I recently read the most horrendous book review that had me cringing on behalf of the author. My first reaction was sympathy towards this person because I know how I would have felt should my book have been so poorly reviewed. But when I read through it again, I realised that the reviewer was actually doing the author a favour; she was giving constructive criticism in the form of feedback. It was negative feedback nonetheless, but the reviewer had taken the time to read the book and offer their opinion. The reviewer was polite in the approach they used; they attempted very graciously to make the author see that she could do better, and they also made a point of saying they wished the author success with their next book. The fact that the author was shocked to see such a bad review and made it very clear in her response, did unfortunately take away the reviewer's optimism for any future sales. What the author failed to do was thank the reviewer for spending three days of valuable time reading a book she hadn't really enjoyed.
It doesn't make any sense to me that an author, or indeed anyone asking for a review on their product, will require feedback but can't seem to accept it if it's negative. Unless that feedback is downright rude and nasty, then it should be read as constructive. There is always room for improvement, no matter who we are. In this case, the review was polite and informative, and far from being unnecessary. None of us like to receive negative feedback and none of us like being criticised, but it happens. We all have the ability to take it on board, hold our head up high, and move on. If we don't, we may never improve. And those who think they don't need to improve aren't living in the real world. I suspect the author I read about assumes they are above the rest of us, which made me wonder why they felt they needed a review in the first place. On some occasions I have read glowing book reviews and the author still feels put out because they didn't get five stars on Amazon. None of us are perfect. But we're all capable of trying harder. Personally, I'd rather read a review on a product or book that tells me a little about what is being offered. After all, when we're about to part with our money, we like to know what we're going to get in return. Don't we?