Way back in the misty dawn of 2010, the denizens of the Absolute Write fora (which is still an ongoing concern, but without me, because busy) folks used to talk about the ABM: the Author’s Big Mistake. What was it?
Responding to reviews.
Supposedly, arguing with readers who left reviews was one of the worst things an author could do, because no one ever changed their minds, no one was ever impressed, and it made the author look like a slow-motion train wreck. So much drama over one unhappy opinion!
Do not. DO NOT, argue with reviewers about your books. It's arrogant to tell them their experience of your work is incorrect.
— James S.A. Corey (@JamesSACorey) May 21, 2015
Which leads to this review on the MilSF novella by [asshole author who self-Googles], called Big Boys Don’t Cry. Dude gets a negative review, dares the reader to lower it to one-star (which, if you have a bunch of five-stars, is better than the “meh” of a three-star review) and later goes all troll apoplectic on the reviewer.
Normally, I’d think the guy was being a fool, but in this case? Nope. [Asshole author who self-Googles] is busy marketing himself as an anti-feminist culture warrior; what better way to rally the troops than to have a public argument with someone on the other side? What better way to bring attention to his work than with a big, public stink?
(And yes, I know I’m “helping” him get more attention, but whatever. the author himself seems like a real creep, but maybe there are readers out there who would like it? Who knows.)
With books, you don’t need a huge readership to be a success. Even if badmouthing lefties drives away some potential readers, it will probably bring in even more on his side (plus, the ones he brings in are likely to be in his target audience). “So-and-so is being an asshole… for our side!”
Controversy! It’s not always a bad thing.