Quite truthfully, I don't plan on reading reviews of my future books unless someone, be it agent, publisher, friend, family or fan happen to point something out to me (and they best only be pointing out the good stuff) in order to try to avoid stumbling into this trap, myself.
As a fellow writer, I can completely understand how a scathing review can cut, and cut deep. It's hard enough to hear someone didn't like what you wrote, but if the review has a potential ranting or snide feel to it (as unfortunately some are wont to do), it's hard to fight the human nature to stick up for something you love.
"Oh really, Mofo, you wants to take it there?"
But if I should find myself or one of my writerly friends facing down a review that scalds, I'm going to do my best to dissuade the temptation to respond in any way by pointing out... a majority of people read reviews to confirm what they already suspect.
Most of the time, people know what books they're dying to read and which ones they have zero interest in. Personally, the only time I go checking out reviews is if I've never heard of the book before (which means I wasn't bound to pick it up in the first place) or, more likely, I'm on the fence about it.
When I stop to read a book review, odds are good, I'm either pretty sure I want to read it, but don't know anyone who has & want to make sure it's not a total bomb with a great jacket or . . . I'm pretty sure I don't want to read it, but there's something about the blurb that keeps me hanging in, and I need justification that I'm not being a stupid idiot & missing out on something great.
It's my belief that, more than anything, is where reviews come in. They offer an unbiased (even if not always objective and balanced) opinion for those people who are on the fence and looking to have their own suspicions verified. Meaning: one bad review from a reviewer is NOT going to make or break your book in the court of public opinion. And it's not worth the hassle and drama -- for us or the reviewers -- to defend ourselves against their right to an opinion.
Now, I ask you all to bookmark this post for me, so I can be reminded of my current level-headedness should the above situation happen to Yours Truly. :D And, offer up any other suggestions on how we all can avoid the car wreck of inevitable bad reviews.