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

  1. #1526
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubastes View Post
    Ugh, I feel oogy now for posting the link that started this cluster a few days ago. I feel like I need a really hot shower. And a Brillo pad.

    Don't. Don't.

    This wasn't your fault. People got hold of this and started posting the links on Twitter and book blogs and all over the place; I know I didn't post it anywhere, and I don't think anyone else in this thread did, either. But when you post stuff like that on GR--especially when you're calling out bloggers who you KNOW are going to see it--it's going to get around.

    I'd be willing to bet money that it got around because of who he was posting about, not because of anyone who saw it here (and I don't blame them for passing it on, either).

    It would have been all over the place whether you mentioned it here or not.


    I've honestly been debating with myself about how I feel about it. My original post to him--my first few posts--were honest attempts to get him to take it down before too many people saw it. I was genuinely trying to help him, because it seemed, from that post, that the issue was review copies not reviewed. I didn't blame him for being unhappy about that, I really don't. When you're a brand-new newbie, especially if you're self-pubbed so have no one to help you/take care of that stuff for you, I can see having that attitude. He seemed cluelessly entitled, not maliciously pederastically creepy, and I thought perhaps if someone told him as kindly as possible that he was off-base, he'd back down (and indeed it seemed at first to work, since he said he'd changed his mind about the list; I was relieved about that and felt good that perhaps I had contributed to avoiding just this mess we see now).

    Even my later posts were still honest attempts to get him to stop, but...I dunno. Now I wonder if I shouldn't have given up when he started pissing me off. Because when he started pissing me off is when I started posting in annoyance, and then I started worrying, especially, about how his deleting my comments and misrepresenting them in replies was making me look, which annoyed me more, and...ugh.

    I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn't get involved in these messes anymore beyond my own blog--if I felt a response was necessary, as with the StGRB crap where I think authors especially have something of a responsibility to condemn such behavior--or commentary here, that is, not directly engaging, not arguing, etc.

    I didn't say anything I regret saying. I didn't say anything I wouldn't have said to his face, and I'm not someone who thinks it's okay to just say whatever to anyone. I didn't lose my temper and name-call or whatever else. But I do wish I'd stopped when he started his deletion spree. I was just tired and annoyed at that point--childish behavior irritates me even when it's not aimed in part at me--and although those comments are deleted I know they happened, and I wish they hadn't.


    So I hear you and understand. I remember RTing the GREEK SEAMAN thing right at the beginning and deeply regretted it when it started to become such a huge issue. But you didn't incite anything, you didn't start anything, and you shouldn't feel bad about posting a link that trust me, we all would have seen within the hour anyway.

    Don't blame yourself for the actions of others.
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  2. #1527
    practical experience, FTW Silver-Midnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubastes View Post
    Ugh, I feel oogy now for posting the link that started this cluster a few days ago. I feel like I need a really hot shower. And a Brillo pad.
    Don't. It had nothing to do with you. It was going to get around anyway.

  3. #1528
    Not easily managed Beachgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    I didn't say anything I regret saying. I didn't say anything I wouldn't have said to his face, and I'm not someone who thinks it's okay to just say whatever to anyone. I didn't lose my temper and name-call or whatever else. But I do wish I'd stopped when he started his deletion spree. I was just tired and annoyed at that point--childish behavior irritates me even when it's not aimed in part at me--and although those comments are deleted I know they happened, and I wish they hadn't.
    Stacia - your posts were like a beacon of sanity during that whole debacle. I thought they were great examples of how to behave in a very unpleasant situation. Just thought you should know.

    If this hadn't blown up, people might still be under the false impression that the situation was about people not reveiwing books. Few people would know the truth - that this guy has serious issues and is creepily engaged in relationships with teenage girls. Now everyone knows. Hopefully, the proper measures will be taken so he won't be able to continue preying on young girls.

