A policy on reviews

Most writers, I believe, handle reviews just fine, or else know they don’t handle them fine and don’t read them. It’s a minority of writers who react badly to them, but said bad reactions happen just often enough that they’ve made the whole business of readers talking about books with other readers less comfortable than I, personally, feel like it ought to be. So today, after learning about a site that goes so far as to respond to snarky Goodreads reviewers by outing them and sharing their personal information, I felt it was time to add this to my Goodreads profile:

A note from the author: I use Goodreads to keep track of books I’ve read. I don’t use it to troll reviews of the books I’ve written. Know that you can talk about my books safely here. Love them or hate them, I won’t show up in comments to take issue or take offense. I’m honored that you’re engaging with my work (thank you!), and believe the best way I can express my gratitude is by staying out of the way so that you can continue to talk about it, unhindered.

This applies to reviews of my work other places, too, unless I’m directly invited in to comment.

I believe deeply in the right of readers to have strong opinions about the books they read and to express them. Maybe if other writers who feel the same way begin adding similar statements to their profiles, this will help balance the occasional bout of bad behavior and help make the blogosphere feel like a more comfortable space for readers to just hang out and talk books, in whatever way they choose.

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