Thursday, February 10, 2011

author fail....or not?

Now you may be wondering why in the world I'm going there. Let me's another case of an author behaving badly. Normally I do NOT involve myself or my opinions in these things but I just can't help it this time. Read this post here if you want the back story. Be warned though...there are a lot of comments.

Now have you read it? Well let me tell you what I think. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter if it is right or wrong. BUT, I think the number one lesson that should be taught to authors right off the back...don't take a review personally and certainly don't bash a whole community based on a review that was less than favorable. Majority of authors know this "rule" and generally live by it.

In my OPINION, this post managed to tee off a lot of people in the book blogging community. In that lies the problem. Book bloggers have big mouths and we say what we think. That post has now spread over the book blogging world and grown to great proportions. We all have thoughts on it because it was offensive.

To say that "Oftentimes, the people who set up these kinds of blogs have never written a thing in their lives, except maybe a grocery list." is offensive to the entire blogging world. Big, epic, Fail! For a fact, I don't even write a grocery list! I just throw things in the cart willy nilly and hope I can make a meal out of it.

Sure, I should probably keep my opinions to myself but I was pained by this authors clumping of bloggers (who have a right to their opinions just as the author does) and I feel sorry for authors in general who tend to shoot themselves in the foot.

Bloggers are not bad people. We don't get paid to do this and if someone wants to approach us to review their book then they should expect ANYTHING! Just because we are given a free book, that doesn't mean a glowing review is given.

On my blog....because it's MY blog and I do what I want with it...If I hate a book I won't blog about it. Simple as that. I'll let the author know that I'm not writing a review of it. But isn't that dishonest, you ask? Well no, I just don't want the negativity directed at me because of things like this. I will post a review if I even semi-liked a book. Just because I didn't LOVE it doesn't mean you won't LOVE it. See what I mean? If you truly can not handle criticism then don't ask for a review. Nobody beats down the doors on Kirkus, NY Times, etc when they get a bad review.

My point is not bash the book blogging community. It will come back to haunt you. It is spread like a virus over the net and now there is a good chance that thousands of bloggers have seen it, commented on it, posted on their blog about it, and their thousands of readers have read about it.

So now that I've said all that I'm done. I would LOVE to get some opinions from my readers and some of the authors that I know follow this blog. What are your general thoughts on these situations?

Disclaimer: I am not a professional as you can see. I'm sure I have a ton of punctuation and grammatical errors but that is OK!


  1. Okay, I tried to post a comment on her blog and could not because I am not a team member. When I tried to subscribe I got error messages. SO I am going to post my comment here.

    And sadly it isn't just the Blogging comm. she annoyed, there are quite a few publishers out there who hope their authors do not think that is okay for them to do. It's NOT!

    what I wanted to say to her:

    As a published author and a publisher I can only say one thing. Reviews are opinions. There is NOTHING professional about the, No one goes to school to become a reviewer, there are not online classes. There are people reading books and saying what they think. They have this right. Furthermore, you ASKED for it.

    Not only did you harm yourself with every other blogger who is seeing this post (and I got here 5th hand, so it has spread like wildfire) but you also lost the respect of many readers, who will probably not read your books now, authors, who will not respect you as a peer because, hinestly, they won't want to be associated with you, and potential publishers, who will not want someone who would do this on their roster.

    I know nothing about you, have not read you, will not pass judgment on you, but the simple fact is, you kind shot yourself in the eye.

    I do hope you have great success with those who agree with you and who do not see all of this. Being an author is the most wonderful thing and most who do it do so because they love it. I am guessing you do , as well.

  2. As Karen and you have said, this has spread like wildfire, and I'm not sure why any author would do what she did. She's now put herself in a position where it will be even tougher to sell books than before. Maybe Stephen King could get away with a rant like that, but I have a feeling even he would get some guff if he acted that way. You don't attract readers by ticking them off. It's too bad the reviews stung so much that she reacted that way. Decisions made in haste are rarely good ones.

  3. The same thing happened to me when I tried to comment on that post. Boy, she sure stuck her foot in it.

    I will be the first to admit that I am not a professional. I am a stay at home Mom - but I love to read. That is why I started my blog in the first place.

    Most of the books I review are bought with my own money - the few I receive for review are treated the same way as the ones I buy. I give my honest opinion about it. If it doesn't do it for me - it doesn't do it. Not everyone is going to love every book they read.

    But a review - whether good or bad - generates publicity, gets people talking. I think that's the whole point.

