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Viridian
06-08-2015, 10:31 PM
Aruna just posted this link (http://archive.is/rFgtE) in another thread. I thought it was fantastic, but alas, the thread was years old, so it was locked.

The summary: a reviewer posted a very tame negative review. The author not only responded -- he demanded that she take the review down and began harassing her. Some highlights:


This review is not good for my business, so unless your desire is to ruin my dreams, it would mean a great deal if you could remove this review.

what you're doing is waging war on the consciousness of humanity. [...] I'm not offended. What bothers me is when people that operated at a low level of consciousness defame the work of people that are trying to help humanity.


You're immoral for defending this 1 star review. [...] Someone that leaves 1 star reviews on someone's work who didn't wrong them, who they've never met, that's IS THE MEASURE OF A BAD PERSON.


SHE DID attack my book. That's what a 1 Star review IS. Her reviews POST TO MY PAGE. It attaches itself to me whether I like it or not. What is wrong with your POISONED WORLDVIEW where you cannot understand the damage that that does???

He also accuses everyone of bullying him.

Anyway, before this fiasco, the author had fairly average reviews. Now he has pages and pages of one-star reviews. I almost feel bad for him. He over-reacted, but now people are negatively reviewing his work just because of his behavior.

So what do you think? Does he deserve it?

Maggie Maxwell
06-08-2015, 10:36 PM
There's already a thread going on this here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?307571-What-NOT-to-do-as-a-self-pub-%28ANY-type%29-of-author) (not the locked one). ETA: Although I do think Roundtable is a better place for it since it's sage advice for all authors, not just self-published ones.

aruna
06-08-2015, 10:47 PM
Thanks for starting the thread -- I hadn't noticed how old the original thread was, and I'm always reluctant to start new threads on existing topics. But this particular review shows exactly "what not to do", and why.

heza
06-08-2015, 10:54 PM
It strikes me that some authors might be perceiving Amazon and Goodreads as their domains, as if they think it's a place for their fans to cheerlead for them, and are forgetting that these are primarily places for readers to exchange their thoughts on what they've read.

Cyia
06-08-2015, 11:04 PM
It strikes me that some authors might be perceiving Amazon and Goodreads as their domains, as if they think it's a place for their fans to cheerlead for them, and are forgetting that these are primarily places for readers to exchange their thoughts on what they've read.

I think that's exactly what it is. It's pretty clear with the author who had his profile pulled, as many times he referred to his page or his account and how all the bad reviews were being linked to it. Sometimes people look at those author pages like a facebook page, which is completely controllable. The difference is, Facebook is built for interaction with someone, GR and Amazon review sections aren't like that. They're for consumers.

cmhbob
06-08-2015, 11:14 PM
I don't think anyone deserves to be piled on. Just ignore him. Let him have his little rant, and quit engaging him. Isn't that what we were told as kids? "If you ignore him, he'll go away."

And I have to wonder how many people who are writing reviews have actually read the book.

Gilroy Cullen
06-08-2015, 11:40 PM
Most of the 1 stars that I read said they read the preview Amazon offered... and that was bad enough.

Kay
06-08-2015, 11:54 PM
If it's true that an author's Amazon rank is determined by number of visits to our book's page, this guy's rank should get and stay decent for a while.

ShaunHorton
06-08-2015, 11:58 PM
I want to do a serial killer/stalker novel about an author that hunts down and kills anyone that gives his book a bad review.

Seriously, all that guy's talk about the consciousness of humanity and being assaulted by evil...I think he's missing more than a few screws.

PastyAlien
06-09-2015, 12:05 AM
I read some of the preview, and it was cringe-worthy. Trolls notwithstanding, the author's tirade likely attracted a bunch of new readers who are giving his book honest reviews (as opposed to reviewers who were given free copies in exchange for five-star reviews, as mentioned on goodreads). I don't know if that's true, but if it is, perhaps the ratings are now starting to reflect the actual quality of the book.

Kitty27
06-09-2015, 01:31 AM
Good lord.

He might be a bit-ahem-thin skinned for the writing life.

Once!
06-09-2015, 01:36 AM
Here we go again, sadly.

First we have an author breaking the fourth wall in the worst way by arguing with a reviewer. That never ends well. It's not our job to quibble with our customers. If they don't like it, they don't like it.

Then we have the community of readers venting their displeasure by giving a rash of 1 star reviews. And while I can see why they are doing that, I do feel in theory that it's a bit harsh. However in this case ...

... RYFW makes it difficult for me to say what I thought from the Look Inside sample. Let me just say that reviewers aren't only giving it a one star rating as a punishment.

It's another car crash.

nastyjman
06-09-2015, 02:28 AM
While reading his tirade, my brain is screaming, "No, No, No! Stop arguing! Take the criticism and move on!"

I'll save this up as a cautionary-tale--which, frankly, has a lot of dramatic and intriguing elements you would see in a reality TV romp.

Ambrosia
06-09-2015, 03:29 AM
I followed the link and read many, though not all, of the comments at Goodreads. I think one of the most heartbreaking things for me was Cait, who gave the one star review, saying she wasn't going to read any more indie authors' books because of the harassment she received from the author.

I hope she changes her mind. I hope she keeps reviewing books, indie or not. I hope others who said they also wouldn't read indie authors now change their minds. Other authors losing readers over one author's bad decision to engage is tragic to me.

CassandraW
06-09-2015, 03:49 AM
Cait was way nicer than I would have been.

Fruitbat
06-09-2015, 03:51 AM
Oh how cringey! *shudders* *then goes back to read more*

Viridian
06-09-2015, 04:00 AM
Cait was way nicer than I would have been.
She was a real champ. I'm pretty impressed.

Ambrosia
06-09-2015, 04:09 AM
I'm very impressed with how she handled the situation. I am fairly certain I would have been hard-pressed to manage it as well as she did.

Fruitbat
06-09-2015, 04:11 AM
ITA. I wondered if she (Cait) worked in customer service or something. She contained herself very well.

Roxxsmom
06-09-2015, 04:20 AM
Aruna just posted this link (http://archive.is/rFgtE) in another thread. I thought it was fantastic, but alas, the thread was years old, so it was locked.

The summary: a reviewer posted a very tame negative review. The author not only responded -- he demanded that she take the review down and began harassing her. Some highlights:






He also accuses everyone of bullying him.

Anyway, before this fiasco, the author had fairly average reviews. Now he has pages and pages of one-star reviews. I almost feel bad for him. He over-reacted, but now people are negatively reviewing his work just because of his behavior.

So what do you think? Does he deserve it?

I saw this a while ago, and my reactions were:

What a numbnut. First off, the whole point of reviews is for readers to say what they liked and disliked. It's not an attack on the author (unless it says something like, "This man poisons puppies" or something), but yes, it's a criticism of the work. That's the point. If he wants to take negative criticism as an attack of said work, so be it. But that's how it's supposed to work.

The review was a bit terse and not terribly helpful (didn't say anything specific about what reader didn't like), but it was on the mild end of the spectrum. Something about "the blurb said that if I liked X, Y, and Z, I'd love this book, yet I love all three and hated this book." Actually, as a prospective reader, I tend to ignore reviews like this, especially if most of the others are good, since they lack any useful information that would lead me to think I would share that person's taste, rather than the larger number who liked the book.

But if an author I don't know yet goes all rabid and starts harassing reviewers, you can guarantee I won't want to read anything he's written. And if a writer I do enjoy does this, well, I might back away too. Because it's ridiculous behavior at best, and rather creepy at worse.

I can see someone making "the author's big mistake" on a bad day, when they're at a low ebb and a nasty, snarky, ridiculously ignorant review comes in, the kind that makes you wonder if the person actually read the book or just completely didn't get it. But the worst thing to do in that situation is to double down and keep at it, calling attention to your faux pas. And to take the tack of "this is my business, and bad reviews are costing me money"?

That's just unbearably and stupidly precious for words. News flash. Every other writer is in the same situation. Special snowflake alert. And he's probably floored by the fact that his tempest in a teapot on goodreads attracted a veritable hurricane of one-star reviews and negative attention that will indeed hurt his business.

