Earlier this week a friend and fellow author released her latest book. I caught glimpses of the release party through posts on social media and it was heartwarming to see her so excited. She shared with her friends and fans overtime the rating changed on Amazon or a review was posted by someone that had read an advanced copy. She thanked people all day as they continued to show her love and support. It was the kind of release day that makes others like myself feel motivated to get to work on our latest projects.
Then, just as she was flying high and preparing for an event that is actually being held a few hours from now, another review was posted that took the wind right out of her. The person posted a review, which as writers we crave, but they gave away a major plot point from the book essentially ruining it for anyone that read through the reviews after them. I have not read the review since I have her book and still want to read it so I do not know if the review was good or bad but either way it is a terrible thing to have happen.
I have followed her posts since the incident and she is heartbroken. What many do not realize is that authors spend hours of everyday, most days of the week and evens weeks that blend into months on one book. From the initial conception of the idea to plotting, if that is your style, on to the actual writing, editing and beta reading, more editing, artwork design, formatting and publishing then finally marketing the book it takes a very long time. We rarely have a lot of physical evidence to show for a long day's work but our aching fingers from typing, the empty cups of coffee, the tension headache growing in our shoulders, neck and mind are all evidence to us. We are a community and when one of us feels that pain all of us can relate.
I do not know if the person that left the review did it to purposely hurt the author. I hope not. I do know what kind of effect it had though. We love our readers and we live for honest reviews but please, if you don't like a book, tell us why without destroying the story for the next reader to come along. If you do like the book, let the world know but keep the secrets so others can decide for themselves. Writers exist for the readers that support us, all we ask is you allow other readers to make up their own minds instead of giving everything away in spoilers.