“Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816
I fell in love with the phrase ‘errors of opinion’ the first time I read this quote. That was several years before I became an eBook author. Once I started publishing eBooks, I thought that ‘errors of opinion’ was the perfect attitude to take toward any less-than-favorable reviews. Someone didn’t like a book? They simply have an error of opinion.
The downside in eBook-review world is that the second part of the saying, citing that ‘reason is left free to combat it,’ can’t be exercised there. I’ve always read that to respond to a review, good or bad, is an absolutely no-no. In fact, one person reported on the KDP forums a few months ago that when she responded to a negatively worded 3-star review with an apology because the reader hadn’t liked the book, the reviewer then changed the review to 1 star. I took that cautionary tale as a reinforcement not to respond to any reviews, good or bad.
One also has to think of being equitable. If unfavorable reviews are ‘errors of opinion,’ wouldn’t favorable reviews have to be judged the same way?
Which may be a good reason to stop paying attention to reviews entirely. It’s all subjective, and eBook authors may be best served by ignoring reviews and concentrating on their writing.
(If you think you may be the only person in the world who ever got a bad review, watch this and you won’t feel so alone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5tHwKROuJI ) (In the event the link doesn’t work, it’s under Bestselling Authors Read Mean Reviews.)
Now for a bit of flagrant self-promotion: One month and one day after my goal date for publishing the next Helen Wiels Mystery, it’s finally published. You can find it here: http://amzn.com/B00W85KVRW