Filigree
06-09-2015, 05:14 AM
I am an evil person. I'd be fighting the urge to post, 'Why yes, I want to ruin your dreams.' But it's moot, because I simply will not review writing that bad. Esp.if it is self-published.

shakeysix
06-09-2015, 05:17 AM
"pretentious" seems to be the word that pissed him off but his responses are pretentious. Not to mention entitled. Accusing the reviewer of ruining his means of income? He wrote a book so he is entitled to a living from its sales? The dog pile might seem cruel, but, as my old dad used to say, anyone that plain damn dumb needs to be told about it often, daily if possible! --s6

frimble3
06-09-2015, 05:17 AM
I followed the link and read many, though not all, of the comments at Goodreads. I think one of the most heartbreaking things for me was Cait, who gave the one star review, saying she wasn't going to read any more indie authors' books because of the harassment she received from the author.

I hope she changes her mind. I hope she keeps reviewing books, indie or not. I hope others who said they also wouldn't read indie authors now change their minds. Other authors losing readers over one author's bad decision to engage is tragic to me.
Well, it's not just about losing 'readers', is it? Look at the threads about self-published authors who can't get review sites to touch their books with a ten-foot pole, because of too many incidents like this. "Not worth the hassle" seems to be a pretty common response, because there's not way of knowing which authors are going to freak out.
The Internet giveth the era of the independent on-line reviewer, and the Internet taketh away.

Darron
06-09-2015, 05:38 AM
I am an evil person. I'd be fighting the urge to post, 'Why yes, I want to ruin your dreams.' But it's moot, because I simply will not review writing that bad. Esp.if it is self-published.

I agree it's tempting to poke the badger with a spoon of insults, but if you don't get to see someone actually break down then it just doesn't feel as evil, lol.
What I will give the guy credit for it using that comment section as a plug for the book itself, though I doubt that helped at all.

ShaunHorton
06-09-2015, 05:54 AM
I looked at his book on Amazon and I saw a few people also giving him five-star reviews in order to balance out the bad ones he's getting from his meltdown.

As much as I just shake my head at these meltdowns, what really makes me want to cry is the number of people that support them. I'm a member of several groups on Facebook, and it almost physically hurts when someone posts something for everyone to read that is riddled with typos and grammar mistakes (and copyrighted/trademarked material, but that's a separate kettle of fish.) and yet, everyone jumps in and tells them it's great, amazing, and perfect.

It's just horrible to me that so many self-published authors seem to have this opinion, not that their book is specifically above reproach, but that the only thing keeping them from being billionaires is a few bad reviews.

I just.....ugh....

C.bronco
06-09-2015, 06:02 AM
I have a friend who is a book critic. He once called an author worst ever, and a few years later let the author throw a pie in his face.

Introversion
06-09-2015, 06:16 AM
I want to do a serial killer/stalker novel about an author that hunts down and kills anyone that gives his book a bad review.

Let us know when it's up on Amazon, so I can give it a good review... :evil

Introversion
06-09-2015, 06:27 AM
Wow.

I am squeamish to think I might someday breathe air that has round-tripped through this guy's lungs as he so very publicly imploded.

Fruitbat
06-09-2015, 06:36 AM
I'm guessing this guy skipped that whole critique process thing and this is what happened when he got his first "correction" publicly instead.

I have to say though, regardless, I really do hate a pile on. It's too easy.

jjdebenedictis
06-09-2015, 07:48 AM
I'm getting better, as I get older. The allure of the schadenfreude is strong, but when I looked at this, eventually I started to think, "This fellow is not in a healthy head-space," and I felt sorry for him. It helped clear the urge to jump into that glorious dog-pile and squirm in nice and deep.

Maggie Maxwell
06-09-2015, 07:56 AM
I'm guessing this guy skipped that whole critique process thing and this is what happened when he got his first "correction" publicly instead.

I have to say though, regardless, I really do hate a pile on. It's too easy.

Except this isn't the first. It's just the one that got the most attention for some reason. He's been bullying people who give him bad reviews since at least August 2014 (http://www.amazon.com/review/R2Q381BBMQFWDR/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00JJI4GFE&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text#wasThisHelpful).

aruna
06-09-2015, 08:09 AM
If it's true that an author's Amazon rank is determined by number of visits to our book's page, this guy's rank should get and stay decent for a while.
No, AFAIK that doesn't help. Sales help, and rankings in category lists, and being listed in "Also Read".

Fruitbat
06-09-2015, 08:13 AM
Except this isn't the first. It's just the one that got the most attention for some reason. He's been bullying people who give him bad reviews since at least August 2014 (http://www.amazon.com/review/R2Q381BBMQFWDR/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00JJI4GFE&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text#wasThisHelpful).

Oh dear.

Filigree
06-09-2015, 09:12 AM
Yup. He clearly fails on at least two counts of Filigree's Rule (badly self-pubbed + crazy ranter), so I'm not getting near him. He can't learn from anything I'd say, good or bad, and I have better things to do with my limited time in this existence.

Samsonet
06-09-2015, 09:32 AM
Okay, now I'm a bit confused as to what Goodreads reviews are for. I've been using it like a book-focused social media thing. Does this book make me happy? Did I like the cover? Is this the book I was reading when [life-changing event] happened?

But apparently, Goodreads reviews are supposed to be like Amazon reviews in guiding consumers to books? Is that what he's saying?

rugcat
06-09-2015, 09:42 AM
My favorite 1 star review from Amazon ever (of my first urban fantasy book) in its entirety:

"This book stinks on ice. From the book cover, I thought this was a book about a radioactive dog, but it was nothing of the sort!"

Roxxsmom
06-09-2015, 09:58 AM
Darn, I'd read a book about a radioactive dog. Seriously, I now want to go read your UF books. Not enough fantasy novels with dogs in them (there's a dog in mine, though she's purely a support character and quite ordinary).

There are ways to blow off steam while reading bad reviews, though. I'll admit that this video (http://jaynerylon.com/2015/03/bestselling-authors-read-mean-reviews/) amuses me. I suppose some would say it's also authors calling out bad reviews inappropriately, but the difference here is that they're doing it in a way that doesn't seem to take themselves too seriously and they're not engaging the reviewers in an exchange. And it sends an important message--everyone gets them. Everyone.

Asha Leu
06-09-2015, 11:56 AM
Jesus. At first I was fascinated by the trainwreck (I've always had a weakness for this sort of schadenfreude), then became a bit put off by the sheer size of the pile on (however justified)... now I'm dearly hoping this guy hasn't topped himself and / or everyone in his immediate vicinity.

In one of the Goodreads threads, somebody linked to an interview with the author on a random blog, where he talks about - I kid you not - the disembodied little girl's voice in his head (apparently he thought it was real when he was younger, now he realises that it probably isn't) that gives him his ideas! :Wha:

Helix
06-09-2015, 12:04 PM
My favorite 1 star review from Amazon ever (of my first urban fantasy book) in its entirety:

"This book stinks on ice. From the book cover, I thought this was a book about a radioactive dog, but it was nothing of the sort!"

A pooch emitting Cherenkov radiation. It's the only explanation!

Old Hack
06-09-2015, 12:18 PM
I locked the thread which was started in the section I moderate, because I was concerned that it was going to cross the RYFW line.

However, in a discussion on Reddit there are allegations of plagiarism against the author (https://www.reddit.com/r/delusionalartists/comments/38td0w/goodreads_user_leaves_short_1star_review_author/cryjrog) I am glad this thread remains open.


[–]codeine74 (https://www.reddit.com/user/codeine74) 3 points 1 day ago
Interesting development - it turns out that the book in question might be at least partly plagiarised. "Joanne" on the Goodreads thread pointed this out:


The author page quotes this as an excerpt from the book:


"You are something that the whole universe is doing, that God is doing, just as a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. The real you, the energy, the soul, is not a puppet that life pushes around."


Alan Watts, May 15, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6mxh...


"You are something that the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing... The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around; the real, deep down you is the whole universe."






Another commenter there points out that the quoted portion was part of a short foreword and so there's no indication that the book itself was plagiarised; but frankly, plagiarism is plagiarism no matter how much of the manuscript it makes up.

Filigree
06-09-2015, 01:06 PM
Facepalm.