    When this first started, I viewed the drama as yet another unfortunate event surrounding GR. Now, I'm seeing the ensuing mess as a good thing, for bringing to light a seriously disturbed person whose contact with young girls needs to be stopped.
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  4. #1529
    Thanks, guys.

    Stacia, you were extraordinarily helpful in your comments to him. Oh well, by ignoring your advice, he outed himself as the creep that he is.

    As a side note, several reviewers already tweeted that they will no longer be reviewing self-published books. Collateral damage from the idiocy.

  5. #1530
    Attends The School of AW Alitriona's Avatar
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    ttp://themyesterioumuslimahshaven.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/interview-with-carroll-bryant.html

    I saw this on twitter. Inside this guys mind is a scary place. In this interview he mentions his next book to release around August or September.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 07-23-2012 at 02:41 AM. Reason: No traffic for you!

  6. #1531
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Someone claims to have finally reached the Goodreads community manager, but needs screen captures of CB's abusive/violent posts, I assume to show the legal team. Does anyone here have anything? I can PM you the email to send them to.

    EDIT: Ah, appears they've taken care of it.
    Last edited by Alessandra Kelley; 07-23-2012 at 01:33 AM. Reason: must ... be ... reasonable

  7. #1532
    Soon I will be invincible Question's Avatar
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    IMO, after reading all of this madness and bitchery, I'm starting to think that goodreads reviews should really be regulated. I'm not on the side of that creepy man/that crazy stalker who made that name and shame website, but I don't agree with people being allowed to leave useless reviews either.

    By all means, give shitty reviews, but make them constructive or informative, and backed up with clear reasons. It seems like lots of reviews on goodreads are just people trying desperately to be funny (usually accompanied by a smattering of "funny" pictures and gifs).

    Reviews should (again, IMO) be limited to opinions that aren't outright caustic and constructive criticism, and any horrible arguments would be cut short like, say, here. People can still argue their point and get their opinions across, but it stops things descending into crapfests like this whole fiasco over and over.

    Considering how GR lets bad reviewers run rampant, it's not surprising that butthurt authors start websites like stgrb as revenge/a (woefully inappropriate) countermeasure. Kind of like how you get polarized views on any book that's reviewed unfairly (i.e. a crappy book with lots of five star reviews will inevitably get lots of one star reviews to balance things out by people who are unhappy about it). In other words, eliminating the extremes will reduce the occurence of these ridiculous incidents.

    Probably.
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  8. #1533
    What a desolation. Alexandra Little's Avatar
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    I think Autumn said she reported with screen caps.

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  9. #1534
    Collector of Precious Secrets Pari Vella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alitriona View Post
    I saw this on twitter. Inside this guys mind is a scary place. In this interview he mentions his next book to release around August or September.
    That entire interview sounds like he's simply interviewing himself. IMHO Ira = CB. I'm also having a hard time believing that the picture is really him. The whole thing just feels staged. And kind of creepy.

    The guy is reacting in extreme rage at the girl(s)' rejection. His ego just can't handle someone calling him out on his BS.
    Last edited by Pari Vella; 07-23-2012 at 02:48 AM.

  10. #1535
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    I have some caps but not all of them, nor the most abusive, but he does try to intimidate other users with the threat of violence.
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  11. #1536
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alitriona View Post
    ttp://themyesterioumuslimahshaven.bl...ll-bryant.html

    I saw this on twitter. Inside this guys mind is a scary place. In this interview he mentions his next book to release around August or September.

    How very gentlemanly of him, those comments about his former girlfriends etc. (I assume the one mentioned is the one who sparked this whole mess).
    Last edited by Stacia Kane; 07-23-2012 at 03:11 AM. Reason: I have also removed the h from http
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  12. #1537
    practical experience, FTW CQuinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Question View Post
    IMO, after reading all of this madness and bitchery, I'm starting to think that goodreads reviews should really be regulated. I'm not on the side of that creepy man/that crazy stalker who made that name and shame website, but I don't agree with people being allowed to leave useless reviews either.

