I knew, in an abstract sense, that authors have fragile egos. It’s inevitable, when you pour your heart into creating something, that you want people to respond positively. As Stephen King put it, “Authors are needy.” But I honestly wouldn’t have believed the kind of crap that some authors spew at critical reviews, and at the reviewers who write them. Then I started reading the angry reader discussion threads about it on Goodreads, which were often accompanied by extensive documentation.
I mean, it’s great when people love your work, but if others think your work is crap, they’re entitled to their opinions, especially when they’ve bothered to write you a review at all. And I truly despise the common tactic of talking all kinds of trash about the reviewers, making condescending asides and snide remarks about their analytical skills or education, then loftily declaring oneself to be above the fray and unwilling to participate in anything as vulgar as internet flame wars.
Meaning: “I’ve had my say at your expense, but if you respond, you’re a bottom-feeder.”
It’s ridiculous. Honestly, if we as authors are so narcissistic that we think everyone who doesn’t love us must be mentally deranged, then we have no business posting our work in public forums. Come on, people. If you want your audience to take you seriously, then show a hint of professionalism, and maybe even a little gratitude that someone took time out of their day to tell you what they thought of your work.