...And he obviously doesn't even know how to cite quotations. Asleep during English class?

ETA: Having read deeper into the Reddit comments, I'm done. The poor guy has a delusional conspiracy-theory chip on his shoulder the size of Kamchatcka. He's been shoved off Goodreads. He's made almost a worse fool of himself than the Teddy Bear guy from last year.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
06-09-2015, 01:48 PM
What I will give the guy credit for it using that comment section as a plug for the book itself, though I doubt that helped at all.Yeah, just reading the link in the OP, it all began to sound like some sort of ill-considered stab at viral marketing (e.g., "This is what my book's about! This evil here and Onora/me fighting for truth and justice!")

autumnleaf
06-09-2015, 04:10 PM
It seems like he might be mentally ill, which makes me uneasy about the pile-on. I'm also impressed by Cait and her calm responses.

On a more general note, I sometimes like to look at 1-star reviews of recognised classics. Here's an extract from one of my favourites:

I think that To Kill A Mockingbird has such a prominent place in (American) culture because it is a naive, idealistic piece of writing in which naivete and idealism are ultimately rewarded. It's a saccharine, rose-tinted eulogy for the nineteen thirties from an orator who comes not to bury, but to praise.

I'm sure Harper Lee wasn't too upset about it.

paddismac
06-09-2015, 04:16 PM
<snip> He's made almost a worse fool of himself than the Teddy Bear guy from last year.


This! When this meltdown was pointed out to me a couple days ago, this was the first thing that came to my mind, and I immediately wondered if it was the same guy. But I wasn't invested enough to look into it any further.

The whole incident is so unfortunate on so many levels.

chompers
06-09-2015, 04:35 PM
What's the Teddy Bear guy?

Perks
06-09-2015, 04:42 PM
He's an obnoxious nut and a terrible writer, but I don't think anyone should give a review or a rating to a book they haven't read - with the exception being to documented plagiarism. There have been a number of cases where a plagiarized book has made it to Goodreads and even Amazon and I think those should be torpedoed with one-star reviews while the legalities get sorted out.

Maggie Maxwell
06-09-2015, 05:23 PM
What's the Teddy Bear guy?

Bears in Boats fighting crime (http://tidbits.com/article/14696)

The author's the first comment. And the second. The third. Fourth fifth sixth seventh... fifteenth... twenty-second.

CassandraW
06-09-2015, 05:31 PM
That's straight out of Fitzgerald and Keats, my friend. Straight out....and VENICE UNDER GLASS is more a lyrical prose poem to Venice than anything else!

When you find yourself saying this about your own work, and you are serious, it's time to step away from the keyboard. Particularly if the segment of your work you cite to support this statement reads like this:


"However, what struck me immediately upon entering was perfume. It wasn't Cordelia—rather roses. The scent was unmistakable. There were dozens and dozens of flowers in vases of all descriptions filling the living room. Roses grew from metal floor stands and stood in cut-crystal on side-tables and window-ledges and overflowed into the dining room, stopping only when the bouquets had covered her kitchen counters, scenting the air throughout like crazy. Some bear had sent her bright yellow and orange dozens, poised next to red, white and pink dozens. In the center of the living room, two dozen anxious roses blushed lavender by the vacant love-seat

Also, there are only so many posts in a row one should be able to make before a giant hook drags one offstage.

Jamesaritchie
06-09-2015, 05:39 PM
I'd feel sorry for him, too, if bad reviews meant anything. They don't. If anything, a lot of bad reviews will increase sales. There's an old saying in publishing that a good review in the right place can sell one hundred thousand copies of a novel. A lousy review in the same place will sell ninety thousand copies. It's true.

Until recently, the bestselling hardcover for adults of all time, and one of the bestselling paperbacks, was The Bridges of Madison County. It also received more bad reviews, and a higher percentage of bad reviews, than any other novel.

The truth is, very, very few members of the general reading public gives a rat's behind about reviews, good or bad. Most don't even remember whether a review was good or bad, they just remember hearing about the book.

If their friends like it, they read it. If they like it, they spread the word. Books do not sell because of reviews, they sell based solely on whether most readers like the book.

shakeysix
06-09-2015, 05:45 PM
I remember Cordelia and the roses! Had forgotten all about the Teddy Bear guy. I loved watching that particular train wreck because I used to write like the Teddy Bear guy. Of course that was back when I was a genius. I figured if one line was brilliant six more would be sheer genius. Then I showed my stuff around and waited for fame. None was forthcoming and some of the feedback was plain pointed. I cried a little (truthfully, I cried a lot.) and then I stopped writing like that. Simple, right? --s6

Amadan
06-09-2015, 06:22 PM
I want to do a serial killer/stalker novel about an author that hunts down and kills anyone that gives his book a bad review.


It's been done (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18078245-the-goodreads-killer).

Lillith1991
06-09-2015, 06:47 PM
The thing that gets me about this guy, mentally unbalanced or not. Because we can only make guesses at this point and honestly don't know, so labeling him as such wouldn't be fair. Is that it still doesn't excuse the behavior, either way it is abominable to act like this guy did multiple times over a review or like the Teddy Bear Guy. Bad behavior is bad behavior.

Dave.C.Robinson
06-09-2015, 06:59 PM
I'm lucky, I've managed to fight the temptation to reply to any reviews of my self-published books. Oddly, the one-star didn't bother me, but the three-star that recapped a totally different plot than that of my novel did. However, I managed to remain strong and not even respond to that one.

MynaOphelia
06-09-2015, 07:41 PM
I really feel for Cait. It is terrifying for an author to lash out at you, and the way he is doing it is so threatening and self-righteous it's quite unnerving. Especially after previous, similar incidents have happened, such as the one where an author actually tracked down a reviewer and went to her house (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/18/am-i-being-catfished-an-author-confronts-her-number-one-online-critic) after a bad review.

shakeysix
06-09-2015, 07:48 PM
Oh, yeah. I remember that nightmare, too. Since I have retired I had planned on doing some reviews. Now I am not so sure it is safe. Kind of like road rage--we can call it Page Rage! --s6

brainstorm77
06-09-2015, 08:02 PM
What was he thinking when he put his work out there? *shakes head* One of the worst meltdowns ever that I have read.

Looks like he's been confronting reviews on Amazon too: http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Onora-Boy-Peddler-Death-ebook/dp/B00JJI4GFE/

cmhbob
06-09-2015, 08:10 PM
I wish I had enough reviews to be able to get that worked up....

aruna
06-09-2015, 09:10 PM
Even with all the new 1 stars, he still has a four star average...

Sirion
06-09-2015, 09:18 PM
The author was wrong to reply to a review. Obviously.

However, maybe he's secretly a genius? :P I think he's getting far more attention (and book purchases) than he ever would've gotten before.

Being an obscure writer, this negative attention will actually help him sell books. Even if they are buying them just to bash him on reviews.

:Shrug:

CassandraW
06-09-2015, 10:14 PM
I took a little peek at The Tale of Onora on Amazon.

Once again, I have to say that Cait was a lot kinder than I would have been.

Chasing the Horizon
06-09-2015, 10:57 PM
The author's behavior is an example of completely inexcusable assholery. However, I don't understand why people are praising the reviewer's response. She continued to engage with an obviously irrational and abusive person far past the point it could possibly be justified, then stated she was going to stop reading and reviewing indie books because this one person hurt her feelings. That's certainly not a mature or reasonable response in my book. The mature response to internet assholery is to report the asshole, block them, and move on. If they're getting under your skin, click the little red 'x' button in the upper corner of your browser window. I guarantee it will make the asshole magically disappear. Now, if only they would invent a little red 'x' button for real life...

CassandraW
06-09-2015, 11:08 PM
You're probably correct that blocking and ignoring him would have been the wisest thing to do.

I think the reason many of us found her response admirable in some measure was because she didn't sneer or rant back, and the provocation was certainly there. She seemed to feel bad that her review had upset him, and although (quite correctly) she was not willing to remove her review altogether, she was willing to flesh it out to explain her view in more detail, noting that others might like the stuff she didn't like. She was even willing to tone down her negative language, and she tried hard to empathize with him.

