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Saturday, 9 April 2011

What happened when author Jacqueline Howett fired back at the critics

We've all had that sinking feeling when we've received stinging feedback. It could have been a poem you wrote at school or an essay that your lecturer didn't like at college. It could even have been a heartfelt letter you wrote to a boyfriend or girlfriend that somehow missed its mark. It feels like someone has stood on your efforts with both feet.

I was just reading the Abu Dhabi newspaper, The National, and I came across an article that mentioned an author who struck back when she read bad reviews on Amazon's Customer Reviews.

What follows is a hilarious reciprocal rant between the reviewer "Big Al" and the female author, "Jacqueline Howett". Big Al's blog of book reviews went from 20 hits a day to 200,000 a day which is amazing!! You should read some of them for they are as vitriolic and as acid in tone as anything you'll read!!

Here's the original article -

"This time last week, Jacqueline Howett was just another hopeful writer, eagerly awaiting positive feedback for her recently self-published debut novel, The Greek Seaman. And, happily, she was getting some, from the admittedly amorphous mass of critical opinion that is Amazon's customer reviews.

Little did she know, however, that it would be a less than supportive review that would secure her the kind of literary stardom of which she could previously only have dreamed. Unfortunately for Howett, she was, for a brief while, an internet phenomenon for all the wrong reasons."

As writers, we can all learn from this. What we should do when we receive a bad review is take it for what it is and throw it away into the dustbins of our minds. This kind of "ordinary-man-on-the-Clapham-omnibus" form of book appraisal is only going to get more prevalent as more and more people turn to become self reviewers and bypass the traditional form of literary criticism. is that a good thing or just a sign of the times?

Here's a brief riposte from the author:

"Who are you any way? Really who are you?
What do we know about you?

You never downloaded another copy you liar!
You never ever returned to me an e-mail

Besides if you want to throw crap at authors you should first ask their permission if they want it stuck up on the internet via e-mail. That debate is high among authors.

Your the target not me!
Now get this review off here!"

Ouch! No holds barred there!

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