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Okay, I know already that this is a bit of a whine, but I'm curious how others would react...

A writer friend (whom I see periodically via groups to which we both belong) recently gave all three of my books 2 stars on Goodreads (all done on the same day, none of the ratings had an accompanying review or comment).

I have done a fair bit to promote her via social media: I interviewed her on my blog and the piece got a lot of views when I posted it, and still gets views when I tweet it. I gave her a lot of pointers and suggestions on promotion when she was starting out. I regularly retweet her, and so on. She came to all three of my launch parties and seemed to have fun and be enthusiastic about my releases.

Her own book is not a genre I enjoy (and she knew that long before it came out). So, I haven't reviewed it, but I do have it "shelved" on Goodreads. She knows I wouldn't do a review that was a lie, and she knows that instead of a review I will (and have) supported her in other ways.

On her own blog - about a year ago - she said the following about me and my books:

The books are fun to read. They're fast-paced and humorous. Each successive book gets better, the writing tighter, the voice and style more assured.

Jill is generous. She gives to her readers and she also gives to fellow writers. She leaves comments on other writers' sites, promotes their works on Twitter and Facebook, and interviews them on her blog. She takes neophytes like me under wing, and shows them how Twitter and other forms of promotion work. She knows that the more she gives, the more she'll get back.


So - it may be that the 2 star ratings were accidental (???) or it may be that I have irked her somehow (???); thus, my question to you is would you ask her about the two stars or not?
 

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First, this post probably ought to move to the Writer's Cafe.

But secondly, I'd let it drop. A friend who doesn't like your work will do the friendly thing and refrain from commenting publicly. Too bad you invested your time and energy in this person. I'd just move on.
 

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edmjill said:
So - it may be that the 2 star ratings were accidental (???) or it may be that I have irked her somehow (???); thus, my question to you is would you ask her about the two stars or not?
Are you naturally a confrontational person?

If so, ask the question.

If you're not, don't.

It seems more likely to me to result in a conflict than not. Some people can live with that outcome. Others would do well to avoid it.

In the end, it's one thing. Don't stress on it.
 

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Do not go down this path.  There is no way to come out of it looking anything other than petty, insecure and whiny with a possible side order of crazy author-lady.

Make peace in your head that she just didn't like your book that much.  She's allowed and she's allowed to say so.
 

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I agree with Andre.

She's allowed not to like the book and that's part and parcel of being a writer. Once it's published it's no longer yours, every reader- friend or foe- is allowed to be truthful.

Would you have preferred she not make the 2 star and come to you to tell you face to face what she felt was wrong about it, and that you need to sort this, this and that out?

If you're open to it then yes, quiz her, but only on the intention you want her feedback to improve your writing and story, not to say "well, you're my friend you should be giving me 5 stars".
 

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Well, you know there are only two types of reviews. Five stars and LIES! ;D ;D

Caring about and reading reviews will make you crazy. She probably got some random review on her book by someone with your first name and thought it was you. Or maybe she's nuttier than a bag of squirrels. Who knows! If you keep thinking about it, you'll have less time for important things like putting bacon on new kinds of food.

ETA: There's an author I see around occasionally who gave one of my books a 2-star on GR. I also won that person's book on a LibraryThing, but didn't read it. I considered asking if that person thought I'd given their book a low review and had retaliated, but then I thought maybe they just hated the book I sent them for free, and even just asking would make me a jerk or imply I thought they were a jerk, so who knows! Maybe they were just mad I didn't read their book at all.

And this is why I really try to avoid reading reviews. No good can come of it. Either your head inflates and you trip over your own genius, or you have to read packs of lies, lies, lies. ;)
 

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Don't go down this path. Just drop it. Seriously. Personally, I'd never give a negative review or rating to a friend or acquaintance (if you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all...), but she has an opinion and the right to express it. Period.

Dalya said:
If you keep thinking about it, you'll have less time for important things like putting bacon on new kinds of food.
I take it someone's been watching "United States of Bacon" or whatever that new show is...
 

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SHIELDS UP. EVASIVE MANEUVERS. DO NOT ENGAGE, I repeat DO NOT ENGAGE.

She's not a friend. Ignore the review and her.
 

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Yeah. Let it go. Then, let the relationship be what you're comfortable with. If this ended it for you, and you don't want to confront her, just back away. If you can get past it but you confront her, it's probably the end anyway.

Sorry. It's a real bummer.

I watched this happen btwn two people I respect a lot on twitter 2 years ago. Someone dinged their mentor with a really 'eh' review that couldn't possibly be read positively then wondered why they never got together any more.

Some people just don't get that these are business relationships and if you can't be supportive, at least don't shoot yourself in the foot.