That absolutely would not have been my own response, by the way -- depending on what day he caught me on, I either would have done as you suggest, or else I would have enjoyed a little bit of my trademark wise-assery before moving on with my life. Probably the latter, since the guy's responses were deliciously ridiculous.

Viridian
06-09-2015, 11:22 PM
I don't understand why people are praising the reviewer's response. She continued to engage with an obviously irrational and abusive person far past the point it could possibly be justified
I'm really surprised you see it that way.

She remained firm and explained her point of view. Yeah, she could've shut up and left, but why is she obligated to? That's her space, and the author invaded it. He harassed her -- why shouldn't she speak her mind? How is standing your ground immature?

It's not the choice I would have made, but if she wants to do that, good for her.

then stated she was going to stop reading and reviewing indie books because this one person hurt her feelings. That's certainly not a mature or reasonable response in my book.
Again, I'm really surprised you see it that way.

Reviewing is a selfless act that helps other readers. No one is obligated to review, and if she's afraid of being harassed, why should she keep doing it?

Honestly, I'm not even sure how serious that comment was. If a book is self-published well, then it shouldn't look self-published anyway. I guess she could look up the publisher for every book.

CassandraW
06-09-2015, 11:27 PM
That's a really good point, ViridianChick -- I forgot that the author was actually writing in Cait's space. That being the case, no, she should not have simply ignored him. And yes, she was extremely kind and patient, and yet held her ground.

I wouldn't have been that nice, yet I do admire her for it.

chompers
06-10-2015, 01:57 AM
Wasn't the stalker author not a self-published author? Wasn't she from a big house even? So that just made me think Cait might as well not review anymore if that's going to stop her.

This may sound like I'm on the author's side, but I'm not. It's just she stood her ground and now she's letting them win.

Roxxsmom
06-10-2015, 02:14 AM
I have to say that if someone's behavior appears to be delusional, disordered, and contrary to their own self interest, people will speculate about the possibility of mental illness. This is not meant as a disparagement of mentally ill people, or a statement that all mentally ill people behave in the same way. Nor does it mean that people who aren't mentally ill can't behave in ways that appear to be delusional, disordered, and contrary to their own self interest occasionally. Of course, we don't have access to the person's internal state, or know how they behave outside this particular context. And even a mental health professional can't diagnose someone based on a thread on the internet.

But it's human nature to speculate. As long as we're all aware that it's speculation, I don't think that's problematic.


Wasn't the stalker author not a self-published author? Wasn't she from a big house even? So that just made me think Cait might as well not review anymore if that's going to stop her.

This may sound like I'm on the author's side, but I'm not. It's just she stood her ground and now she's letting them win.

If this is referring to Kathleen Hale, she was published with Harper Teen. Even trade-published authors can go off the rails.

Though I'm guessing that self-published might have more issues, if for no other reason than they haven't been through the arduous rounds of submission and rejection that most trade-published authors have. Plus, they're less likely to have agents or editors or a professional network of fellow authors to give them advice about how to handle things like this. I suspect that a trade-published author who is becoming notorious for engaging with one-star reviewers on goodreads might get a stern talking to at the very least, since it won't be just their reputation and profit on the line.

Ravioli
06-10-2015, 02:30 AM
I dunno about the book, but while his reactions were highly unprofessional and ridiculous, I don't think his work deserves bad reviews because of his character flaws. Had I found Mein Kampf a good read, I would've left Hitler a good review. Punishing character flaws by attacking the work, is as unprofessional as the author's meltdown I think. WTF tell me my drawings are shit because I called you a jerk?

Once!
06-10-2015, 02:57 AM
I dunno about the book, but while his reactions were highly unprofessional and ridiculous, I don't think his work deserves bad reviews because of his character flaws. Had I found Mein Kampf a good read, I would've left Hitler a good review. Punishing character flaws by attacking the work, is as unprofessional as the author's meltdown I think. WTF tell me my drawings are shit because I called you a jerk?

I'm finding it hard to get my head around this one. In my simple little mind, a review ought to be a review. It should be an honest statement from a genuine reader about whether they liked the book or not.

It shouldn't be a manufactured five star review from a sock puppet, best friend, commercial company. But it also shouldn't be a one star punishment review because the writer did something that the reviewer didn't like. Two wrongs don't make a right. Even if someone behaves like a jerk that doesn't mean it's okay to behave like an equal jerk in return.

That's the theory. But I've got a nagging doubt that this neat theory doesn't quite work. How else are readers going to express their opinion other than by doing this? They haven't really got anything else. If we accept that readers have a right to comment on what we write, then we ought to accept that they will comment on other things too. They can express an opinion about how we conduct ourselves - whether that is plagiarism or arguing about a review.

If this was a case of a good book unfairly receiving one star reviews then I would feel more sympathy. But ... how can I put this whilst sticking to RYFW? ... I don't think that's the case here. I can't see a review which doesn't seem to be someone's genuine opinion.

What a mess.

I'd forgotten about the teddy bear guy. Wonder what happened to him?

Roxxsmom
06-10-2015, 03:15 AM
I dunno about the book, but while his reactions were highly unprofessional and ridiculous, I don't think his work deserves bad reviews because of his character flaws. Had I found Mein Kampf a good read, I would've left Hitler a good review. Punishing character flaws by attacking the work, is as unprofessional as the author's meltdown I think. WTF tell me my drawings are shit because I called you a jerk?

Perhaps, but it's human nature. And as for the Hitler thing, there's a point when most of us can't get past their emotions about who someone is as a person and what they've done. Maybe that's a flaw, maybe the handful (like yourself) who can be completely dispassionate about such things have a strength most lack, but I don't think it's fixable.

I personally find it easier to be able to separate my emotional and intellectual self when the writer in question has not hurt people like me or people I care for. There are some themes and ideas that just hurt too damned much. They get in the way of my ability to appreciate their craft. Reading them feels like being punched in the face (or seeing someone I love punched in the face). At that point, I'm not going to stop and marvel at the skill with which the person is delivering their uppercuts.

Again, maybe this is a flaw or weakness in my character. I've been told that it is when conversations about why some of us just can't read and enjoy certain writers. But the issue of different tolerances for writers of problematic things is pretty complex.

Now this fellow doesn't seem to be anywhere close to the same moral standing as Hitler, or even the more modern writers with hateful sociopolitical views. He's just sad and pathetic. So yeah, piling on with the one-stars seems pointless and cruel. But it does illustrate why I tend to take these kinds of reviews, especially ones that don't include any analysis of the work in question, with a huge grain of salt.

Any author who wants to keep his or her sanity is advised to as well.

Ravioli
06-10-2015, 11:49 AM
That's the theory. But I've got a nagging doubt that this neat theory doesn't quite work. How else are readers going to express their opinion other than by doing this? They haven't really got anything else. If we accept that readers have a right to comment on what we write, then we ought to accept that they will comment on other things too. They can express an opinion about how we conduct ourselves - whether that is plagiarism or arguing about a review.

Of course, but on a platform meant for the reviewing of BOOKS, the authors' character shouldn't be under review. A honest bad review because you thought the book sucks, is cool. But giving one star because the author is a jerk, on a BOOK review, that's what bothers me.

I was very tempted in 2010 to trash an author in a review while I hadn't even read her book. She had thrown a tantrum and written bad reviews under fake names about a book published at the same time as hers, on the same topic, except at a tenth of the price. She threatened to sue for plagiarism (for the book) and character assassination (for the bad reviews, because she published a huge hard-cover book unedited, horribly written, horribly structured, horribly spelled/punctuated, and wanted $40 for it). It even turned out that her non-fiction on "her experiences" receiving welfare was a bunch of lies, because she wasn't on welfare - she merrily bred pedigree horses and had no idea what financial hardship and poverty actually are!
I kept it at revealing the fake accounts in comments on her negative reviews on the "competing" book, and that was it. It simply felt wrong to trash her book when the only thing I've read enough to trash, were her tantrums. I wish her all the worst, but I haven't read her book, so I'm not reviewing it.


Perhaps, but it's human nature. And as for the Hitler thing, there's a point when most of us can't get past their emotions about who someone is as a person and what they've done. Maybe that's a flaw, maybe the handful (like yourself) who can be completely dispassionate about such things have a strength most lack, but I don't think it's fixable.

