I just came across a wonderful blog entry by Laurie Gold who provides book reviews for Publishers Weekly called “The Painful Side of Reviewing.” In it, Gold reveals that the painful side of writing a negative book review isn’t having to read a bad book. Rather, it’s having to hurt an author’s (and a publisher’s) feelings.
Yes, Laurie, you’re right. Authors (like all of us) have fragile egos and would rather be praised than criticized. And yet … the one thing that authors like even better than to have their egos stoked is to have Publishers Weekly — or any influential print or online media outlet — acknowledge their books with reviews.
Negative criticism can hurt an author’s feelings, indeed. But any author who’s granted the book promotion opportunity that a book review, good or bad, provides is far less hurt than the majority of authors out there whose books stand little, or no, chance of garnering major book reviews.
Any book review is probably better than no book review at all, just as — to paraphrase the old saying — any book promotion is good book promotion.