Pub Rants

Mea Culpa—Never A Position Of Strength

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STATUS: Ack. Is it really almost 1:30 in the afternoon? Time to hit that TO DO list hard.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? LONESOME TOWN by Ricky Nelson

Or another title might be—don’t tweet in anger if you don’t like your book review.

I’m not sure how many of you have followed the Alice Hoffman Tweet debacle but here is briefly what happened. After a non-positive review in the Boston Globe by reviewer Roberta Silman, Author Alice Hoffman shot off 27 twitter tweets in response—one of the tweets included Silman’s email and telephone number and Hoffman urged her fans to respond to the review.

Uh, authors don’t do this. A reviewer is entitled to his or her opinion (hence, the point of reviews).

If you don’t like a review, you don’t like it. Move on. Trust me, mea culpas are not a position of strength. Regardless of whether you are justified or not, this does not put you, the author, in a positive light.

And, as Hoffman realized, you’re just going to end up having to issue an apology through your PR firm.

Now I think you can tweet about how sad you are about the bad review but why draw attention to it? Lots of readers pay very little attention to reviews. Recommends by friends are the largest seller of books. Your friend might not have remembered the Globe review but they might remember this tweet debacle.

So what will be accomplished? Is all publicity good publicity? Maybe this was a great promo stunt and readers will wonder whether they agree with the Globe reviewer and thus buy the book to read it?

What do you blog readers think?

My thought? I think people reading about this incident will just think Ms. Hoffman can’t handle criticism and maybe that old adage applies: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Criticism and bad reviews are a risk in publishing.

70 Responses

  1. Mike Brendan said:

    I think we’re in agreement there. The rules of the Egoless Writer apply in full force here, and it looks like Hoffman didn’t consider rule #1: “It’s not about you.”

    Plus, giving out the reviewer’s contact info was crass. In my mind that’s the real career killer

  2. nkrell said:

    Ouch. That hurts. Especially putting information out there like that. The sad thing is, with everything documented on the www, there’s no way to erase what’s been done. Good to know. Memo to me, keep pub rants to myself. (Why yes, that is a play on words)

  3. Anna Claire said:

    The weirdest thing is that the review wasn’t even that bad. And Silman prefaced the whole thing by saying how much she loved an earlier book by Hoffman.

    Maybe Twitter needs some kind of delay-post thing like Google mail has…a button pops up: “Are you SURE you want to tweet this?”

  4. Scott said:

    Dang, talk about having a bad hair day! Didn’t she ever hear – if you can’t saysomething nice, don’t say anything at all.

    I’m not sure if it will hurt her sales or not. She certainly acted in a very unprofessional manner and might have possibility alienated many people in the publishing industry. Not a good thing in this market.


  5. Novice Writer Anonymous said:

    While it’s hard to say what this incident will do to her readership, I would venture to speculate that this will make people less likely to review her books in the future. And I can only imagine what sort of influence that would have on the word-of-mouth for her books. Not to mention what a poor spotlight this shines on her for future connections in the publishing world.


    Novice Writer Anonymous

  6. Nat said:

    I agree with Anna. So many horrific twitter moments could be avoided if the writer had to wait a few minutes before publishing a tweet.

    I doubt this publicity will help her. If she’s lucky some of her loyal fans might keep reading, but I know I’d never buy one of her books.

  7. Marie said:

    Well, I guess I won’t be picking up any Alice Hoffman books. I can’t stand authors who act like crazy divas. Definitely counts as negative press for me!

  8. Anonymous said:

    In the end, it’s not going to make any difference one way or the other. Are people who were genuinely going to buy it now planning to boycott it?

    No, of course not.

    And there’s the Truth That Dare Not Be Spoken … the vast majority of the internet is just not that powerful a sales tool for the vast majority of authors.

    No one gives a flying one about Twitter, for example, except journalists. Regulars on this site should know this – Felicia Day twittered about one of Nelson’s clients and Amazon linked the book … the Amazon sales ranking stayed just where it was all week.

    The internet is brilliant for buying books, but that’s actually bad news for most authors – a customer who buys a new, full price book now is just a chump. Go to Amazon Marketplace or Bookfinder, for heaven’s sake.

    Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover, for example came out less than three weeks ago – $17 cover price, $10 on Amazon.