I personally find it easier to be able to separate my emotional and intellectual self when the writer in question has not hurt people like me or people I care for. There are some themes and ideas that just hurt too damned much. They get in the way of my ability to appreciate their craft. Reading them feels like being punched in the face (or seeing someone I love punched in the face). At that point, I'm not going to stop and marvel at the skill with which the person is delivering their uppercuts.

But while I can understand that, this would make me question why you'd read a potential punch in the face at all. I think book reviews should be used solely to post one's opinion on the book, not the author (as a person), not history, not personal experiences.

chompers
06-10-2015, 12:44 PM
If this is referring to Kathleen Hale, she was published with Harper Teen. Even trade-published authors can go off the rails.

Yes, this was my point. Cait stated she wouldn't review indie authors anymore, because of this one author's behavior. But it's not limited to self-published authored, as proven by Hale. Shame she's letting a "category" stop her when it's not the category, but the author.

Also, I agree it's a review on a book, not a person. The review should not be based on the author's actions, unless it involves plagiarism, as that pertains directly to the book.

Roxxsmom
06-10-2015, 12:58 PM
Of course, but on a platform meant for the reviewing of BOOKS, the authors' character shouldn't be under review. A honest bad review because you thought the book sucks, is cool. But giving one star because the author is a jerk, on a BOOK review, that's what bothers me.

I was very tempted in 2010 to trash an author in a review while I hadn't even read her book. She had thrown a tantrum and written bad reviews under fake names about a book published at the same time as hers, on the same topic, except at a tenth of the price. She threatened to sue for plagiarism (for the book) and character assassination (for the bad reviews, because she published a huge hard-cover book unedited, horribly written, horribly structured, horribly spelled/punctuated, and wanted $40 for it). It even turned out that her non-fiction on "her experiences" receiving welfare was a bunch of lies, because she wasn't on welfare - she merrily bred pedigree horses and had no idea what financial hardship and poverty actually are!
I kept it at revealing the fake accounts in comments on her negative reviews on the "competing" book, and that was it. It simply felt wrong to trash her book when the only thing I've read enough to trash, were her tantrums. I wish her all the worst, but I haven't read her book, so I'm not reviewing it.


But while I can understand that, this would make me question why you'd read a potential punch in the face at all. I think book reviews should be used solely to post one's opinion on the book, not the author (as a person), not history, not personal experiences.

Wouldn't you be reviewing the content of a book like Mein Kampf, though? Even if it's well written, it's certainly acceptable to state that you find the content of the book hateful and disgusting and why. And if I happen to know that the author's RL views and behavior towards others mirror those presented in the book, I think it's acceptable to say that it's clear the author is using said book as a pulpit for their personal views/agenda.

Book reviews are a heads up to potential readers, after all. Warning, reading this might make you feel like you or someone you love are being punched in the face.

Again, this isn't quite the same situation, since the bevy of one-star reviews had to do with the author's behavior in a separate context that likely had no bearing on the content of his book. I personally wouldn't join the bandwagon there, though I can't say I feel super sorry for this person either. Of course, getting shirty in a comment thread of a review site is, while obnoxious, not exactly on the same level morally as hate speech or starting a movement to strip people of their rights. But he should have realized that his behavior wasn't going to lead to anything good for him.

I agree it's not useful to give a bad review of a book just because a writer is an A-hole in real life (though knowing someone is an A-hole in real life can certainly make it easier to see faults in a book and make one feel less bad about discussing them). The review should talk about the book.

I think it's perfectly reasonable, however, for someone to decide they're not interested in reading an author if he or she reveals themselves to be an aggressive and unpleasant person who goes after people who criticize their work. Plenty of books out there by authors who won't have a meltdown if I don't like their book and say so publicly. Why would I set myself up for harassment?

Once!
06-10-2015, 01:15 PM
In my English literature degree (a long long time ago) we were given two pieces of writing to contrast. Both pieces were describing poor working class people at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

The first piece was undoubtedly beautifully written. The prose was sparkling, the language was elegant - it was clearly written by someone highly educated. But the content was a little bit dubious. The writer was both romanticising what it was like to be poor and looking down on these people. It may have been beautifully presented, but it made for uncomfortable reading.

The second piece was rough and ready. The prose was more clunky and inelegant. But its message was something that we could all relate to. It described the hardships that this group of people endured. It talked about the dangers of working with early machinery.

The tutor then asked us which was the best piece of writing. Most in the class (me included) preferred the first piece. It was a more classically "good" piece of writing. But the tutor disagreed. He argued that the second piece was better because we need to look at content as well as style. He said that it also spoke to a modern context because we were at the time in the middle of the miner's strike.

Looking back on it with the benefit of more than 30 years life, and I think we were both wrong. Content and context matters. Style matters. I can dislike a book for either reason. So for me, Mein Kampf may be well written but I would cheerfully give it one star because of its content.

Surely it is the overall impact that a book makes on you - "Did I like this?" - that we need to reflect in our reviews. And that includes not only style, but also content and context. The whole experience of being a reader is important - both the book and the aftercare service that you receive from the writer.

Ravioli
06-10-2015, 01:22 PM
Wouldn't you be reviewing the content of a book like Mein Kampf, though? Even if it's well written, it's certainly acceptable to state that you find the content of the book hateful and disgusting and why. And if I happen to know that the author's RL views and behavior towards others mirror those presented in the book, I think it's acceptable to say that it's clear the author is using said book as a pulpit for their personal views/agenda.
Of course I would, but that's something else than just trashing the author as a person, or the book because the author is an ass. I mean, let's say I write a vampire romance after I trashed your car. I just don't think you'd get to trash my book to punish me for that. If the author's character is connected to the content of the book, like Hitler's hatred for Jews is to Mein Kampf, it makes sense to comment on both, but if the review comments on something about the author that is unrelated to the content, I don't think it's right.


Book reviews are a heads up to potential readers, after all. Warning, reading this might make you feel like you or someone you love are being punched in the face.

Yeah, but if the book is fun despite the author being a twat? There is this one vampire author I think, who has told fans to stop writing fan fiction. I think that's "not nice" because fans just love that. But that doesn't mean her books aren't good reads worth recommending. Why warn people of a potentially entertaining book because the author is a "not nice person"? The face punch is something else; if the book itself - not the author OUTSIDE of the book - offends your beliefs, of course such a warning should be included in a review. But this author's case is something else entirely; he is not offending or inciting against your beliefs in his work of fiction, he's just made a clown of himself on a review platform and this doesn't make his book a bad read.


Again, this isn't quite the same situation, since the bevy of one-star reviews had to do with the author's behavior in a separate context that likely had no bearing on the content of his book. I personally wouldn't join the bandwagon there, though I can't say I feel super sorry for this person either. Of course, getting shirty in a comment thread of a review site is, while obnoxious, not exactly on the same level morally as hate speech or starting a movement to strip people of their rights. But he should have realized that his behavior wasn't going to lead to anything good for him.

Agreed. I read that mess at GoodReads and had a good laugh at the author. Although, less funny, I think he may suffer from some personality disorder or another; borderline is often comorbid with narcissistic personality disorder and can cause "Why do you hate me" tantrums where you don't realize you're making a mistake and are 100% convinced that you're being personally attacked by mean people. Been there, done that. Lost a lot. But there is no reasoning with those people, because they are convinced they're right in their perception of things.



I think it's perfectly reasonable, however, for someone to decide they're not interested in reading an author if he or she reveals themselves to be an aggressive and unpleasant person who goes after people who criticize their work. Plenty of books out there by authors who won't have a meltdown if I don't like their book and say so publicly. Why would I set myself up for harassment?
In that case, if the book itself interested me, I'd simply refrain from reviewing it if it ends up disappointing me.

Ken
06-10-2015, 02:58 PM
Must have a loose wire or something. Thankful the "writer" didn't go ballistic. Another Charlie Hebdo attack. Etc.

Gilroy Cullen
06-10-2015, 03:25 PM
This whole commentary on reviews based on Author Actions reminds me a lot of the issues with popular authors and their political views. My big one is Orson Scott Card. Card has some good books (and quite a few clunkers) but some people can't separate his openly spoken political views from his books, which don't necessarily hold those views. Ender's Game actually has a little talk on the religious freedom (or lack thereof) but it doesn't focus on it. Yet because Card has spoken against people's political views, they refuse to even check the book out from the library.

