I am a fairly new Goodreads user and am still learning the ropes. I started by just adding books that I’ve read in the past and then began reading other reviews. One of the first things to catch my eye was that there are several authors who seem to react poorly to reviews of their work. In some cases, they would just comment on the review and ask the reader questions. Other times, the author would try to defend their work. There are those rare cases in which the author becomes abusive to the reviewer. Most of the reviews in question are well written and fair to both the book and the author. The most recent example was an author who actually called the reviewer a “douche” because she didn’t finish her book (the subject material was too touchy for her.) This reviewer didn’t even rate the book and was extremely thoughtful in her review. (Not to mention, a woman calling another woman a “douche” is just about the silliest thing I’ve ever read. This says more about the author than any reviewer could ever write.)
Here’s the thing, Goodreads is a site for READERS! This means that I should be able to go onto the site and see someone’s honest opinion. I’ve read blog posts from some authors who believe you shouldn’t review or rate a book if you can’t give it four or five stars. This, honestly, makes no sense to me. Some of the best (and funniest) reviews I’ve read have been for books that were rated 1 or 2 stars. And, guess what, those reviews didn’t keep me from reading a book that I would have otherwise picked up.
If you are going to put your work out there into the big, bad world then you should expect to receive criticism. There will be those who love what you did, those who are indifferent and those who hate it. That’s life. Get over it.