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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Angry, upset and disappointed..should I keep reviewing?

Most of you know that I am a dedicated reviewer of every book I read, most of my reviews appear on Goodreads and/or on Amazon.  I always try to be upfront and honest in my reviews, I am never personal or disrespectful to the author and I try to explain in detail why I gave the rating I gave.  

Recently, I experienced something that I have heard is happening more and more on Goodreads and I confess I didn't like it one bit.  I recently gave a review of  a book that an author was doing as a read a long in a group I moderate. I gave it 3.5 stars which I don't think is really a bad review.  I was later in a discussion in the same group as the read a long and used this book as an example for a point I was trying to make in the discussion.  The author of the book in question jumped onto the thread to disagree with my opinion.  That is ok I believe everyone has the right to express their thoughts, however this author then proceeded to take this comment out of context and put it on her blog using my user name and also using the name of another member of the group.  On this blog she then started ripping apart my opinion and asking others to agree with her.  I was ok with this..not happy but not too bent out of shape. However, if she as going to use a comment in her blog she should have respected the person who's post she was repeating and also respect the group who allowed her to do an author read a long. She should never have printed my name or the name of the other person in the conversation.  This author also posted links to the blog in both the discussion thread and the read a long thread trying to recruit people over to her side. To make matters worse, a few days later this same author took another of my quotes from a different discussion thread in the same group, out of context again and I did not mention her book at all  and started her own group on Goodreads and used this comment to start a discussion.

I don't have a problem with her starting her own group many authors do this to solicit opinions and give the readers an opportunity to discuss books with the authors.  I do however resent her once again using one of my quotes to do battle against.  This time she did not mention my name however once again she took the quote out of context of the conversation it was made in. How is this respecting a group and members of the group who gave her the opportunity to do a read along?  This group has 3000 members so this is a wonderful marketing tool for an author.   

There has been a lot of author push back lately on Goodreads and in blogs from authors who did not like a review or comments made about thier book.  I feel when you write a book, just like if you write a movie or a play or a tv show once it has been published it is open to the interpretation of the reader and as a writer you need to respect that person's opinion and not push back, especially publicly.

I did not take part in further discussions in any forum about this book and I will be taking the review I have posted off  this blog as to not invite any further attacks by the author. Should I *have* to do this??? Should I not be able to write a honest, respectful review and have an expectation not to be attacked by the author. Am I not allowed to use a book I have read as an example of the point I am trying to make in a discussion?  Should I have the right when on a site like Goodreads to not have an author repost my opinions with my name without my consent?  These questions have been going through my mind for days now.  

What really surprised me through all of this is the lack of authors who commented on what was happening..  The same authors who are always begging for reviews on their books.  What make these authors think that anyone will be willing to keep reviewing books if they are going to be attacked by an author if they don't like it.  I would think these authors would step up and let the lady know that her behavior is unacceptable and that she is hurting the people they need to get the word about their books out in the reading community.  

I guess he reading world is the same as everywhere else, keep your head down, say nothing and you will keep out of trouble...nobody really cares what you think anyway.

Bitter??? you betcha!. 


  1. You know I agree with ya 100% sister. It makes no sense that authors attack readers and reviewers in that kind of fashion. Clearly, they don't understand that their bread and butter (figuratively) comes from readers and word of mouth (or type) recommendations to our book friends. Bad form dear authors. Bad form, indeed.

  2. Whoa! That is just the height of rudness!
    Maybe the author should be concentrating on writing, instead of bitching about not getting the super, fantastic reviews he/she wants.

  3. Please don't stop reviewing. As an author, I'm happy when anyone takes the time to read/review my book at all (and I do beg for reviews, quite profusely). I have a strict no commenting on reviews rule (although I do "Like", "Reblog", and "Retweet"). I also love your PNR With A Kick group and check in on it regularly (I mostly lurk though...GoodReads still intimidates me. My level of befuddlement is right up there with Twitter).

    Hopefully, what you experienced is the exception and not the rule. Authors are told over and over again (by publishers, book guides, bloggers) not to comment on reviews and not to join in on potentially controversial/negative discussions. It's not quite written into our contracts, but it has been reiterated quite a bit. The unfortunate side effect of avoiding "potentially negative remark making" is that I now have tunnel vision when it comes to forum discussions. I gravitate towards purely opinion-based light-hearted banter, so I never witnessed this happening.

    i feel that the behavior your described is inappropriate for any artist/author. There, I've said it!

  4. Couldn't agree more with the above posts, T! I've read quite a few of your reviews and find them extremely helpful and, bonus, entertaining. Most of all, I find them fair.

    I suspect that, unless the author in question is super neurotic, she's using you and yours for promotional purposes, to gin up reading of an otherwise meh book. Unfortunately there's an old adage in skeevy marketing: Good or bad, as long as they're talking about you."

    All that said, Blow her off. It hurts, I know. Writing is a highly emotional endeavor. But don't give her any more press on your blog or other outlets. You're a hell of a lot more respected than some whining author with a bug up her ass. Plus, I selfishly want you writing about books so my TBR stays fine-tuned. Love ya, T!

  5. I'm so sorry t'irla that you had this experience. It's really disheartening. I haven't been signaled out like you obviously have been…yet...but I do understand how you must be feeling. Please don't stop luv. I love your reviews and respect your opinion. And there are a LOT of people who feel the same way! The author who stepped in also stepped over the line. Anyone with an iota of common sense will see that. She will have some diehard followers that will follow her or him. But that's fine. Let them. The rest of us appreciate and value your opinion. Big ole hugs coming at ya sweetie! and a Hip song to make you feel better! Kat