Is it fair? Not in the least. Is it human nature? Probably.
Then add in the modern peer pressure of Inter-mob-net(tm) and everything goes to the bottom of the well if anyone so much as sneezes or looks the wrong way.

Too much self righteousness, not enough trust in fellow man.

Kylabelle
06-10-2015, 04:20 PM
Ah, yeah.

Well, someone was bound to play the Card card. To be honest, I don't know how many swirls around the bowl this whole subject of authors' bad reactions to reviewers and readers' reactions to authors' persons has left in it that are not drainingly repetitious.

The OSC issues have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere. But so has the rest of this. I'm not locking the thread yet but I do want to shine a light on the whole tendency to make broad moral judgments and accusations, and diagnose people as having this or that character flaw or illness. Tread carefully. Be specific, and try to add information and clarity. Light, not heat, as the man says.

Gilroy Cullen
06-10-2015, 04:33 PM
Well, someone was bound to play the Card card.

Was merely meant as a comparison of situations, rather than a diagnosis of anything.

Sage
06-10-2015, 05:09 PM
My thoughts are that you should review the book, not the author. However, in many cases, when an author is behaving badly, that information is there for anyone who cares to see. Cait's review was at the top of GR with tons of likes and comments after it. It's such a simple review that anyone who cared would probably go into the comments to find out why. Comments and bookshelves through GR are excellent ways, IMO, to discuss the author problems, but i think a review should be of the book itself.

This guy's complaint was that in his (warped) opinion a 1-star review would only be given to ruin his book. Cait almost certainly had no intention of any such thing. But the people who rated his book 1 star because of his behavior did it with the intention to bring him down. (I mean, he probably actually got more business out of it because I saw some verified purchases on Amazon, but that will die down soon and he'll be stuck with awful ratings). Thus, he created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Do I think it was right? Probably not. I once reviewed a book 3(!) stars and it was clear the author got her friends (who were clearly all giving her 5 stars, including a glowing review by the author herself, talking about her writing in the third person) to down-vote it on Amazon. I talked about that situation online, but didn't name the author because I didn't want to see retaliation.

I think it's great to bring the situation to authors' attention because it allows other authors to see that, yes, we pay attention, and look at how negative we feel about this, and, in this case, look at how it affected him negatively. Sadly, the people who need it most and are most likely to go off the rails probably aren't reading the discussions about it.

Kylabelle
06-10-2015, 05:14 PM
Was merely meant as a comparison of situations, rather than a diagnosis of anything.

Gil, I understand. The diagnoses were in other posts and referring to the other situation. I was speaking generally and using your post as a springboard.

Weirdmage
06-10-2015, 05:21 PM
The thing is, thinking purely as a consumer, I think I have a right to know if someone putting out a product is acting in an objectionable way. I should be able to find out if, for example a company is chopping down rainforest to provide me with hamburgers. It is part of my decision as to who I give money.
Yes, that sucks for authors, who are single individuals providing a product. But they are really independent contractors, and as such function as a business, so I see nothing at all wrong in treating them as such. -Which is why you don't engage in negative comments.

Amadan
06-10-2015, 05:32 PM
When I write reviews, I will sometimes note my opinion or speculation or known facts about the author, good or bad, if I think they are interesting and/or relevant to the book (like "Stephen King wrote this back in his coke-fiend days and it shows"). I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with saying "This author is known to be a rabid bigot, but it's not evident on the pages of this book."

Rating a book, or writing a review of a book, that is a rating or review of the author or the author's behavior, though, I do not think is appropriate.

This author acted inappropriately and I don't feel sorry for him for getting the Internet dropped on his head, but if you one-star his book, you should at least read (some of) it so you can justify that the book itself actually deserves one star.

veinglory
06-10-2015, 05:49 PM
I think it probably is fair by many people's standards to not frequent a business that promotes beliefs they object to. I don't see an author activist as different from, for example, Hobby Lobby on that one.

Which is not a matter of opening windows into every product makers souls, but if they use their business as a platform to promote a point of view--then the two are connected.

Amadan
06-10-2015, 05:54 PM
Sure, but there is a difference between "I won't patronize Hobby Lobby because I disagree with their corporate policy" and writing "Hobby Lobby sells shit products and their customer service sucks" because you disagree with their corporate policy.

CassandraW
06-10-2015, 06:02 PM
Happily, in this case, the author's writing was quite dreadful enough to justify one-star reviews.

I wouldn't post a review without reading something, or at least a good portion of it, but I can't feel bad for this particular person.

Filigree
06-10-2015, 06:05 PM
Which is not a matter of opening windows into every product makers souls, but if they use their business as a platform to promote a point of view--then the two are connected.

This. Once someone shows they're using their art as an ideological platform, I figure it's my decision to support them or not. Even if I believe in their platform, their art may so awful I don't want to 'water down' the message by supporting its lackluster manifestation. I may hate the message but be awestruck by the art. It's a balancing game.

In the case of self-published (and commercial) authors like this one, I have an easy evaluation checklist to follow, starting with their text sample. If that's awful, I usually don't bother with the rest.

shaldna
06-10-2015, 06:45 PM
My thoughts are that you should review the book, not the author.

And this sums it up entirely.

That said, when I see an author being a complete tosser when it comes to their reviews and reviewers then I'll not bother reading any more of their books. If I spend MY money, and MY time and MY energy to buy, read and review a book I don't expect to be abused, threatened or insulted because at the end of the day, reviews are based on opinion, and every single reader is entitled to have one.

Ravioli
06-10-2015, 06:48 PM
The thing is, thinking purely as a consumer, I think I have a right to know if someone putting out a product is acting in an objectionable way. I should be able to find out if, for example a company is chopping down rainforest to provide me with hamburgers. It is part of my decision as to who I give money.
Yes, that sucks for authors, who are single individuals providing a product. But they are really independent contractors, and as such function as a business, so I see nothing at all wrong in treating them as such. -Which is why you don't engage in negative comments.
But that's not the same as trashing the product because the producer is an ass. Then the producer should be reviewed apart from the product.

Roxxsmom
06-11-2015, 12:12 AM
This whole commentary on reviews based on Author Actions reminds me a lot of the issues with popular authors and their political views. My big one is Orson Scott Card. Card has some good books (and quite a few clunkers) but some people can't separate his openly spoken political views from his books, which don't necessarily hold those views. Ender's Game actually has a little talk on the religious freedom (or lack thereof) but it doesn't focus on it. Yet because Card has spoken against people's political views, they refuse to even check the book out from the library.

I don't think Card has ever spoken out against people's political views as such. He's spoken out against certain kinds of people. He is to LGBT people (and those who care about them and their human rights) what some types of racists are to people of color, or certain kinds of misogynists are to women.

Hard to want to give someone your money, or to spend time inside their head, if they've made it clear they feel people like you aren't as good as everyone and don't deserve equal protection under the laws. This is one of those things that is very hard to explain to folks who have had less recent experience with systematic and institutionalized discrimination in society.

I wouldn't call the fact that I literally want to puke when I see the picture some authors to be self righteousness, though. It's more a matter of classical conditioning. They feel the way they do, but since they've made their views very public, and have even campaigned for laws to make it harder for some people to live their lives, I personally can't ignore them.

However, I will not go onto goodreads and give Card (or other bigoted writers) one-star reviews to "punish" them either. I simply don't read their books. Same for writers who act like a-holes in other contexts. There's a point where I simply don't associate them with anything good. This goodreads guy has crossed that line for me.

jjdebenedictis
06-11-2015, 12:48 AM
I'm not locking the thread yet but I do want to shine a light on the whole tendency to make broad moral judgments and accusations, and diagnose people as having this or that character flaw or illness. Tread carefully. Be specific, and try to add information and clarity. Light, not heat, as the man says.I hope my comment wasn't taken wrong (or that I didn't comment wrong-headedly.) I said this guy was not in a good head-space, and I'll stand by that opinion, but for the record, he doesn't come across as mentally unbalanced to me -- just really angry and not willing to listen.

