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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