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Thread: Authors should really stop telling readers how to give reviews

  1. #1226
    Tyrant King jeffo20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absitinvidia View Post
    TI just disagreed with one of the Big Name Reviewers, who did exactly what they all rail against: called up her social media buddies to dogpile me.
    Since you say the Big Name Reviewer mobilized the troops, I believe it. However, I do believe in some cases people do this sort of thing of their own accord, as if they feel some visceral need to defend the honor of their champion. And once one person starts in, it becomes much easier for everyone else to pile on. I've seen this behavior a lot in other online communities (not writing related), and it's just as disturbing there as it is here.
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  2. #1227
    practical experience, FTW Adobedragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    If you substitute "gender" for "genre," you have your answer, sadly.


    I have now blogged about this. http://www.staciakane.net/2012/07/11/avengingwtfery/
    This has probably been addressed somewhere upthread, but is this problem primarily centered around the YA community on GRs? Or does it crop up if one gets, uh, more involved in GRs?

    My involvement in GRs consists of posting reviews-gasp, honest reviews--of every book I read. I use my author account, because I can't be bothered to set up a separate account, and I'm too lazy to use it for author-ly stuff, anyway. I've reviewed a few YA titles, but most of my reads are in fantasy, romance and other genres. Anyway, the intended audience for my reviews is for the most part, me; it's a way of tracking what I read.

    Since I only log on when I've finished a book--approx. every two weeks--I guess I don't interact enough to run into the mobs. ?

    Anyway, great post, Stacia!


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  3. #1228
    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebloodfiend View Post


    Perhaps you have links to situations that don't involve yourself?
    I have no links (it was a few months ago, and I can;t recall the author's name) but they were bascially bullied just for appearing OMG HOW DARE THEY!! DON'T THEY KNOW AUTHORS SHOULD NEVER RESPOND!! THIS MEANS THEY ARE EVUL!!! Except said author very respectfully pointed out a couple of factual errors (the historical period was one, I recall that, like it wasn't Victorian, it was Regency or something along those lines)

    They didn't have a shit fit - the responders did because they dared to respond. Like they shouldn't have any access to saying stuff. Even nice, not inflammatory stuff. I mean, how the fuck dare they? HOW THE FUCK DARE THEY HAVE AN OPINION ON WHAT I WROTE!!! Even though what they wrote was an opinion on what someone else wrote...er....

    It is emphatically NOT just butthurt authors have a snit fit here. It is all sides, and it looks ugly and makes the posters look stupid and, well, mean minded and fucking stupid. I can only hope that other people with brains will see that, but it's a faint hope....

    It is on every side. And it ain't pretty.

    ETA: it;s only fair really


    If you have an opinion on what I wrote that;s cool

    But then I get to have an opinion on what you wrote.


    If not....er.. where's the fucking logic? Ofc I am supposed to be the better person and say nothing. You could be the better person and ot make a flaming personal attack and try to jide behind free speech? Cos that applies to us all, baby.

    And no, I am not giving a free pass to authors who behave like buttholes. But I ain't giving a free pass to reviewers who act like it either.

    A butthole is a butthole.
    Last edited by Mr Flibble; 07-12-2012 at 05:22 AM.




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  4. #1229
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadan View Post
    Can you describe what bullying you claim reviewers are guilty of?
    I don't have a dog in this hunt and I try to stay out of internet kerfuffles when I can help it.

    I find it odd that not too long ago in this very thread there was a brief light shone the behavior.

    Interestingly enough, note the web address where this was reported.

    Not sure it has any relevance at this point but I knew the name of the reviewer website was familiar to me.
    Last edited by bearilou; 07-12-2012 at 05:34 AM.
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  5. #1230
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    Quote Originally Posted by absitinvidia View Post
    To be clear: I didn't defend an author or an agent. I didn't call anybody a name. I didn't attack anybody. I just disagreed with one of the Big Name Reviewers, who did exactly what they all rail against: called up her social media buddies to dogpile me.
    Without links or context, I will have to take your word for it that this happened, but even if true, it's not a case of reviewers bullying authors. I have seen reviewers sometime be nasty to each other. Almost never outside of YA cliques, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adobedragon View Post
    This has probably been addressed somewhere upthread, but is this problem primarily centered around the YA community on GRs? Or does it crop up if one gets, uh, more involved in GRs?
    I am not a Big Name Reviewer on GR, but I have a lot of friends, some of who are BNRs, and I never see this shit. Even when they occasionally give 1-star reviews to books a lot of other people on their lists loved.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdiotsRUs View Post
    It is emphatically NOT just butthurt authors have a snit fit here. It is all sides, and it looks ugly and makes the posters look stupid and, well, mean minded and fucking stupid. I can only hope that other people with brains will see that, but it's a faint hope....
    I'm sorry, I think you are being too subtle. What are you trying to say here?

    It is on every side. And it ain't pretty.
    I still call false equivalence. Reviewers getting cliqueish and nasty in a review thread is not like an Internet-wide campaign of harassment, digging out personal details, sending threats, writing "revenge reviews," etc.