And it's easy to be that thin-skinned about a work of art you are proud of, and I think having an internet-meltdown or two is pretty normal for most people over the course of their life online. I do feel empathy for this guy, even though I have no patience for what a troll he's being.

As for the purpose of reviews, I pretty much agree with everything Sage said. Sage is wise. I guess that's why she's called "Sage".

absitinvidia
06-11-2015, 01:11 AM
Card had not merely "spoken out against people's views." He has advocated for the overthrow of the US government should same-sex marriage be allowed. He has served on the board of directors of NOM, one of the major players in funding anti-same-sex marriage campaigns. He has been an active and vocal opponent of LGBT rights in the US and abroad. He has been an active participant in the political arena. This is NOT the same thing as stating a personal opinion. He is not merely bigoted as an individual, he has done everything he could, using his influence and his money, to make his bigoted opinions the law of the land. I do not understand the argument that because his books don't necessarily espouse his beliefs, buying them does not fund an anti-LGBT agenda. There is clear and obvious proof that it does (namely, NOM's IRS disclosures). OSC is not a case where the art is separate from the artist's political views; in actual fact, one funds the other.

That being said, I wouldn't go onto a review site and give OSC or anyone else a one-star review just for the sake of it, and without having read any of their writing. There's no point to that. If the authors violate the site's TOS then get them booted. I hope this latest goodreads guy learns a lesson from this, although I sincerely doubt he will. I do think one of the drawbacks of self-publishing is not going through the editing process, by which I mean learning how to view your writing with a critical eye, determine the flaws and correct them, and view this as a growing process rather than a personal attack on yourself and your livelihood. For many self-pubbed authors, the first real criticism they deal with is a one-star review (and this one was, in my opinion, a rather gentle one), and they are completely unequipped to handle them.

Weirdmage
06-11-2015, 02:48 AM
But that's not the same as trashing the product because the producer is an ass. Then the producer should be reviewed apart from the product.

What I mean, is that I find it perfectly acceptable to do a one star review saying "the author is an ass". And that is not trashing the product.

Amazon will never add a "author is asswaffle" button, so 1 star reviews is what is available.
-I do think you should always say (even if it is "less nudity than cover") why you give stars though.

chompers
06-11-2015, 05:07 AM
Sure, but there is a difference between "I won't patronize Hobby Lobby because I disagree with their corporate policy" and writing "Hobby Lobby sells shit products and their customer service sucks" because you disagree with their corporate policy. This.

Ravioli
06-11-2015, 01:53 PM
What I mean, is that I find it perfectly acceptable to do a one star review saying "the author is an ass". And that is not trashing the product.

Amazon will never add a "author is asswaffle" button, so 1 star reviews is what is available.
-I do think you should always say (even if it is "less nudity than cover") why you give stars though.
But you're still downrating the book. The number of stars or how many reviews of what grade there are, is the first thing people see. Neither the system, not a majority of customers, take into consideration what the actual review says. So I don't find it acceptable at all, and the author's personality should not be under review period, whether Amazon offers an Asswaffle button or not. Amazon and GoodReads are shops, not dating sites. Seriously, should my book suffer the consequences of me engaging in flamewars on Facebook about Nicky Minaj's butt?

Weirdmage
06-11-2015, 03:43 PM
But you're still downrating the book. The number of stars or how many reviews of what grade there are, is the first thing people see. Neither the system, not a majority of customers, take into consideration what the actual review says. So I don't find it acceptable at all, and the author's personality should not be under review period, whether Amazon offers an Asswaffle button or not. Amazon and GoodReads are shops, not dating sites. Seriously, should my book suffer the consequences of me engaging in flamewars on Facebook about Nicky Minaj's butt?
Goodreads is not a shop, it's a social site for readers.

As I have already said, as a consumer I think I have the right to know about the producer of the goods I am buying. It is part of the process of deciding who I give my money.
I have also already said that I think people should state the reason they give their rating. And to be honest, until Amazon and other shops, put up "WARNING! Author supports X, are you sure you want to give money to this person" when you press a buy button, the ratings/review system is the way for consumers to express dissatisfaction with a producer.

People do actually use 1-star reviews to find books. What other people hate may be what you love, so it'snoy as if 1-star reviews is something that is all bad. If you are looking for a book with a gay character, a 1-star review saying "stay clear, therer's a faggott character in this book" would actually be helpful.

Barbara R.
06-11-2015, 03:58 PM
.

Seriously, all that guy's talk about the consciousness of humanity and being assaulted by evil...I think he's missing more than a few screws.

That was my impression. The guy has a higher level of consciousness, he's trying to save the world, he's grandiose and paranoid about how people are reading his (published) book...sad to say, he reminded me of many submissions I received when I was a literary agent. Crazy people on a mission tend to write books, and then they seek publishers for those books. We'd get similar letters a few times a year. I don't think this is a case of "writer behaving poorly" but rather "crazy person responding with psychotic logic."

Ravioli
06-11-2015, 04:36 PM
Goodreads is not a shop, it's a social site for readers.

As I have already said, as a consumer I think I have the right to know about the producer of the goods I am buying. It is part of the process of deciding who I give my money.
I have also already said that I think people should state the reason they give their rating. And to be honest, until Amazon and other shops, put up "WARNING! Author supports X, are you sure you want to give money to this person" when you press a buy button, the ratings/review system is the way for consumers to express dissatisfaction with a producer.

People do actually use 1-star reviews to find books. What other people hate may be what you love, so it'snoy as if 1-star reviews is something that is all bad. If you are looking for a book with a gay character, a 1-star review saying "stay clear, therer's a faggott character in this book" would actually be helpful.
Yeah, but the rating is ON THE BOOK, not the author. Whatever you MEAN to rate, is irrelevant as long as your rating is typed and submitted under a BOOK. If the author has an author page with a comment section, trash him there. If someone bullied you in high school, I'm sorry, you don't get to wreck their business by warning people of crappy products when your opinion on said products is not baised on the latter.
I just read a 1 star review on my grandfather's book. The reviewer, whom I know, is the kind of radical Zionist who will desperately post one cartoon "of truth" after another to discredit what he hasn't even examined, and by his profile I can tell he has not read one single book he downrated for criticizing or condemning Israel. I know him and I know he's not the type to read before he judges when he can tell by the title that it conflicts with his views. He just took all the books he disagreed with, and downrated them and told people they were full of lies. That is not acceptable.

There's also a difference between being a drama queen, and destroying rainforests or exploiting Indian children... one is irrelevant, the other isn't. Being a drama queen is a harmless character flaw and buying from one won't harm anyone. So he's not nice, that doesn't mean he's undeserving of money that feeds his children (or himself). Buying from a deforesting or exploiting company, is harmful because your money funds more abuse. Can't be compared. I'd totally buy from this meltdowner, because it won't hurt anyone except perhaps myself but that's my problem. I won't buy Doritos again.
But I have no right to demand to know whether the man who sells me my dogs' food beats his wife or trolls the internet. You can buy, or you can refrain from buying, but you don't get to know me. This particular author made a huge mistake by allowing people to know him through his ridiculous meltdown, but he basically volunteered this "information". Nobody gets to demand it. Take it or leave it.

"stay clear, therer's a faggott character in this book" would actually be helpful.
"Stay clear, I dunno about the book but the author is a jerk" is not. And personally, unless I'm looking for something specific, I do compare ratings between similar products or books and the poorly rated aren't the ones I tend to buy. As my boss once said, the majority, not the average, of consumers aren't too analytical. They will go by appearances and not delve down deep. Ie. they will go by the number of stars, not what the review under the stars says.

Amadan
06-11-2015, 05:23 PM
Goodreads is not a shop, it's a social site for readers.

As I have already said, as a consumer I think I have the right to know about the producer of the goods I am buying. It is part of the process of deciding who I give my money.
I have also already said that I think people should state the reason they give their rating. And to be honest, until Amazon and other shops, put up "WARNING! Author supports X, are you sure you want to give money to this person" when you press a buy button, the ratings/review system is the way for consumers to express dissatisfaction with a producer.