:(
 

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Furthermore, has anyone suggested burning down their crops, salting the land, AND dropping dead livestock* down the well? Keep that handy in case we need to escalate.  :D {joke}

*Full credit to JR Tomlin
 

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My sister-in-law gave my first book (and the only book of mine she's ever reviewed) 3 stars on her GR review. I told my husband and his first reaction was "WTF? She's family."  

Well, at the end of the day, not everyone's going to like my book. Even family. I admit that it took me awhile to get past it. Would I have preferred that she just not review it at all? Yes. But she did, and that's that. I've never asked her about it because it just feels like a can of worms that should stay closed.

We can't control what others do- just what we do. If she's still supportive of you, I wouldn't even mess with it. If she's not supportive anymore, or you feel like it's all take and no give on her part? I'd probably just stop giving.
 

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She's not a friend.

^This. Not because she left you a 2 star review. Not even if she left you a 1 star. But because we use the term "friend" way too loosely, then get our feelings hurt (I blame Facebook). A friend is probably not some random person you "know" online that you cross paths with from time to time. A FRIEND is someone who will drive 45 minutes over to your house and rip out the carpet in your hall bathroom and dispose of it, mop the floor and wash the walls down after your toilet overflows 2 days after your grandmother dies while your husband is out of town.

If they're not in that category, don't get bent about the "friendship" issue either.
 

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I would drop it and move on. That was her opinion. However, it's kind of a risky move to give bad reviews to a friend. She risked losing a valuable friendship. It's not a move I would care to make. It's tough to tag someone with a bad review and then expect them to smile, suck it up, and have tea with you. Some will, but many will hold a grudge. That's the nature of human behavior. We're not saints who endlessly forgive (even if we should). Clearly, she accepted the risks and shouldn't be surprised at all if it backfires.
 

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AndreSanThomas said:
She's not a friend.

^This. Not because she left you a 2 star review. Not even if she left you a 1 star. But because we use the term "friend" way too loosely, then get our feelings hurt (I blame Facebook).
Your definition of a friend, yes. But someone who leaves you a two-star review isn't even a friendly acquaintance or a friendly person you occasionally interact with socially.

A friend or friendly acquaintance would pull you aside and quietly tell you your fly's unzipped. She would say nothing about the book, or tell you she didn't like it and why, and you'd discuss it privately.

One who would leave you a two-star review in public--a couple of them, especially--would let you take a public-speaking podium, cup her hands together and shout, "Pull your skirt out of your buttcrack!" That's not even the kind of acquaintance you really want to waste time on, IMO.
 

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Dalya said:
Well, you know there are only two types of reviews. Five stars and LIES! ;D ;D

Caring about and reading reviews will make you crazy. She probably got some random review on her book by someone with your first name and thought it was you. Or maybe she's nuttier than a bag of squirrels. Who knows! If you keep thinking about it, you'll have less time for important things like putting bacon on new kinds of food.

ETA: There's an author I see around occasionally who gave one of my books a 2-star on GR. I also won that person's book on a LibraryThing, but didn't read it. I considered asking if that person thought I'd given their book a low review and had retaliated, but then I thought maybe they just hated the book I sent them for free, and even just asking would make me a jerk or imply I thought they were a jerk, so who knows! Maybe they were just mad I didn't read their book at all.

And this is why I really try to avoid reading reviews. No good can come of it. Either your head inflates and you trip over your own genius, or you have to read packs of lies, lies, lies. ;)
True. It is best not to go there and even better not to read the reviews, although almost all of us do. ;)

I alternate between tripping over my genius and whining about the packs of lies, lies, lies.
 

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I think a lot of the people commenting missed the fact you said she gave all three of your books a TWO-star rating without a review on the same day. However, even taking that into account (and I think it pretty much indicates, especially with the comment you quoted that she previously wrote, that they aren't genuine ratings), I still would just cross her off as a friend, stop doing anything to promote her work or help her, and figure there are people like that in every crowd. Make other friends.
 

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I'm a bit intrigued about the praise and then the low rating. Puzzling.

But on the whole, and in principle, I agree with previous posters. Though personally I'd like to know how she connects the glowing praise and the two stars. Mind you, not to try changing her mind. Just to know her reasoning. It could be that she was rating a bunch of books and just made a mistake…

I would certainly not do anything in public, but if we were once on good terms, I would be tempted to ask her what her scale of rating is in a private email. Even then it's a tricky situation, so maybe better not…

These kind of situations is (a.o.) why I don't review. While I have some very good writer-friends I make it a point now to tell them early on that I won't review and rate their books but that I will be glad to give them my opinion in private.
 
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