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How Not to Respond to Negative Reviews: The Anne Rice Edition

April 29th, 2013 by · 15 Comments · Book Reviews


I don’t mention book reviews much on this blog but a particular review caught my attention today. The review itself was a good read, but the fallout when fans of the author responded to the review is another story.

The comments were so entertaining and so incendiary that I could not help but share them.

Last week, Kayleigh Herbertson, editor of the Articulate and Intricate book blog, posted a review of Pandora by Anne Rice. The tl;dr version is that she found the book to be a poorly written novel where the vampires didn’t act like vampires.

The review was well-written, IMO, even though the reviewer didn’t like the book. I’m not an Anne Rice fan but I still like reading the review; it reminded me why I don’t read Anne Rice. And after Herbertson was done writing the review she took the book, which was already falling apart, and turned it into decoupage.

Now, with most reviews the story would end here. Few authors would have found the review, and if they did they might (at worst) respond directly to the reviewer with a nasty comment.

But not Anne Rice. This author chose to respond by posting a link on her Facebook page (where her 740 thousand Facebook followers could find it) and appended the invitation: “Comments most welcome.”.

Thousands of Ann Rice fans clicked the link and read the review.  At last count there were some 750 comments on that topic on Facebook as well as another 289 comments on the review itself.

Here is a selection of the more entertaining responses:

  • You bitch! >:(
  • INSANE. To destroy a book like that is honestly the most disrespectful, idiotic thing anyone could ever do. An opinion is an opinion, but to do that… loved the rich descriptive narrative and historical context and character development (the other reason I read them).
  • “I couldn’t simply write my opinion I had to be a destructive little shit aren’t i awesome?”
  • Even if you dont like a book i dont get why you have to destroy it, Nazi memories perhaps? What you may dont get it is that a vampire is different from one another and a vampire drink less blood when he or she become more powerfull specially after the fight with Akasha, You even read the entire saga? You say is the second novel so i think no is the answer, anyway an interesting way to ask for atention to you and your blog.

The comments left on Facebook are almost as bad, though not quite as entertaining.

P.S. And if you think this was a fluke, check out Ann Rice’s response to negative reviews on Amazon. It is 1100 words long, a single paragraph, and it is truly epic.


15 Comments so far ↓

  • Juli Monroe

    Anne needs to parse her sentences better. In her response, I particularly liked this line: “I’m justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks…”

    Never mind the utter patronizing attitude there. I just laughed at the “intellectual giant in trailer parks” image. I know what she meant, but my interpretation is also grammatically accurate.

    It was even better that she followed it up with this: “I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status.”

    Yep. That’s obvious. And it’s why I stopped reading her years ago.

    Thanks for the laugh, Nate!

  • Jean K

    What, again? Sheesh. Talk about cyclical insanity. Anne needs to stop reading reviews of her stuff. It’s clearly not good for her mental health, or for her credibility as an author who refuses to use an editor.

    Someone could make an internet show out of this: “When Authors Attack…”

  • DavidW

    Why now? Pandora was published 15 years ago! Hamilton has done something similar btw, she couldn’t take all of the hate directed at the path the Anita Blake series went.

  • The Commons

    Though the reaction to the review was out of line (to put it mildly), the arts and crafts project was over the top and in somewhat poor taste. If it’s really that terrible, just toss it into the recycling bin.

  • Patrick

    For someone who’s fought for her right to not have an editor and won’t go back, it’s strange how much care she takes for the random persons review, online.

  • Angela Booth

    Anne Rice posted this comment on her Facebook page yesterday: “Thanks, guys for a spirited discussion. I think reviews negative and positive are good food for discussion. And I hope Miss Articulate is pleased with the numbers who have discovered her blog.”

    Is she being snide, or what?

    I feel sorry for the poor blogger. Some of the comments are horrendous. She should just hit the Delete button.

  • Justin B.

    Sigh…. I feel like I’ve been having to clarify this for all the blog, sensationalizing this whole incident. First off, Anne Rice never posted the link to incite the proverbial lynch mob. She merely posted the link, as a way of opening up discussion. There was never any preface on her part that said “HOW DARE THIS EVIL BLOGGER CUT UP MY BOOKS, AND USE IT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CREATING CRAFTS?
    This is just another attempt to incite a second internet mob, and rile up the LiveJournal elitists, who thrive on this type of melodrama. The bloggers involved in this are acting more classy than the auxiliary blogs like this page and the awful Mary Sue article.
    Miss Articulate is a great blogger, and I apologized for overreacting earlier on Anne Rice’s FB page. I wrote this response to all fans of Anne Rice,who read my blog:

    • Nate Hoffelder

      Except that the author has a responsibility for setting the tone. Did she rebuke anyone for attacking the reviewer on her behalf?

    • Samantha

      Sorry, but I don’t buy that she posted that link without knowing exactly what kind of responses it would elicit. She would have to be completely clueless not to have.

    • David Gaughran

      I think authors with passionate armies on social media (which Anne Rice definitely has) have to be extremely careful. All they need to do is post a link to a negative review – without any inciting words – and the reviewer will get thrashed and threatened.

      Anyone who has built up a social media following like that knows exactly what power it has, and need to be very very careful where they direct the horde. It’s not cool to set the mob on a reviewer. Not cool at all.

      All authors get negative reviews. All of them. You know what the best response is to a review which pisses you off? Nothing. Ignore it. Move on. If you place no stock in it, they stop bothering you pretty quickly.

  • Nadia

    Who writes a review in a book read out of sequence!?? I don’t particularly love Anne rice to death but her books are good and honestly she wrote the book she should have the right to feel protective of her work and when it’s bashed on like this blogger did and with the amount of fans Rice has she should have expected something like this or worse. At least she’s famous now and she has more blog readers

    • GW

      1) The blogger herself said she wasn’t aware the book was part of a sequence.

      2) Whether Rice’s books are good is a matter of opinion. I do not understand pillorying this blogger for voicing hers.

      3) That was a pretty mild review. “Bashing” accurately describes some of the responses it got, however.

      4) Do you honestly think that Rice’s rabid fans would have even discovered this blog if Rice herself hadn’t pointed them to it?

  • Amy Weber

    Irony from someone whose real name is not Anne Rice. She needs to grow up and realize you can’t sensor people’s opinions. A bad review is not “bullying”. If she wants the bad reviews to stop, she’ll have better luck using an editor than taking people’s right to privacy. Remember what she did to her neighbor in New Orleans? She is the bully.

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