    My beef, though, is not with calling out reviewers who act like asshats (though I still greatly dislike labeling anyone who's mean on the Internet a "bully"), but the implication (of which the "StopGRBullies" folks are the most extreme end of the scale) that being mean in a review is being an asshat, or worse, bullying.

  6. #1231
    How widespread is all this? I'm certainly not a big name reviewer, but I have written some incredibly negative reviews for my blog, on amazon, and for Strange Horizons, and I've had (essentially) none of this. More importantly, on all the blogs I read/follow (which include a good number of the big SFF reviewers), I've seen almost none. Is this primarily a goodreads phenomenon, or have I just been lucky?
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  7. #1232
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadan View Post
    Without links or context, I will have to take your word for it that this happened, but even if true, it's not a case of reviewers bullying authors. I have seen reviewers sometime be nasty to each other. Almost never outside of YA cliques, though.

    Does the fact I'm an author not figure into this?

  8. #1233
    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadan View Post



    I still call false equivalence. Reviewers getting cliqueish and nasty in a review thread is not like an Internet-wide campaign of harassment, digging out personal details, sending threats, writing "revenge reviews," etc.
    No, but it's not always limited to the review thread....

    but the implication (of which the "StopGRBullies" folks are the most extreme end of the scale) that being mean in a review is being an asshat, or worse, bullying.
    Writing a mean review wasn't what I was talking about. In fact I didn't even mention it in my post. It was ganging up on an author who responded (politely) to a review for having the nerve to actually, you know, say something.

    A mean review isn't bullying, no. Ganging up and effectively robbing someone of the right to say anything? Anything at all? That's pretty close to bullying from where I'm standing, especially when it goes off the review thread and onto blogs/twitter etc.

    This doesn't mean I condone the GRBullies site, not at all. It just means I think the people acting like buttholes and the bullying is not restricted to authors. Not by a long shot.




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  9. #1234
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    I have to ditto Absentinvidia and IdiotsRUs et al. It does happen to authors, and it happens over nothing at all. It does happen to other reviewers; I actually meant to comment in the "Fake reviews" thread that the "Only negative reviews are honest and true" attitude often extends to bloggers who choose not to review books they didn't like. Not bloggers who write positive reviews even for books they hated, but those who simply, independently, because it's their own damn blog, decide that they won't review a book if they don't like it because life is too short. I've seen reviewers who make that their policy told that it means they're "not legitimate" and don't deserve to have a readership, and that it means all of their reviews are suspect and something is wrong with them. Just because they don't feel like giving their time to write about a book they didn't like. As if someone else has the right to tell them how to run their own blog. I've seen those reviewers picked on and made fun of, and attacked, and snide comments made about them.

    But outing those people is still wrong, and picking on reviewers who got upset when their legit reviews were attacked by the authors in question is still wrong.

    (As far as Cuddlebuggery goes, though, and the posted example, I will point out that I felt their coverage was very fair and, I thought, was not remotely vicious or blaming Rachel or anything like that. If anything it read to me like a call for reason in that situation, and the vast majority of the comments seemed to agree with that. It actually seemed to me like their post diffused the situation rather than adding to it. I'm not a regular reader of Cuddlebuggery and only discovered it a few months ago, but IMO they're pretty reasonable and even-handed; I haven't noticed any lynch mobs starting there. Which is why seeing KK picked on like that was especially shocking for me.)


    I wanted to make clear in my blog post that I'm not excusing those lynch mobs, either. They make me just as sick. I'm tired of seeing authors or other reviewers ganged up on and attacked for committing the sin of disagreeing or seeing a situation in a different way or putting a foot wrong. I wasn't kidding when I said I'm really starting to think authors and readers simply should not interact in any way (and, btw, such situations are the main reason why I believe authors should be careful about writing reviews).

    But this self-righteous GR Bullies bullshit, these people who behave as if writing a review that isn't 100% positive or reacting when an author actually does verbally attack you is wrong? No.

    The whole thing is just depressing as hell.
    Last edited by Stacia Kane; 07-12-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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  10. #1235
    Whatever I did, I didn't do it. Phaeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgirl View Post
    Yeah, I'm still a little fuzzy on where she stands, too.

    /sarcasm

    Awesome post, Stacia.
    A powerful cri de coeur. Awesome, indeed.
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  11. #1236
    practical experience, FTW readitnweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    But I don't read or review much contemporary young adult fiction (well, apart from this one.), so I'm well away from where most of the weirdness is happening.

    I'm only in trouble if people start getting vengeful about snarky reviews of vintage cookbooks:
    http://www.goodreads.com/review/list...helf=cookbooks
    This may explain things...I've been scratching my head as I've not seen any of these things on GR, but I don't read YA. I've seen some reviews I thought were harsh, and maybe some people think mine get harsh, but I try to be honest. The romance, historical and literary fiction sections do not seem to have these issues - or I'm blind.

