I'm following a thread in the Published Author's Network at LinkedIn.com about people posting 1-star reviews for books on Amazon.com.
The complaint is many 'reviewers' will post low ratings and bad reviews for books they will admit they never read, or only read part of the book before ranking it.
My story "Snow Blind" received such a low score and the reviewer confessed to reading only the first part. So what was her issue? She didn't say anything other than it wasn't what she expected. How is an author supposed to respond to that? According to many of the authors in this thread, not at all. I like their advice about letting the bad reviewers post their venom and ignore them.
David K. Crabtree posted: Let us not worry about what others may say, but let us tell the stories that are within us and share them with the world.
I've rarely received an unsolicited review that contained constructive criticism so the destructive comments tend to sting more. You've put your heart and soul into a book/story, just to have someone rip it apart. It's like having someone attack your children. For that reason, I do not submit my stories to reviewing websites or such, letting my publisher do that for me, if they so desire. It is an unexpected pleasure when I get a notification that one of my works has received a great review. Much better than continually looking to see what readers have posted only to be disappointed in their comments.
An author on Goodreads.com, a site in which I no longer participate, stated that reviews are for readers and not authors. Good point, but if people read negative reviews from someone who hasn't read the book or has other issues, more readers may pass on it. Not good for the author.
When posting a review of a book that I didn't like, I try to be more objective than "This books sucks!" Just because I didn't care for it, doesn't mean the next person won't either. Of the books, I've posted on here, very few have been disappointing. Recently, I read a book that I did not enjoy for a number of reasons but I opted not to post a review because there wasn't a nice way of stating my point of view in a positive way. I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't like it, but I'm sure there are just as many who did.
At writing.com, where I got my start, the goal for reviewing was to correct and critique each other's work but to encourage. That's the main point, I feel, for reviewing a work. State what did or did not work for the reader without trashing their hard work.