The Professionalism Of Negativity

Last year I'd asked what makes a professional writer, and while there were a lot of different great responses, the consensus seemed to hinge on whether or not that particular writer acted in a professional manner. So now I want to ask what should a writer who acts in a professional manner do regarding negative reviews. You could always use Twitter as a way to blast the critic who doesn't like your work. Or there is always the classier option of simply spitting on the person who gave you the bad review. Or ... well, there are many other options to take into account, but deciding which is the best option is key.

Recently online I saw a midlist novelist whose new book just recently come out respond to a not-so-flattering Amazon review. The reviewer made a big stink about how certain parts of the book were politically motivated, and the author took it upon himself to pretty much prove that the reviewer was wrong and an idiot. Not quite the best way to win back that reader, though maybe that reader was already through with the author's work. But, because it was in public, others could see the interaction and maybe were also turned off from reading not only that author's book but all the rest.

The Internet can be a really great thing, but it can also be a scary thing. With enough digging, nothing remains hidden. If you do or say something on it, be prepared that it might get out to others. So if you act like a jackass to one person, be aware that other people will also probably witness your jackassery.

While the Hint Fiction anthology did just get this great and glowing blurb, I'm sure somewhere down the line people will have negative things to say about it. And when that happens, how should I deal with it? Keep in mind that I'm not really asking how I should deal with it -- I know bad reviews are just a way of life, that you have to take it on the chin and move on -- but just throwing it out there for everyone else to think about it.

Because obviously we don't want to be the kind of writer who makes a stink on Twitter, or spits at another person, or debases ourselves by actually defending our work to Amazon reviewers. While all those writers are published by big houses and make a good chunk of money and are considered professional, they're not really professional, are they?