I had to forcibly stop myself from joining in on a group giving advice to a newer writer. Most said what I was thinking but a few were way off. I decided to spill here because hey, it's my blog, and I can go crazy if I want to.
I have to laugh when I read other more experienced authors telling the new kids on the block not to worry about reviews. What author out there doesn't read reviews? Come on. It's human nature to want to know what others think of your work. The key is not letting reviews bother you. Good or bad, it's one person's opinion, and we've all got different ones. I've written over sixty books and I still like to know what the general feel is about a book. The bad reviews I ignore. The good ones I try to post to Amazon, to generate buzz. If I like the book I wrote, that's all that really matters to me. Sorry, but it's true.
New authors tend to get very excited about piracy. About reviews. About everything. I know. I was a new author, and now I'm not. I also don't claim to know everything about the writing industry. It amuses me to see so many experts who don't seem to know all that much. Those who claim prices on books don't matter, because readers are loyal to publishers and will buy anything they put out, are talking smack. That's crap. Plain and simple. I'm a book addict, and I know many like me. We care about price, people. I refuse to pay seven dollars or more for an ebook. (Okay, I bought a new Jayne Ann Krentz for 12.99 once, so sue me.) It's an electronic book. I don't think I should have to pay that much for the publisher's office, coffee mess, and personnel fees. I understand costs related to cover art, editing, formatting and distribution. But my personal cap is six bucks, and that's pushing it for a 100K plus word novel. There are some readers who will buy whatever an author puts out, because they like the author. But I think pricing influences sales, and you can't convince me otherwise.
Bottom line to new authors: You will get bad reviews. You will be pirated, but the people stealing your work weren't going to pay for it anyway. So you're not losing money, and karma is a bitch. Expensive books don't sell as well as cheaper books unless you already have a huge following. JK Rowling has no problem selling, true. How many writers make millions every year? Very, very few.
Authors helping authors is a wonderful thing. But writers who act like God's gift on the subject of writing are just silly. No one knows everything, and the entire profession is based on subjectivity. Authors should question their publishers, their editors, or critique partners about things that don't make sense to them. Too many times I've seen writers bury their heads in the sand for fear of payback. Well, I'm just going to say it. There is no blacklisting in ebooks. Granted, if you act like an asshat on the loops, readers, writers and professionals will remember your name as that idiot who rants a lot, but asking about late pay, website problems, distribution errors, and the like are legitimate concerns.
I think all of the above applies to writers and nonwriters. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself despite the consequences. Some bosses are idiots, and sometimes coworkers act with the maturity second graders. But if you keep your head above water and do what you know is right, everything works out. That karma thing again.