And readers tend to be stuck somewhere in the middle.
It's worse if you review for an online publication. Because then not only do authors hate you, but print reviewers think you're some kind of hack with no qualifications. Actually authors think that too - but nevermind.
So let's talk "mean" reviews. The kind of reviews that authors like to claim abound online. The "This author is a moron, her baby is ugly, and she smells bad too" type of reviews.
Um, am I the only one who rarely sees these online? In fact, the only kind of nonsensical "This author sucks big-time!!!!" reviews I ever see online belong over at Amazon. And frankly, who the hell reads those?
I think authors are attacking the wrong fortress myself. By far, the granddaddy of all snide review publications is Kirkus Reviews. That's right - a print publication.
Now your average joe-schmo reader doesn't know Kirkus exists. They're high-falutin' and they cost big bucks. But librarians read Kirkus. More for the entertainment value than anything else.
I ran across a review for Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson (Yes, it's a sequel to Enchanted, Inc. for those of you interested). The final parting shot?
"If J.K. Rowling had gotten to about page five of her first book and then started reading bad, watered-down romance novels, the result might have looked like this."
Oh ouch! Only Kirkus could get away with that. If I put something like that in an online review I'd likely be spammed within an inch of my life. But I'm not bitter.