I’m apparently not good enough to use my Barnes & Noble gift certificate to purcase NOOKbooks from their website. Why? Because I don’t have a credit card.
Pardon me, but why should I be required to enter credit card information when I have a perfectly good gift cerficate? Hell, I have to enter credit card information if I want to download a free NOOKbook.
I tried to get in touch with B&N for some kind of explanation. After being ignored, I was given a slew of form letter responses that all recited the same talking point:
All publishers require that the eBooks they submit, including free eBooks, are encrypted for each customer. Currently, the “unlock” device is the billing name and credit card number of the primary credit card on your Barnes & Noble account.
I might buy into that if it wasn’t for the fact that when I use my Amazon.com gift certificate, I am never prompted or required to enter credit card information. Did B&N have a response to that? No, of course not. Just the same corporate blather.
Amazon’s customer service isn’t exactly top of the pops, but it’s exemplery compared to Barnes & Noble.
So, if B&N won’t allow me to use my gift certifcate, I can’t do anything other than continue to shop for ebooks exclusively with Amazon. It’s just a shame that an archaic policy by B&N prevents them from stealing some business away from Amazon. Although, the gift certificate is already bought and paid for, so why should they give a rat’s ass if I actually get what I want?
Note to thin-skinned authors: This too shall pass ...
Okay, here’s the thing: If you’re an author who has received an unfavorable review from a book blogger, you can do one of two things. You can demonstrate a measure of grace and civility, and accept the fact that not everyone you solicit for a review is going to like it. Or … you can do what Sylvia Massara did.
Now, Massara asserts the negative reviews were trashy. They weren’t. In fact, they were sincere and downright diplomatic. Nothing over the top or mean-spirited at all. So, Massara’s knee-jerk response came off all the more unprofessional by publicly lambasting them. If nothing else, she’s managed to deter a whole lot of potential readers from her work in the foreseeable future.
So, now she has to go on damage control—and doing a pretty poor job of it so far, as near as I can tell.
As a writer, I can certainly appreciate the frustration of negative comments about your written work. But, if you can’t cope with the fact that some readers simply will not lavish praise upon you and your novel, you had better start. And as a book blogger, I can count myself as lucky to have yet feel the wrath of a huffy author with a chip on their shoulder.
When I write a negative review, I do my best to be fair and diplomatic. I don’t deride the author, and I even do what I can to point out positives I saw in the book. And I don’t think I’ve ever outright told people to avoid a book I’ve reviewed. We’re all rational people—I would hope—and can make up our own minds on what we want to read.
So, for future reference, if you read a negative review of your book that you feel is unfair and without merit, I’d encourage you to e-mail the reviewer rather than post a pissy blog about it. Because, chances are you’re going to be the one who looks like the jackass—not them.