    Quick survey – a lot of books get promoted on this site. How many have *you* bought new – actually spent money on, not ‘thought about buying’ or ‘liked the look of’ – that you wouldn’t have bought anyway? One?

  9. Anonymous said:

    Don’t go after the reviewer in any way. Rise above it and take the high road. Damage control is the only way to go. Pull out all the good reviews you’ve ever received, gather up the awards and best blurbs you’ve won, and bury the bad review as fast as you can. Surround yourself with loyal fans and good friends for support.

    Then have a good tall glass of vodka and move on.

    I suffered one of the worst, most vicious reviews ever to hit the world wide web a few months ago, for a book that earned excellent reviews in other places. It was so hideous it was more like a roast, (where the reviewer laughed at it), than a typical negative review.

    But there’s nothing you can do, and lashing out in public only makes it worse.

    Sorry for posting anon, but I’m still taking the high road…as hard as that is to do. And you do get over it sooner than you might think 🙂

  10. Aimee K. Maher said:

    This is a hard question for me. Some say any publicity is good publicity. Then again, what do you want to be remembered for? Class and dignity, or tantrums?

  11. Kat Harris said:

    As a former entertainment editor, thank you so much for this post.

    I can’t express how important it is for people to take criticism with a grain of salt.

    Look at it this way:

    An author/musician/director (whatever is being reviewed) may have a lot at stake in the review, but the critic has their reputation at stake in offering their opinion, too.

    The public wants an honest critique, not something that has been sugarcoated to protect the feelings of the artist.

  12. jessjordan said:

    I’m sure I’ll think of something clever to say later, but right now, my eyes are bulging from my head.

    Suffice it to say I share your jelly bean flavor on this issue.

  13. Anonymous said:

    She is a media relations person’s worst nightmare. You never, ever draw attention to something negative in the press, unless it’s a flat-out lie and completely incorrect (And even then, this isn’t exactly the way to handle it. A call to the BG editor and a Tweet about how “you can’t win ’em all” with a link to a great review might have been better) — doing so simply elevates what might be a 1-day story to a 2 or 3 or more-day story. Like this one.

    Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.

  14. Anna Letha said:

    I never would have even seen the review if not for all the blogging done about what a knee-jerk reaction the author had to it. Of course that’s not my style of book so I likely wouldn’t have read it anyway, if I’d even heard of the book. So I suppose the point is moot in my case.

    Regardless, the author threw a tantrum and now looks foolish. Not a good thing in my opinion and something that I would have avoided if I’d been her.

  15. Aimee K. Maher said:

    See, now I’m just the opposite. I’m tempted to read it now because somewhere deep inside me I want the reviewer to be right. Sick and sad, but it’s a sale.

  16. soltie said:

    Didn’t hear about the slightly-poor review. Did hear about the resulting snitfest.

    Taking a lesson from that.

  17. Jeff said:

    I would have never heard of this novel had it not been for this debacle. I would say this follows the adage of “there is no such thing as bad publicity”

  18. jason evans said:

    I cringe whenever I see an author respond to a negative review. Even if it’s done in a remote location, like on a blog. Somehow it’s just impossible to do it and come out giving a good impression of yourself.

  19. Keren David said:

    This is what the British YA author Melvin Burgess had to say about a review he didn’t much like about his new book Nicholas Dane. I read the review in question and it just made me want to read Nicholas Dane all the more – partly to see what I think of the reviewer’s opinion.

    Melvin Burgess wrote: Of course the trouble with bad reviews is, you just can’t answer back. Any argument from an author about how good his book sounds ridiculous. People have been very nice and hissed darkly about how he’ll regret it, and how spiteful it sounds and so on. I’ll have to leave it to others. People slagging your work of in public is never nice – one reason why I never review myself; you have to meet these people later on. The phrase about “the vermin critic” springs to mind. In the end, though, you always have to bear in mind that it’s just one person’s opinion, even though, of course, it’s easier to think that when it’s a bad review and rather than a good one, which is of course, an objective thing. The overall thing is – what are the reviews and feedback like over all? So far, with Nick Dane, very good.

  20. Anonymous said:

    Maybe there’s more going on here? This isn’t Alice Hoffman’s first book. What is it, number 20 or more? Can’t be her first bad review. Maybe Hoffman has a lot going on and just snapped and the critic took a bigger hit than she deserved. I don’t know. Helpful, it wasn’t. Career ending? I doubt it. Readers won’t care. Other critics might care, but as long as Hoffman stops lashing out at them, no one will know.