    By all means, give shitty reviews, but make them constructive or informative, and backed up with clear reasons. It seems like lots of reviews on goodreads are just people trying desperately to be funny (usually accompanied by a smattering of "funny" pictures and gifs).

    Reviews should (again, IMO) be limited to opinions that aren't outright caustic and constructive criticism, and any horrible arguments would be cut short like, say, here. People can still argue their point and get their opinions across, but it stops things descending into crapfests like this whole fiasco over and over.

    Considering how GR lets bad reviewers run rampant, it's not surprising that butthurt authors start websites like stgrb as revenge/a (woefully inappropriate) countermeasure. Kind of like how you get polarized views on any book that's reviewed unfairly (i.e. a crappy book with lots of five star reviews will inevitably get lots of one star reviews to balance things out by people who are unhappy about it). In other words, eliminating the extremes will reduce the occurence of these ridiculous incidents.

    Probably.
    I couldn't get disagree with more. These people would get insulted no matter how the reviews are approached. Just look at Wendy Darling's, reviews. And the cuddlebuggy reviews. You I know the reviews your talking about but people have a right to express my what they thought of a book. It doesn't matter how they can do it. Again, the journalists or critics can review without this but these people are aren't professional. They are readers on a social networking site based around books. I if anything, but it's the author/fan pages that are causing the problems. Get rid of them and people can't respond to these many poo poo heads who give them bad reviews. Apologise for for spelling. My smart phone is quite dumb and likes to add words.

  13. #1538
    Someday. Kayley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alitriona View Post
    http://themyesterioumuslimahshaven.b...ll-bryant.html

    I saw this on twitter. Inside this guys mind is a scary place. In this interview he mentions his next book to release around August or September.
    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the interview is primarily about his relationships? I've never seen an author interview like that.

    The whole website confuses me though. Carroll's name is listed in the top banner and on the sidebar. My assumption is that both Carroll and Ira (Hira?) run the blog together.

  14. #1539
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    Ira is another teen who acts as his Admin

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  15. #1540
    Soon I will be invincible Question's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CQuinlan View Post
    I couldn't get disagree with more. These people would get insulted no matter how the reviews are approached. Just look at Wendy Darling's, reviews. And the cuddlebuggy reviews. You I know the reviews your talking about but people have a right to express my what they thought of a book. It doesn't matter how they can do it. Again, the journalists or critics can review without this but these people are aren't professional. They are readers on a social networking site based around books. I if anything, but it's the author/fan pages that are causing the problems. Get rid of them and people can't respond to these many poo poo heads who give them bad reviews. Apologise for for spelling. My smart phone is quite dumb and likes to add words.
    I see your point, but aargh. It just rubs me up the wrong way that immature strangers can litter a reviewing site with such pointless reviews and nobody's doing anything about it. I wouldn't mind as much if they were harmless/easily ignorable, but they're annoying because they skew book ratings and make it harder to judge if something is worth reading or not.

    I'm also starting to feel that it should be acceptable for authors to respond to negative reviews, albeit tactfully.

    PS: And don't get me started on all those bitchy cliques/review cartels :@
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  16. #1541
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayley View Post
    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the interview is primarily about his relationships? I've never seen an author interview like that.
    Given that this guy is in the middle of a very-public-mental-health-crisis, and in a frothing rage over the fact that a teenage girl (less than half his age) whom he met on the internet decided he was creepy and she wanted nothing to do with him... not really surprising.

    I'm not using "mental health crisis" hyperbolic or colloquially. As someone else said, this isn't about an author behaving badly. This is someone with very, very serious issues having a public meltdown.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayley View Post
    The whole website confuses me though. Carroll's name is listed in the top banner and on the sidebar. My assumption is that both Carroll and Ira (Hira?) run the blog together.
    Or they're the same person.



