I have given lessons in this, so I know. Pay attention, because just gone viral, online, is how NOT to respond to a review.
A woman named Jaqueline Howett has apparently self-published a novel entitled The Greek Seaman (that’s a sailor, you nasty-minded folk). She received a mixed review online from someone named ‘Big Al’, who thought her story was compelling, but that there were so many grammatical and typographical confusions in the text that he felt most readers would not bother to unravel them in order to reach the rather good story.
The author’s response was to claim he had downloaded the ‘wrong’ version, and she posted good reviews from elsewhere to ‘prove’ there was nothing wrong with her book. Then she claimed that she knew who ‘Big Al’ was and he had a vendetta against her. Other readers posted lines from the book which might have been the type that had caused ‘Big Al’ difficulty, such as
“She carried her stocky build carefully back down the stairs.”
“Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance.”
At which point Ms Howett lost it. Completely. Utterly. Among her responses:
My writing is just fine!
Look AL, I’m not in the mood for playing snake with you, what I read above has no flaws. My writing is fine
You are a big rat and a snake with poisenous venom. Lots of luck to authors who come here and slip in that!
But my favourite part of the entire sorry saga is the poster who said that, after these posts, ‘I dont think I’m alone in saying, I wouldn’t read your book now if it came with a free puppy.’ Which may be the best one-line review I have ever read.