If you write a review of a published fiction or non-fiction book and publish it on a site like Amazon, be careful what you write. A review full of reckless and false claims may be seen in a court of law as libel and defamation.
A less than 1-star review of the 2nd edition of My Splendid Concubine that was posted on a Blog, Two Americans in China dot com [December 9, 2012], and on Amazon.com is the focus of this post. This review ran for 1,145 words. It took me a few months to decide to write a response, because it meant digging through thousands of pages of research—most of it from primary source material, Robert Hart’s journals and letters.
In addition, it also meant attracting the wrath of mostly anonymous Internet vigilantes (cyber bullies) that allegedly think they have a moral duty to attack any author that responds to a review of his or her own work no matter how misleading that review might be.
I have no problem with a negative review—even if it is 1-star—that is honest and does not resort to reckless and false claims to influence readers, but…
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