    Edited to add: Ninja'd by Medievalist. If Ira/Hira is another teenager, that just makes it all the more creepy. This guy should NOT be allowed to interact with teens, even electronically.
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  17. #1542
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayley View Post
    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the interview is primarily about his relationships? I've never seen an author interview like that.

    The whole website confuses me though. Carroll's name is listed in the top banner and on the sidebar. My assumption is that both Carroll and Ira (Hira?) run the blog together.
    Somewhere in the deleted blog post CB said that "Ira" has access to his accounts and sometimes posts under his name. I am not sure if Ira is real or a sock puppet.

    In his Goodreads blog last month, CB published a poem to celebrate "Ira" graduating high school: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...-ira-and-falls

    In light of recent events, the poem reads like a creepy attempt to groom a lonely young person to trust him.

  18. #1543
    practical experience, FTW CQuinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Question View Post
    I see your point, but aargh. It just rubs me up the wrong way that immature strangers can litter a writing site with such pointless reviews and nobody's doing anything about it. I wouldn't mind as much if they were harmless/easily ignorable, but they're annoying because they skew book ratings and make it harder to judge if something is worth reading or not.

    I'm also starting to feel that it should be acceptable for authors to respond to negative reviews, albeit tactfully.

    PS: And don't get me started on all those bitchy cliques/review cartels :@
    But where would the line be? It's incredibly subjective whether you something is offensive or not. Look at your own signature. How many people did the late great insult? It would be impossible to moderate a site that large so well.

  19. #1544
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Question View Post
    IMO, after reading all of this madness and bitchery, I'm starting to think that goodreads reviews should really be regulated. I'm not on the side of that creepy man/that crazy stalker who made that name and shame website, but I don't agree with people being allowed to leave useless reviews either.

    By all means, give shitty reviews, but make them constructive or informative, and backed up with clear reasons. It seems like lots of reviews on goodreads are just people trying desperately to be funny (usually accompanied by a smattering of "funny" pictures and gifs).

    Reviews should (again, IMO) be limited to opinions that aren't outright caustic and constructive criticism, and any horrible arguments would be cut short like, say, here. People can still argue their point and get their opinions across, but it stops things descending into crapfests like this whole fiasco over and over.

    Considering how GR lets bad reviewers run rampant, it's not surprising that butthurt authors start websites like stgrb as revenge/a (woefully inappropriate) countermeasure. Kind of like how you get polarized views on any book that's reviewed unfairly (i.e. a crappy book with lots of five star reviews will inevitably get lots of one star reviews to balance things out by people who are unhappy about it). In other words, eliminating the extremes will reduce the occurence of these ridiculous incidents.

    Probably.
    I have to disagree with this.

    People can write dreadful, inept books. People can write dreadful, unhelpful reviews. This is a basic freedom.

    It's quite problematic to start dictating what is "constructive or informative." At some point, you'll find you're legislating what opinions people are allowed to express.

    I agree that a site can police their content and say, "We don't accept this sort of thing here," but I'm sure the mods at AW would agree this is a lot of work, and it's very hard to do it well.

    The fact is, there's nothing wrong with a review that provides readers with concrete information about the book's flaws, but there's also nothing wrong with a review that is intended to be pure, fluffy entertainment.

    You saying that one type of review is acceptable and the other is not doesn't respect the fact that other people may enjoy what you don't. Lots of people enjoy reading the catty, ranty reviews.

    You have to self-censor. You shouldn't argue that the things you don't like ought to be hidden from view, because you're doing a disservice to others.