    I don't think she realized how her post was going to snow ball.


  4. I'm agreeing with you, Kris. Big no no. Not only will she be ostracized by the blogging community, but how embarrassing. I know what happened. She lost it when she saw the negative review and wanted to retaliate. I had a bad review one time but I didn't rip the person's throat out. Actually, she was on the money about much of what she said. The thing is, authors do not want anything negative out there. No matter what. No matter if you have to lie, if she has to bribe you, pay you, she'll do anything to keep a negative review out there. I've had a few authors complain about negative reviews and I try to explain to them it was the blogger's opinion. More good reviews will appear (hopefully) which will override the bad one. Despite 2 bad reviews on a book yesterday at Amazon, I still paid for it because I wanted it. It's not a death sentence for the book, you know?

  5. Thanks for sharing your opinons. It's interesting to see what others think. I can understand feelings being hurt by a negative review when you work hard on something. BUT, to basically bash a whole community of readers (who are the buyers of your books) who write reviews is never a smart thing to do.

  6. I think she really did herself a disservice by stating what she did and how she did. Everyone is welcome to their onw opinion and that's what a review is, an opinion. Not everyone is going to like everything they read, that's just a fact of life.

  7. Hi All,
    I'm an author and I also write reviews of books I enjoy. This is an interesting topic, so I decided to give my own 2 cents. I don't want to go into the fight about the particular review, rather just give my general opinion on the matter.

    As an author, I am grateful for anybody who takes the time to read my book and even more so for someone who takes sthe time and effort to write a sensitive, intelligent, and honest review. I truly appreciate the many blogger who go out of their way to do that. Of course, I, too, prefer positive reviews of my book. Who wouldn't? However, I was very much aware when I published my debut novel that I put it "out there" and that means it is fair game and anybody can either praise it or tear it apart. That just comes with the territory. Any author who isn't willing to accept negative reviews should not publish his or her book. Simple.

    I agree, reviews are subjective, they express an opinion and they are not meant to slam or disgrace an author (at least if the reviewer is a halfway decent person).

    However (you knew there would be a "however"), as there are rules and elements that make a book either a success or a failure, there are also certain elements (I hate to call them rules) that make a review either a good and helpful or a poor one. A few months ago, I found an interesting article on reviews by one of my favorite authors, Joanne Harris. She is the author of the novel, "Chocolat" which was made into a motion picture. Her ideas about reviews are from an author's point of view but I think they are fair and true and could really benefit anybody who writes reviews. In case you're interested, here is the link:

    Happy writing and reading!

  8. One more thing, as an answer to Dorothy: "The thing is, authors do not want anything negative out there. No matter what. No matter if you have to lie, if she has to bribe you, pay you, she'll do anything to keep a negative review out there."

    It's not clear to me if you are referring to authors in general. I hope not. That would be an insult to all the authors who work hard and don't bribe or pay people so they get positive reviews.
    Just wanted to make that clear.

  9. She deleted all the comments attached to the post, so I was unable to read them. I did, however, read the ones here and I tend to agree that authors need to have thick skin. Reading and writing is subjective and we, as authors, need to understand some will not like our stories.

    With that said, I can't imagine how to distinguish between "professional" reviews and "others". I feel anyone has the right to review a book, regardless of their education or credentials. Seriously!

  10. Interesting post. I have much to say but I just want to mention that when Stephen King talks about writing for yourself, he also talks about how you are going to get a great amount of rejection before someone likes what you're writing. It is part of the deal (this is completely in my own words, but if you'd like to find out more, read his book, On Writing).

  11. A book isn't done until it has been shared with a reader. Writing for me is a conversation. At first it begins as a conversation with the character. I fall in love with the character during this process. When the book is done, I hope it becomes a conversation between the reader and the character. I hope that the reader will love the character(s) as much as I do. Of course I love a good review, however paying attention to reviews derails artists. If you believe the good then you must believe the bad. To be swayed by arrogance (the need for others to like you) is the downfall of many an artist.

    I want as many people as possible to hear about my books. I don't write novels to live in my computer. I write them as part of a larger conversation.

    It's hard work to give birth to a book. Most of the time the lack of enthusiasm and rejection will break your heart. So when readers take the time to read your work, review it, and pass on the good (or bad) word, they are offering up the most precious of all gifts: their time.

    With so much information out there, it's easy for a book to get lost. Readers find books through people like you. It's better to be gracious.