Reviews are a tricky business. Back when I did them–a looong time ago–I always injected a little bit of snark. It’s in my nature to do so. There were books I loved and books I loathed. With each one, I attempted to at least show some good in each novel. Sometimes it was pulling teeth to find something. Eventually I decided that I wouldn’t post anymore reviews unless I had more positive than negative. Besides, that’s not my gig here to do reviews. I’m just not into it. I like to read at my own pace. On Goodreads, I have a three or more star rule. If I can’t give it at least three stars, I delete the book from my shelf and speak on it no more.
So, through a private site I belong to, I found out about a Blogger Blackout. The anchor, it seems, to this idea was when Kathleen Hale–who I admit is way bat shit crazy–chronicled her stalking a book blogger who gave her a less than savory review. Not having the other side of the coin makes it hard to pass clear judgment but Dear Author, as they do, analyzes it in their own way. Interesting points, to say the least.
Look, stalking is wrong. The lengths that Hale went through are criminal or near to it but without the person in question coming out, there’s really not much of a case. That’s the way the chips fall. Besides, the nice veil of the internet allows people to walk around, asses out, to show their anonymous tattoo in a scrawling script.
From the Ellora’s Cave derpiness to human interaction through the computer akin to monkeys throwing poo lately, I’m just sick of it all. It’s great that people band together to support a cause. I can’t discount the power of that. What I can’t abide by is mob mentality. I’ve been victimized and lumped into a group that I had nothing to do with because of people adopting this philosophy. I kept to the advice I give to others–I didn’t react to it. The fire fades if you don’t throw any fuel on it.
Every author has gotten a bad review, no matter how big they are. It’s the nature of the beast and it’s not going to change anytime soon. My personal favorite that I’ve received remarked how they hated the sex between the man and woman … in my strictly m/m novel. I snickered and moved along. I have no room in my life to slink around or curl up and cry over a bad review. I get over it. I’m doing what I love and to let someone ruin that? No fucking way.
As an author, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read something I created. Lord knows reading a book takes valuable time plus typing away at the keys to post the review. Everyone is entitled to their opinions on said books. I’ve even thought on some reviews and said to myself ‘man, they have a valid point’. Blog reviewers are just as important as the authors that write the books they review. We need each other, plain and simple.
But I have to ask one thing–can’t we all just get over ourselves? Can we please stop the intimidation through social media and all the verbal diarrhea? Authors–suck up the bad reviews and do not react to them in any public form or criticism about the content you write. Scream into your pillow at night and soldier on. Review bloggers–can we use a little more tact in the way reviews are written? Take a bad review to a whole new level that makes the author go “thank you, may I have another?” We are all human, full of emotions. Just as authors use pen names, bloggers should be free to use one too. Freedom is a wonderful liberty. However, on both sides of the coin, it doesn’t give anyone the right to verbally demoralize someone or gang up on a blogger/author when you disagree with their opinions.
Just because opinions are like assholes doesn’t give anyone the right to act like one too.
One thing before I close–I recommend everyone read this blogger’s post on the blackout. I like their point of view on this whole subject.
Be kind and be well, people. Find the joy and drop the hate.