    Something like 12% of Americans read newspapers. Most of those readers read a newspaper that no longer has (or never had) a book review section. Of those newspaper readers who read a paper which includes a book review section, around 10% of those readers actually read the book reviews.

    There are more readers of the placemats in truck-stops than there are readers of book reviews.

    And if you say that the truck-stop readers don’t buy books, I’d say wake up. If you think literary hipsters are the consumers who turn a new novel into a bestseller, you’re on literary crack.

  21. Rebecca Knight said:

    This kind of thing makes me cringe, too.

    It’s like on the Bachelor when someone doesn’t get a rose and goes off kicking and screaming, instead of walking out with their head held high. Take it with some dignity, people, and you’ll come off looking better than ever.

    I think more highly of people who respond well to criticism than folks who only get positive feedback in most cases.

    Stay dignified and professional.

  22. Anonymous said:

    A review — ANY review — has more to do with the reviwer than the writer or the book, imo.

    Ignore it and rise above. Be thankful someone bothered to write anything, most books get zero publicity. Responding to bad reviews makes you look like an ass.

  23. Anonymous said:

    ‘Maybe Hoffman has a lot going on and just snapped’

    Or maybe it’s Twitter, and people haven’t worked out that having a searchable database of every passing thought and fart you’ve ever formed permanently archived isn’t a good thing.

    Writers should know better, just because Twittering is stage one of the ninety seven stages of writing a novel – ‘have a passing thought you think others will want to share’. It’s the other ninety six stages that are the difficult ones, of course.

  24. Anonymous said:

    ‘The rules of the Egoless Writer apply’

    I’ve heard of that guy – he lives with the unicorns and pixies in the magical land of Muh.

    Here’s what Alice Hoffman does for a living: tries to get you to spend $25 reading 100,000 words she wrote. Trying to do that without an ego would be as pointless as being a fighter pilot without a plane.

    If she spends six months writing something and someone spends sixty minutes throwing together a review of it that’s barely more than a bunch of half-formed nonsense, she’s going to get upset. Yeah, she shouldn’t use Twitter. Neither should anyone else.

  25. J.T. Oldfield said:

    Regarding “there is no bad publicity” and the like: had I heard of this book before? No. And now whenever anyone mentions Alice Hoffman, as in, my book group was thinking of reading a book by Alice Hoffman, I will likely say, isn’t that that crazy writer who gave out a reviewers personal info on Twitter and then her publicist made her delete her account and apologize? I probably won’t read this book–or any of her others–now, because this memory leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  26. Jude said:

    It will definitely make me think long and hard about ever buying one of her books again, and I was a major fan.

  27. lindacassidylewis said:

    ‘Maybe Hoffman has a lot going on and just snapped’

    I suspect this may be the case. Just the week before she was on Barnes and Nobles Center Stage and, misunderstanding a comment made by the moderator, went off on a rant.

    I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  28. Anonymous said:

    ‘I probably won’t read this book–or any of her others–now, because this memory leaves a bad taste in my mouth.’

    It’s her twenty first novel – she wrote Practical Magic and Aquamarine. If she writes the sort of thing you’re interested in and you hadn’t come across her yet, you probably weren’t ever going to, and she’s got on just fine without you for thirty years.

    And ‘bad taste in the mouth’? Really? Really, really? Author doesn’t like lazy review, says so on Twitter and *you* end up offended? Weird.

  29. Icy Roses said:

    Even if it doesn’t affect her sales, it’s still not a classy thing to do. And “the author who can’t take criticism,” is not what I’d want to be known for.

    This is why you don’t publish things online in the heat of the moment. Wait a day. Vent to your friends. Not to the public. It really crossed the line when she put up the reviewer’s personal information and TOLD her fans to attack the poor reviewer. That’s not okay. In the slightest.

  30. Anonymous said:

    I”m not sure what you think ‘mea culpa’ means but you might want to look it up. You’re using the term wrong.