    This is a "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" situation. Freedom of expression is messy, but it's also too precious to toss out with the drama.
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  20. #1545
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaJeanne View Post
    This guy should NOT be allowed to interact with teens, even electronically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    In light of recent events, the poem reads like a creepy attempt to groom a lonely young person to trust him.
    The squick-o-meter is off the chart on this. Has anyone looked into his past? The thought that he is possibly still contacting these (and, for that matter, other) girls is really disturbing.
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  21. #1546
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    Quote Originally Posted by Question View Post
    IMO, after reading all of this madness and bitchery, I'm starting to think that goodreads reviews should really be regulated. I'm not on the side of that creepy man/that crazy stalker who made that name and shame website, but I don't agree with people being allowed to leave useless reviews either.

    By all means, give shitty reviews, but make them constructive or informative, and backed up with clear reasons. It seems like lots of reviews on goodreads are just people trying desperately to be funny (usually accompanied by a smattering of "funny" pictures and gifs).

    Reviews should (again, IMO) be limited to opinions that aren't outright caustic and constructive criticism, and any horrible arguments would be cut short like, say, here. People can still argue their point and get their opinions across, but it stops things descending into crapfests like this whole fiasco over and over.

    Considering how GR lets bad reviewers run rampant, it's not surprising that butthurt authors start websites like stgrb as revenge/a (woefully inappropriate) countermeasure. Kind of like how you get polarized views on any book that's reviewed unfairly (i.e. a crappy book with lots of five star reviews will inevitably get lots of one star reviews to balance things out by people who are unhappy about it). In other words, eliminating the extremes will reduce the occurence of these ridiculous incidents.

    Probably.

    I disagree with you violently and absolutely.

    "Useless" reviews will be ignored. I see lots of useless reviews that say things like "OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK" or "THIS BOOK SUCKS AND WAS BORING." And some are sprinkled with profanity and macros and stuff. Big deal. No, they do not skew ratings. They make up a very small percentage of reviews. Heck, why not just go after the ratings that have no reviews accompanying them, since they outnumber the actual reviews? All those people who give a book 1 star or 5 stars without comment, how useless is that? Maybe reviewers should be required to write a review when rating a book. You could require a minimum word count, and maybe a couple of test questions to prove they actually read the book.

    (Hint: the preceding was sarcasm.)

    You can pick and choose which reviews you like, and you can choose which reviewers you want to follow.

    If Goodreads were to start implementing "reviewing standards" in which "useless reviews" or reviews that are too mean, too mocking, etc., get deleted, there would be no end to it. Every single butthurt author would be flooding the admins with demands to remove every single negative review.

  22. #1547
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjdebenedictis View Post
    I have to disagree with this.

    People can write dreadful, inept books. People can write dreadful, unhelpful reviews. This is a basic freedom.

    It's quite problematic to start dictating what is "constructive or informative." At some point, you'll find you're legislating what opinions people are allowed to express.

    I agree that a site can police their content and say, "We don't accept this sort of thing here," but I'm sure the mods at AW would agree this is a lot of work, and it's very hard to do it well.

    The fact is, there's nothing wrong with a review that provides readers with concrete information about the book's flaws, but there's also nothing wrong with a review that is intended to be pure, fluffy entertainment.

    You saying that one type of review is acceptable and the other is not doesn't respect the fact that other people may enjoy what you don't. Lots of people enjoy reading the catty, ranty reviews.

    You have to self-censor. You shouldn't argue that the things you don't like ought to be hidden from view, because you're doing a disservice to others.

    This is a "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" situation. Freedom of expression is messy, but it's also too precious to toss out with the drama.
    Quote Originally Posted by Amadan View Post
    I disagree with you violently and absolutely.

    "Useless" reviews will be ignored. I see lots of useless reviews that say things like "OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK" or "THIS BOOK SUCKS AND WAS BORING." And some are sprinkled with profanity and macros and stuff. Big deal. No, they do not skew ratings. They make up a very small percentage of reviews. Heck, why not just go after the ratings that have no reviews accompanying them, since they outnumber the actual reviews? All those people who give a book 1 star or 5 stars without comment, how useless is that? Maybe reviewers should be required to write a review when rating a book. You could require a minimum word count, and maybe a couple of test questions to prove they actually read the book.

