Friday, July 20, 2012

Reviewers vs. Authors: You're An Adult, and This is a Cluster

The latest controversy in the reviewer vs. author world. Wow, what a cluster. The shortest recap ever...
A website was cooked up to "call out" snarky, supposedly vengeful and inappropriate reviewers on Goodreads. Someone thought said reviewers were ruining authors' lives and careers. There was haranguing and posting of reviewers' personal info on this website (which I will NOT link to) and threatening phone calls came of it (though many of these allegations have been denied). Today Huffington Post Books posted a blog post from said website creators defending their stance. Outcry from the community ensued with a reply.
Now, I hate to be the one to point this out, but we're all adults. Goodreads users/reviewers and authors. Typically adults. I would say 80% (very unscientific guess). As adults, you would think we might be able to keep ourselves from bullying and threatening others. You would think we could avoid building new websites tailor made for BULLYING AND THREATENING OTHERS when you're screaming at the top of your lungs that bullying on Goodreads is wrong. 

My feelings on the author/blogger relationship are pretty cut and dry. I appreciate and admire a great many authors. I will not always like their books. I am snarky by nature. I rarely rip a book a "new one" per se (there was that time with Beatrice and Virgil), but I'm willing to spout off and justify my feelings about a book. I expect an author to be able to read my review (or one even snarkier) and live with it. You cannot tell me you expected every reader to like your book. If so, you live in fantasyland. The kind where every participant receives a ribbon. You are a bad loser in life.

One of the main reasons I've decided not to accept ARCs is because I give no author or publisher room to hold expectations over my head. I have opinions. They are my own. I shall write them if I please.

There is screwiness on both sides of this issue. If there really is a pack of rabid Goodreads reviewers trying to sink authors' books before they've even been published: shame on you! But the builders of this website are deplorable. Seriously cracked.

Reviewers and authors have to come to a point at which they just get along and get on with it. I know I personally have too much hanging over my head in a day to stalk, harass, or crucify anyone. Grow up and avoid clusters like this one, my friends. 


It's called maturity and apparently it's in increasingly short supply.




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23 comments:

  1. PREACH! I do think you can accept ARCs and have nothing held over your head as well though.

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    1. Pam, I agree. However, for me it was more effective to just step away from that aspect of it. It's more freeing for me to read whatever, whenever without deadlines, pressure, stats, yadda yadda. I'd rather just grab my own books with my own $$$. But I do realize it's a personal preference.

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  2. Seriously? I'm pretty sure my 2-year-olds know better than this. And "You are a bad loser in life" made me laugh out loud. You are still my shero.

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  3. Good lord - I've been out of it. I had no idea what's been going one but after reading all of the Huff Posts and the GR post by one of the "bullies" I'm appalled all around. Thanks for calling out all of these people.

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  4. We may all be adults age-wise, but judging by some of the behavior on GoodReads, mentally some of us aren't.

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  5. Interesting. I didn't know about this and I'm on goodreads a lot. Since I usually ignore the bs I'm not surprised I didn't notice. A bad review is just another opinion. Life's too short to get all wound up about it... or maybe some people have too much time on their hands.

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  6. I have personally seen books given one star reviews before they were even published, but then, I've also seen authors arranging for five star reviews in the same way. Neither seems appropriate. My work has had all kinds of reviews, but the one thing I've always hoped is that at least it represents the real opinion of the person giving it.

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  7. Great post! I have actually been considering not accepting books for review myself anymore because I don't relish the possibility of having to post a negative review of a book upon its release, etc. Not to mention, it sometimes means I have to hold off on reading books I want to read and have waiting for me on my bookshelves...

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  8. Actually I sort of love the other side of this: the clear implication that bloggers DO matter! :--)

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    1. I think you're right about that.

      I also think you can go ahead and accept ARCs and give them negative reviews. Just avoid being snarky about it when you do. Be honest. Be nice. Unless the book is really terrible.

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  9. I have opinions. They are my own. I shall write them if I please.

    And why shouldn't you? I think this whole blogger/reviewer/author/publicist thing has gotten so out of hand. I still snag ARCs from the piles at work, but I haven't accepted an unsolicited offer for an ARC from an author in close to a year.

    Les, nodding her head in complete agreement

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  10. Wow. I had no idea all this was going on but kudos for calling all the bullies out and for giving your opinions and not worrying about any backlash. These people need to grow up!! I find that it's real easy to bully and BS people from behind a keyboard. Cowards!

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  11. Uh, wow. I had heard about this obliquely but I haven't looked into it until today. Good heavens. People are crazy sauce.

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  12. Sigh...you are very right and make complete sense, but of course the people being silly about it aren't going to listen. And? Thinking everyone will like your book is ridiculous, though I have read reviews that are cruel and not at all helpful in explaining WHY the reviewer didn't like the book. To be honest, all those reviews do is turn me off from the reviewer, not the book itself. I would think the majority of adult readers would feel the same way. (hope?)

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  13. A witty and relevant post as always, Andi. I love that you accept no ARC's...someday I hope to emulate you more completely.

    Perhaps some of these bloggers/writers/publishers should be in my elementary school where we teach "Stop! Talk! Walk!" As in, "Quit bothering me you idiot, and if we talk but can't agree, I'm out of here." Worthy advice for the 20%, n'est ce pas?

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  14. This is the first time I have heard of this, and I think it's nuts. I agree with you completely. Expecting everyone to like your book is ridiculous, but getting on an competing bullying bandwagon...that is something that I just don't understand, nor do I want to. It's ugly, whichever way you look at it, and I refuse to have anything to do with this nonsense. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I guess I am just too busy navel-gazing to stop and notice all this weird stuff!

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  15. The entire fiasco is disheartening to say the least. I love this post, Andi, and couldn't agree more.

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  16. The whole thing make me depressed...which makes me want to eat ice cream. Not good.

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  17. Wow. Just . . . wow. Makes me glad I'm so busy I can barely keep up with my favorite blogs (sorry, by the way, for my lack of comments - do still love you to pieces!) let alone keep up with Internet bickering. People are really ridiculous sometimes.

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