  31. Anonymous said:

    me⋅a cul⋅pa  /ˈmɛɑ ˈkʊlpɑ; Eng. ˈmeɪə ˈkʌlpə, ˈmiə/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [me-ah kool-pah; Eng. mey-uh kuhl-puh, mee-uh]

    Latin. through my fault; my fault (used as an acknowledgment of one’s responsibility).

  32. Anonymous said:

    ‘This is why you don’t publish things online in the heat of the moment. Wait a day.’

    No. She’s an author, not some muggle wanabee. The correct response is to turn it into a novel about a lazy critic who everyone hatesf. Obviously.

  33. Chaeya said:

    Honestly, I don’t know how it will swing for her. I don’t think it was a publicity stunt, I think she was thoroughly P.O.ed. I wouldn’t do such a thing, I’d be happy as heck if someone from the Boston Globe reviewed me. If that book didn’t sell, at least it might spur people to go check out the other one the review said was better. She still wins.

  34. Aimee K. Maher said:

    Mea Culpa – In the popular vernacular, the expression “mea culpa” has acquired a more direct meaning, in which, by doing or performing a “mea culpa”, someone admits to having made a mistake by one’s own fault. Which the author with rabies did, after biting the critic.

    I see no problem with it. But that’s me.

  35. catie james said:

    I had no idea Ms. Hoffman had a new book released until yesterday’s brouhaha. The cover blurb for her latest novel didn’t catch my fancy, though I have purchased and enjoyed titles from her in the past. Given Ms. Hoffman’s ridiculous and petty response to Ms. Silman’s review though, I am not at all inclined to throw anymore of my time or money her way.

  36. Kat said:

    I’ve bought books and seen films on the strength of negative reviews. Why? Because I read the reviewer regularly (or at least, I read the paper they’re published in regularly), and know that if the review is negative chances are high that I’ll like it.

    The part of this event that crosses the line for me — okay, besides the publishing of the reviewer’s personal contact info — is the assumption that the reading public are a bunch of lemmings who think reviewers’ opinions are holy commands on what to read or not read.

  37. Heyoka said:

    I’m with Paul — that was a mealy-mouthed hand-wave of an apology, and I find that as galling as the initial act.

  38. Luanne Jones said:

    Reviews: My public response to a bad one is, “If everybody likes my books then not enough people are reading them.”

    Privately I’m not so mellow 🙂

    I’ve had this story sent to me by other writers and seen it references on line other places already. As a viral marketing tool, it’s a PR dream, but it didn’t make me want to read the book (but then I haven’t bought one of Hoffman’s books in years so…)

  39. Liana Brooks said:

    Not all publicity is good.

    Authors are selling themselves as much as their work, and if we don’t come across as level-headed and nice I think it hurts sales.

    There are authors I’m hesitant to pick up because I know their reputation as a person more than their writing. I worry that I won’t like the book because the author’s personality has turned me away somehow.

    That’s a Bad Thing. I should know their writing first and maybe their personality as a very distant second.

  40. David Allred said:

    Bad reviews sometimes mean you touched a nerve… touching nerves is what writers do, so it can occasionally mean you’re doing good work. Best to listen to criticism, apply the lessons you can, and move on.

    The only thing worse than a negative review is no review at all, because that means no one is reading your shizzle!

    Keep writing & keep cool,


  41. Maggie Stiefvater said:

    I thought it was pretty bad form. The thing was, no matter what you think about her wailing about the bad review (which I read — it was not that bad, seriously), and the fact that reviews are like crit partners, don’t argue, just take it like a man and assimilate what you can — the fact that she posted the reviewer’s contact information in that way is pretty much unforgivable bad behavior. That crosses the line from tantrumming to just plain capital B-ness.

    She had to have had her Jiminy Crickett on her shoulder shouting ALICE NO! RUN, FORREST, RUN! but she chose to go the low road.

    I’ve had poor reviews and I’ve had awesome reviews. I don’t respond to any of them unless I know the reviewer as something other than a reviewer — to do anything else ruins the integrity of a review as something done impartially, without fear of author smack down.

    Seriously. I’m disappointed in her . . . how can someone with that many books under her belt do such idiotic things?

  42. Anita said:

    I only review books I enjoy… that makes so much more sense to me than writing about all the reasons I don’t like a book. AND I’ve never had an author Tweet badly about me.

  43. Anonymous said:

    As a book reviewer myself, this makes me never want to read anything written by Alice Hoffman.