    And I want to add I've enjoyed your cookbook reviews.
    Last edited by readitnweep; 07-12-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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  12. #1237
    To add a little levity to the thread, here's a post (with pictures!) on the dos and don'ts of responding to negative reviews:

    http://gossamerobsessions.blogspot.c...s-dos-and.html

  13. #1238
    Making my own sunshine AW Moderator heyjude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubastes View Post
    To add a little levity to the thread, here's a post (with pictures!) on the dos and don'ts of responding to negative reviews:

    http://gossamerobsessions.blogspot.c...s-dos-and.html
    That was great! I especially love how
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  14. #1239
    Attends The School of AW Alitriona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadan View Post
    Can you describe what bullying you claim reviewers are guilty of?
    That would be just like popping in my own garden. There are certain groups I am glad avoid me. I'd like to keep it that way by not offering examples.

    You can choose not to accept my word that I know the difference between negative reviews, bad behaviour, and bullying, but either way don't feel the need to convince you. I'm happy enough others realize the claim of bullying isn't just a bunch of crazy, emotional authors creating drama.

    Again, I want to point out, I do not condone the STGB site in any way.

  15. #1240
    Mankind is my Business AW Moderator RichardGarfinkle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alitriona View Post
    That would be just like popping in my own garden. There are certain groups I am glad avoid me. I'd like to keep it that way by not offering examples.

    You can choose not to accept my word that I know the difference between negative reviews, bad behaviour, and bullying, but either way don't feel the need to convince you. I'm happy enough others realize the claim of bullying isn't just a bunch of crazy, emotional authors creating drama.

    Again, I want to point out, I do not condone the STGB site in any way.
    Without naming names or groups, can you give a general example of the kind of bullying, you're talking about?

    While you may know what you mean, examples will make it easier for every one else to understand.
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  16. #1241
    practical experience, FTW readitnweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubastes View Post
    To add a little levity...
    Thanks for that. Very much enjoyed it - and it gives good ideas for blogs, so it was a two-for deal.
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  17. #1242
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    Just found this and loved it. Very relevant to this thread's interests.

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  18. #1243
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I never read my reviews. If they are good, they depress me because they are never full of enough extravagant praise. And if they are bad, I am destroyed.

    Authors create, reviewers only criticize. It's two different games. W.H. Auden said, "Reviewing is not really a respectable occupation."

  19. #1244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamiltonburger View Post
    I never read my reviews. If they are good, they depress me because they are never full of enough extravagant praise. And if they are bad, I am destroyed.

    Authors create, reviewers only criticize. It's two different games. W.H. Auden said, "Reviewing is not really a respectable occupation."

    Really? Going after reviewers in your very first post?

  20. #1245
    I'm living in a silent film ViolettaVane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamiltonburger View Post
    Authors create, reviewers only criticize.
    I completely disagree. Writing and reviewing are inextricably overlapping activities. A good writer critically considers other books (whether they publish that criticism or not) and critically views their own books.

    Here's another Auden quote on reviewing:

    http://www.theparisreview.org/interv...o-17-w-h-auden

    INTERVIEWER

    Have you reviewed a book you’ve hated?

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    Very rarely. Unless one is a regular reviewer, or one is reviewing a book of reference where the facts are wrong—then it’s one’s duty to inform the public, as one would warn them of watered milk.
    Also, I'd much rather read a good bad review, like Mark Twain on James Fennimore Cooper, than read a mediocre book.
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  21. #1246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamiltonburger View Post
    I never read my reviews. If they are good, they depress me because they are never full of enough extravagant praise. And if they are bad, I am destroyed.

    Authors create, reviewers only criticize. It's two different games. W.H. Auden said, "Reviewing is not really a respectable occupation."
    Quite thin skin you have there by insulting reviewers. You need to thicken it a bit.

  22. #1247
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamiltonburger View Post
    Authors create, reviewers only criticize. It's two different games. W.H. Auden said, "Reviewing is not really a respectable occupation."
    Welcome to AW.

    I disagree. Reviewers give opinions on works for the sake of people who may wish to read/view/listen to them. The purpose of reviews is to convey information to other members of the audience. Properly done, reviews have nothing to do with the authors, only the works.

    Quote Originally Posted by ViolettaVane View Post
    Also, I'd much rather read a good bad review, like Mark Twain on James Fennimore Cooper, than read a mediocre book.
    Oh yeah, that's a fun review.

  23. #1248
    practical experience, FTW MDSchafer's Avatar
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    But also lets be honest. There's a lot of people who threw 165,000 words into a file and called it a fantasy novel, had it rejected by every agent and editor, "Self published" an e-edition of a book with artwork they either created themselves of bought off deviant art.

    Without reading you could probably write, "The author could have benefited by hiring a professional editor before publishing this book," for pretty much every self published e-book.

  24. #1249
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I would place it at more like 50%.
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  25. #1250
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamiltonburger View Post
    I never read my reviews. If they are good, they depress me because they are never full of enough extravagant praise.
    See, to me, a certain amount of extravagant praise and I might get the idea in my head that I can actually write something decent. Overabundance of extravagant praise and I'll think I can write something decent with very little effort.

    I love when people say nice stuff about my writing, but critiques keep my ego in check. You do not want to see my ego when it's not in check.
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