Another place to watch answering-the-critics car wrecks - on Amazon.com Customer Reviews. Some authors use the "Comments" function to answer/blast readers who give them a bad review. (The State of Jones folks are doing this to debate some of their one-stars.)He adds, "It is tough to watch people trash your 'baby,' but arguing with them is a bad idea."
A good indicator of which authors might be prone to do this is to note which ones go into a state of rage when publishers turn down their manuscripts (see doozy here).
Francis Hamit adds:
That e-mail I sent you about bad book reviews was not a "press release". You were the only recipient. I don't mind having a dialog on this topic, but since I have over a dozen favorable reviews for "The Shenandoah Spy" a badly done one simply makes its author look bad and, frankly, I expect better from academics than a "once over lightly" approach which would earn any of their students a "C". As I said, I used to be a book reviewer for the Los Angeles Daily News. There are standards for reviews and rule number one is that you are supposed to read the entire book. Anything less is cheating. People rely upon book reviews for insights into the quality of the text and insights into what the book is about. My concern here is not whether or not the review might be negative or prejudicial, but whether or not it is accurate and fair. How can it be fair if the reviewer hasn't bothered to read the entire text and grasp the author's intention?