  44. Vacuum Queen said:

    My first thought was, “get over yourself.” And my second was, “I’m so not buying that book.”

    My understanding was that the author was berating the reviewer as a non writer or something, when the reviewer actually has published work herself.

    I feel like I’d be so happy to have something of mine “out there” that I’d be too giddy to care what the reviews said. I don’t have dreams of selling a number 1 hit. I have dreams of getting published…more than once. THAT would great. And I sure wouldn’t blow it by being full of myself.


  45. Diana said:

    I don’t have to worry that someone of Hoffman’s caliber and success will ever submit a story to me, but I will say that I don’t want to try working with someone like that. Someone who does this kind of thing is a nightmare to work with. I feel sorry for her agent, publisher, and other professionals that she works with.


  46. Anonymous said:

    Good publicity. I haven’t considered reading a Hoffman book in years, but might pick one up just to see if her ego is supported by her writing.

  47. Anonymous said:

    While I don’t agree with what the author did on any level, I do find it amusing, after reading the comment trail, that SO many people here have the knee-jerk reaction of: “I’ll never read that author now!”

    This is why I hate author blogs and the like, the more I know about ANY author, the less likely I am to read their book. I was very keen on a particular YA book by an award-winning author and started going to his blog. Big mistake. This author’s internet presence is so completely annoying and cloying that his constant need for attention makes me cringe. Whereas before I thought his characters were inspired genius, as time has gone on, I’m now convinced they are only “Gary Stus.” Each talking and acting like him. I doubt I’ll buy his next book. There IS such a thing as too much publicity.

  48. Anonymous said:

    By Ms. Hoffman’s reaction to her bad review it makes me wonder what Mr. Silman said that was so terrible??? I’m curious like that…

    But, as a professional author you have to take the good with the bad, you don’t have to like it or even understand why everyone doesn’t like your books. And if you have fans who adore your books, then who cares about the reviewer… I don’t like all NY Best selling books, so what. Right.

    Anyway, Everyone makes a mistakes, and I wouldn’t judge Ms. Hoffman for hers. I think she’s probably suffering enough without everyone critism on top…

    Dawn C.

  49. Mechelle Fogelsong said:

    Here’s a movie comparison. If Siskel gave it a thumbs-up, and Ebert gave it a thumbs-up, I almost never went to that movie… Too artsy fartsy for an ordinary, working class American.

    I think the same way about book reviews. A bad review can sometimes mean it’s actually a pretty good read for the average Joe.

  50. Anonymous said:

    The hard part is that writers really don’t have any say about their reviews, even when they are unfair, or worse, written with an agenda. And if anyone out there doesn’t think this happens, it’s time to grow up.

    I just read a review for a paranormal on a popular “mean girl” book review site. (These sites are so degrading to women, but that’s another story) The reviewer actually slammed one of the characters because her behavior wasn’t “completely normal.” Maybe I missed something along the way, but this is a “paranormal”, not a “normal.”

  51. Dara said:

    Even if a review may be “unfair”, the author needs to try and move past it. Stunts like this only make the author look bad, IMHO. But she has made a mistake and hopefully she’ll learn from this.

    Besides, I hardly pay attention to the paid reviews anyway–most books that they tote as being great I can’t finish. Same thing with movies; I generally ignore “professional critics” because their tastes are often opposite of mine.

  52. Anonymous said:

    If we rule out authors based on their behaviors and personalities, that’s a lot of authors, and down through the ages (not that biography isn’t important. It is).

    Alice Hoffman is still one of my favorite authors.

  53. Dawn Maria said:

    Let me see, I think Hoffman was wrong to Tweet the reviewer’s personal info and “drunk-dial-Tweet” her true feelings about the review. Her behavior in the matter won’t affect whether or not I’ll purchase her book – only the book jacket and opening paragraph can do that for me.

    Best part of the post for me? The tag- “Career suicide.”

  54. Leona said:

    I think people forget that like there are great actors who are terrible people in my opinion (sean connery comes to mind), there are wonderful authors who aren’t necessarily great people.

    I think this may be even more true for writers than actors because writing is a solitary experience. It seems that a lot of writors are naturally solitary people, but, more than that, they may lack in some social skills because they aren’t working with the public as much as someone with a “outside the home” job.

