Since my memoir was self published in Oct., I've paid for 6 or 7 reviews from popular and well known review sites. Several of them were bad in the sense that it was obvious the reviewer didn't either fully read the book or just skimmed over as quickly as possible. Fortunately, my faith was restored when I received 2 or 3 reviews where I can see the reviewer actually read the whole thing.
It was very frustrating, I paid for my book to be read. This latest incident was over the top- the reviewer copied and pasted one or two sentences from the synopsis found on the back cover of my book at the beginning of each paragraph followed by one or two sentences he wrote that didn't really show he read the book. Not only that, but in each paragraph he made references that weren't even in my book. I wrote him an email and let him know and he followed up his review with the corrections I sent him, but then got one of those wrong!
I would love to give him a piece of my mind, but he's a local reviewer here in my city and I'm afraid of backlash that would just make me look like I'm a whining author. I don't want to turn off any possible connections in my hometown.
How do you handle it when it's so obvious the reviewer didn't even read your book?
As other have suggested, paying for reviews is a bad idea. Aside from the ethical issues involved, you are not likely to make enough in additional sales to cover the cost of the reviews.
As far as the general issue of how to react when a review gets the book wrong, I recommend that writers simply shrug and move on. It's difficult to argue with a reviewer and achieve any sort of positive result thereby. If the argument happens someplace like an Internet forum, the writer runs the risk of looking like an arrogant, thin-skinned jerk who lashed out at some poor reader simply for having the temerity to express an opinion. This can happen no matter how valid one's case is.
Thanks, that was my thought as well.
Aren't we ALL, to some degree, arrogant, thin-skinned jerks? LOL!
I agree. Don't get into an argument with the reviewer, especially in a public forum. Besides, no matter how good or successful your book is, there will be people who will hate it. It's just a fact of life. I love Steinbeck, don't love Fitzgerald. Personal preference. Let it pass.
First, I wouldn't suggest paying for reviews. Reviews from people like that are like dogs that come out of puppy mills. They may sound good, but are not the real deal and, well, it shows.
As far as reviewers getting it wrong or panning your book, take your lumps and move on. The best piece of advice I ever read was that you should write only to please yourself, otherwise you please nobody.
In this case, I would think twice before sending this reviewer your next book.