People do actually use 1-star reviews to find books. What other people hate may be what you love, so it'snoy as if 1-star reviews is something that is all bad. If you are looking for a book with a gay character, a 1-star review saying "stay clear, therer's a faggott character in this book" would actually be helpful.


So, if you think an author is a bad person, do you think it's legitimate to go and 1-star every book he's written with "THIS AUTHOR IS A BAD PERSON"?

Do you think it would be legitimate if the reason for someone doing this is that they think the author is a bad person for reasons contrary to yours? (E.g., "Bad person - supports gay rights"?)

There are blogs and discussion groups (including on Goodreads) in which people who are so inclined can talk about authors they don't wish to support and why.

If I think it is important to know about an author's politics before I buy their books, there is Google.

Ravioli
06-11-2015, 05:34 PM
So, if you think an author is a bad person, do you think it's legitimate to go and 1-star every book he's written with "THIS AUTHOR IS A BAD PERSON"?

Do you think it would be legitimate if the reason for someone doing this is that they think the author is a bad person for reasons contrary to yours? (E.g., "Bad person - supports gay rights"?)

There are blogs and discussion groups (including on Goodreads) in which people who are so inclined can talk about authors they don't wish to support and why.

If I think it is important to know about an author's politics before I buy their books, there is Google.
Holy crap I just googled Adolf Hitler... Can I still get a refund if more than a year has passed after I bought Mein Kampf???

Sirion
06-11-2015, 07:21 PM
Review the book, not the author. The book is what matters, not the name on the cover.

CrastersBabies
06-11-2015, 07:38 PM
Having worked with ESL students, he doesn't sound like a native-English speaking individual. He has a "clean" understanding of English, but there are some definite tells for me.

Chances are, he might not quite understand how publishing/self-publishing works? the nuances. I don't know. Just a hunch.

I'd honestly just let him alone. Yeah, the guy made a mistake in attacking reviewers, but having the dogpile grow to a pretty big internet bullying machine doesn't bring out the best in everyone. Not justifying what he said/did. We all have to learn these things as writers. But, being on the internet made all of his mistakes a bit public. I see his profile is gone from Goodreads as well.

Ambrosia
06-11-2015, 07:44 PM
Neither the system, not a majority of customers, take into consideration what the actual review says.

I'm not sure that is true. When I am looking for a book to read, or any product to buy, I read the reviews. I specifically read the 5 star reviews and the 1 star reviews. Then, if I need more information to make a decision I will read the 2, 3, & 4 star reviews. I especially read the 2, 3, & 4 star reviews when there is a great number of both 5 and 1 star reviews to find out what happened with the book or product I am researching.

You are giving an absolute as if it is truth, i.e. that people don't read the reviews, without any data that I can see to back it up.

veinglory
06-11-2015, 07:48 PM
Even if people do not use the content of reviews (which I doubt if only because I know I use the heck out of them) the star ratings determine how books show up in defaults search results such as on Amazon--so it affects whether a customer even sees the book.

_city_
06-11-2015, 07:59 PM
Card is a raging homophobe, but Ender's Game is still a great YA. I'd rate it 5 stars, because that's how I view the book, but in my comment I'd say: "Great book! Author is an anti-human-rights advocate, though."

Let people do what they want with the information.

Ravioli
06-11-2015, 08:17 PM
I'm not sure that is true. When I am looking for a book to read, or any product to buy, I read the reviews. I specifically read the 5 star reviews and the 1 star reviews. Then, if I need more information to make a decision I will read the 2, 3, & 4 star reviews. I especially read the 2, 3, & 4 star reviews when there is a great number of both 5 and 1 star reviews to find out what happened with the book or product I am researching.

You are giving an absolute as if it is truth, i.e. that people don't read the reviews, without any data that I can see to back it up.
It's human nature. Otherwise nobody would buy the junk advertized on TV and in magazines, yet it sells like crazy. Most fads and hypes have nothing of quality to offer, and yet they generate millions. Why? Mindless buying because it's advertized as "good" - be it by 5 stars or huge red letters next to a half-naked woman.
The fact that many people do read reviews or research before they buy, just means they put more thought into where their money goes. And thoughtfulness beyond falling for visual marketing, is a minority feature.
I used to take my IQ for granted/average (138) until I looked at international averages and literally lost my breath for a few moments. It IS a fact that consumers, for the most part, don't study what they buy and just go by signs that make it look good at first glance. Why do you think Royal Canin sells? If people were to read the ingredients and compare them to their cat's needs, this brand would not have the money for the aggressive marketing which is the main reason people buy it. Same with book reviews. "Oh it only has 1 star, nah". You may be different. I may be different. But if a majority of IQs is 100 and a majority of cat owners prefer RC over Now because of marketing, what makes you think that a majority of consumers READ reviews?

Smart people expecting most people to be as smart as they are, are not being realistic. Look how the last Israeli elections turned out. The majority fell for crap by looking at posters with cool phrases, rather than having a good long look at this person's track record. Consumers are precisely the same.

Amadan
06-11-2015, 08:22 PM
It's human nature. Otherwise nobody would buy the junk advertized on TV and in magazines, yet it sells like crazy. Most fads and hypes have nothing of quality to offer, and yet they generate millions. Why? Mindless buying because it's advertized as "good" - be it by 5 stars or huge red letters next to a half-naked woman.
The fact that many people do read reviews or research before they buy, just means they put more thought into where their money goes. And thoughtfulness beyond falling for visual marketing, is a minority feature.
I used to take my IQ for granted/average (138) until I looked at international averages and literally lost my breath for a few moments. It IS a fact that consumers, for the most part, don't study what they buy and just go by signs that make it look good at first glance. Why do you think Royal Canin sells? If people were to read the ingredients and compare them to their cat's needs, this brand would not have the money for the aggressive marketing which is the main reason people buy it. Same with book reviews. "Oh it only has 1 star, nah". You may be different. I may be different. But if a majority of IQs is 100 and a majority of cat owners prefer RC over Now because of marketing, what makes you think that a majority of consumers READ reviews?

Smart people expecting most people to be as smart as they are, are not being realistic. Look how the last Israeli elections turned out. The majority fell for crap by looking at posters with cool phrases, rather than having a good long look at this person's track record. Consumers are precisely the same.


"Most people are dumber than me and don't make rational decisions like I do" really needs a bit more support than simply asserting as a fact that other people's decisions are bad.

And you really need to support the assertion that people buy books on Amazon based on their average ratings.

nighttimer
06-11-2015, 09:11 PM
I really feel for Cait. It is terrifying for an author to lash out at you, and the way he is doing it is so threatening and self-righteous it's quite unnerving. Especially after previous, similar incidents have happened, such as the one where an author actually tracked down a reviewer and went to her house (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/18/am-i-being-catfished-an-author-confronts-her-number-one-online-critic) after a bad review.

There are a lot of thin-skinned idiots out there for whom anything short of lavish praise is acidic criticism. Dylan the Pretentious Douchebag on Goodreads is an odious example of his insufferable ilk.


Do you have empathy? Do you know what it's like to make something for a living? Are you human? Or do you just look at other people like they're automatons that you can slander as though your actions don't manifest consequences? Trust this. Me confronting someone that defaces my work says nothing about me other than the fact that I address it when someone goes out of his/her way to do so. But you left a 1 Star review on someone's life's work, someone who is trying to warn people what's going on in this world so that they can protect themselves and help others, and think that is a moral action. 400,000 children go missing each year in the US alone. Do you know where they're going? Do you know who's behind it? Do you know why the media is silent about it? Do you know how much a person risks to confront the evil that's running amok in this world? YOU don't know right from wrong. And that's what a review like this says about the person that wrote it.

You know what it says about a narcissistic egotist who compares their "life's work" with 400,000 missing children? It says you are a self-absorbed spunk rag who thinks his shit don't stink.

"Do you know how much a person risks to confront the evil that's running amok in this world? YOU don't know right from wrong."

Dude. Unclench, and pull that stick out you've got wedged up there so tight.

I don't know if Dylan is a good or bad writer, but I'm certain he's a pompous ass. :e2moon:

Kylabelle
06-11-2015, 09:29 PM
And on that note, this thread is finished. While it might be acceptable on Goodreads or elsewhere to sling insults, it isn't okay here, however justified you may feel they are.