    They only have to work with public during book signings. Otherwise they’re dealing with a short list of people, usually people who have the same goal (i.e. good book, book sell)

    I’m inclined to think there is something more personal in this book (maybe part of the storyline is something she’s actually been through) than the others since she had such a bad reaction.

    For me, the part that I’m having issue with is the personal info and offer to attack. Email, fine as its published, but the phone? Over the top and not thought out well. She probably wishes she could delete the whole scene (I know I would!) especially after having to publicly apologize.

    I think it’s good publicity no matter why it’s publicity. I’d never heard of Hoffman before (Yes, I’ve been living in a hole other atmosphere LOL) so down the road when the bruhah has died down, I may find one of her books in a used bookstore and say, “I recall this name, don’t remember why and buy the book. If I like it, she’s got a new fan… see how that works?

    PS I’m a newly published author and would love this kind of attention and ANY review on my book, so that may be coloring my opionion, especially of the publicity. I mean, how high on google searches did she go for all kinds of subjects?

  55. Madison said:

    If I ever said something about a bad review of my book, I’d prob say something along the lines of “Well, the Globe didn’t like it, but the Observer did!” or what have you. But yeah, best not to say anything at all and just move on with your life. You can’t please everyone and if you’re trying to, you will just end up hurt and disappointed.

    Latch onto those who do enjoy your work. After all, those people are the ones you wrote for in the first place 🙂

  56. lake said:

    truth doesn’t always equal beauty
    but sometimes they’re in love…

    truth and beauty are in love
    like the clouds they drift above
    dancing slowly in the air
    bright as flowers
    always there
    …a review isn’t always truth anyway, but still people have the right to their opinion…(and it’s an excuse to post a poem, lol)

  57. marie said:

    I don’t think the career suicide has much to do with what actual readers think of this incident. The bigger damage Hoffman did to herself is probably within the publishing industry. Editors, publicists, reviewers, etc now may want to think twice before working with this author, and in my mind that’s even more damaging than a temporary drop in sales from disgusted readers.

  58. Anonymous said:

    First, writers shouldn’t read reviews. Personally I have other writers who are also friends that will recommend a review to me if they think I can use it later for a blurb, but even the good reviews shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Bad reviews can hurt your ego. Good ones, taken seriously, can hurt your writing.

    Second, I find the double standard in some of the above comments to be . . .well, troubling. One comment says that the writer should not take the review personally because the review is about the work, not the person. Fair enough. If that’s true, why would you never buy the author’s book based upon what they said? Isn’t it about the quality of the story? It isn’t about the author, it’s about the book. Right?

    The best thing an author can do is ignore the reviews. If you’re going to have a web presence, use it to establish a connection with your readers. You don’t have to talk about your work all the time.

  59. AstonWest said:

    If it makes any negative impact in her sales at all, I imagine she’ll find it tough to find a new publisher. I don’t imagine they’d take too kindly to the idea of having a loose cannon in their ranks. :-\

  60. carla said:

    Writers need a selective memory. Remember good reviews for only a half hour after reading them. NEVER get into a ***** fight with a critic!

  61. Jen P said:

    What WAS she thinking? I have previously bought many of her books, but had been coming to the same conclusion as the reviewer, the latest books were becoming a bit ‘samey’ – different setting, but similar characters with similar plotlines and challenges of acceptance.

    I think AH will find her own acceptance levels damaged in more than one circle as a result of this silly debacle. The review was actually pretty positive. AH claimed she was angered that the plot was revealed – yes, perhaps that was not ideal, however not enough justification to post the contact details of the reviewer publicly.

    I won’t be buying any more of her books anyway.

  62. Crystal Jigsaw said:

    Definitely agree about Ms Hoffman being unable to handle critism. It happens to the best of us (and the worst) but we just have to take it on the chin and move on. Improve if need be. Very unprofessional to publish personal details though, a very odd move indeed.

    Crystal Jigsaw

  63. AnakimWriter said:

    Delurking to say: this is definitely a cautionary tale for writers who are also Net geeks (like myself!) I think that when one is that upset, the phrase “step away from the keyboard” applies. Publishing contact info for the “offending” reviewer and encouraging harassment is beyond unprofessional and poor Netiquette. Tools like Twitter make it possible to let anger ruin one’s reputation at lightning speed…it’s so much better to stop, cool down, and think.