may disagree with a bad review, but that doesn't mean we can't learn and grow from it.
The reason I write this is because one of my author friends has said that she no longer pays any attention to the negative reviews she gets -- as in, she's stopped reading them altogether. She's even going so far as to encourage only the people who've enjoyed her books to post reviews; she doesn't want anyone posting negative reviews. What's the point, after all, if she isn't even going to bother reading them?
I firmly believe that this is a bad outlook for her to take. In my opinion, soliciting only positive reviews makes her seem arrogant and self-centered, as if everything she writes is gold. Having read her work myself, I can and will say that she is very talented, and she will certainly go far as an author. But no one is immune to mistakes. In her most "celebrated" work -- which I have read -- there were numerous editorial errors. Her characters also left quite a bit to be desired, as I honestly found several of them highly unbelievable.
But that's just my opinion. No, I have not posted a review, because again -- what would be the point? Why bother wasting my time writing one if she's not going to bother reading it, because anything other than high praise is wrong and beneath her? I do try very hard not to be judgmental of anyone, but I just think her mindset against unfavorable reviews is wrong. And where else can I share this opinion if not here on the Diary?