    (Hint: the preceding was sarcasm.)

    You can pick and choose which reviews you like, and you can choose which reviewers you want to follow.

    If Goodreads were to start implementing "reviewing standards" in which "useless reviews" or reviews that are too mean, too mocking, etc., get deleted, there would be no end to it. Every single butthurt author would be flooding the admins with demands to remove every single negative review.
    Excellent points, jjdebenedictis and Amadan, and I'd like to add a few more.

    1. That sort of review policing is labor-intensive, and Goodreads supervision is clearly creaking at the seams already. There are, what, three million members on Goodreads? Checking every one of their reviews would slow the site down to unusability.

    2. These blowups were not caused by snarky or frivolous reviews. They are Authors Behaving Badly, for the most part. Clamping down on civilian reviewers is not the solution to author temper tantrums, although I'm sure the angry authors would be glad to see it happen.

  23. #1548
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubastes View Post
    As a side note, several reviewers already tweeted that they will no longer be reviewing self-published books. Collateral damage from the idiocy.
    And there'll be more. After this, who would take the chance? Who would review anything by a self-pubber that they didn't know personally? Outfits large enough not to worry too much about random crazies won't review them now. That's probably why he went with teenage-girls' blogs. The adults sensed the creepy, and had him on auto-refuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Question View Post
    I'm also starting to feel that it should be acceptable for authors to respond to negative reviews, albeit tactfully.

    PS: And don't get me started on all those bitchy cliques/review cartels :@
    No,no,no. Maybe Big 6 authors, with editors and agents to tell them to STFU can make a tactful response. If we're in this amateur-hour of self-pubbers authors/amateur reviewers/amateur bloggers/fans, nobody should be responding to anything.
    There are no standards to be met, no employment to be lost, so no reason to be reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by CQuinlan View Post
    But where would the line be? It's incredibly subjective whether you something is offensive or not. Look at your own signature. How many people did the late great insult? It would be impossible to moderate a site that large so well.
    And the GR people apparently don't work weekends now!
    And, judging by the flare-ups of activity mentioned here, the 'problematic people' at GR are playing on that for all they're worth.

  24. #1549
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    The explanation post has been deleted as well. The comments were full of Internet Lawyer threats, claims of being on the phone with a detective RIGHT NOW, they're coming to get you!!! BE SCARED!!!

    And this is why the STGRB site scares me so much. This guy appears to me to have a serious mental illness. He does not have the ability to control his impulsive behavior. He apparently fixates on underage girls, and when spurned, harasses them for months, and does so in public forums as well as private e-mail.

    Now, imagine you had posted to this blog entry, or his blogger entry, and he took offense. Imagine he set up a Google search on your online name (which I think is a completely reasonable assumption, all things considered). Imagine he gets a hit on your online name that links to the STGRB site, and presto, he's got your real name, your family members' real names, your location, and your photograph.

    THIS is why STGRB is such dangerous thing. Yes, the person in charge of that site would seem to be a vindictive little twat with her panties in a wad. But I don't think she has a mental illness--I think she's just a Heather, who's doing this because she can. BUT in doing so, she's making it so much easier for those who are mentally unstable to turn online vendettas into real-life harassment and stalking. That the Huffington Post appears to have completely disregarded this has lowered my already low opinion of them.

    This isn't just an online kerfuffle. This is a callous disregard for the safety of others, and quite frankly I'm far more sympathetic toward the mentally ill person who CAN'T control his behavior than I am toward the petty coward of an author who can, but chooses not to control hers.

  25. #1550
    Yeah, it's deleted because CB's GR blog no longer exists. He's also no longer a Goodreads author...

    Perhaps the admin who was contacted came through. Good on him.

    ETA: He's also posted a link to this thread on his personal blog, declaiming us as bullies. Joy.
    Last edited by swvaughn; 07-23-2012 at 01:04 AM.

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