Bad Reviews: I Can Handle Them, and So Should You
Posted on July 17, 2012 Posted by John Scalzi 67 Comments
On Twitter, a hopeful request:
I, for one, am srsly hoping to see an article by @scalzi about this #StopTheGRBullies nonsense. If he writes it, the 'net may 'splode again!— Paige Vest (@paigevest) July 18, 2012
Oh, well, okay. Since you asked.
For those who don’t know, “Stop the GR Bullies” relates to a Web site created by some folks to go after people on Goodreads who write reviews that the people who founded the GR Bullies site find to be “bullying” in some way or another. It appears that the plan the GR Bullies folks have to deal with this issue is to be bullies themselves to the people they’ve decided they don’t like. This is the sort of recursive stupidity that makes you wonder how self-aware people actually are on a day-to-day basis.
I could go further into detail about it, but instead, let me commend to you Foz Meadow’s observations on the matter, author Stacia Kane’s rather appalled post from a writer’s point of view, and SB Sarah’s general comments about criticism and reviews online. These are all rather sensible points of view, and in a general sense I find myself in agreement with them.
However, because it wouldn’t be any fun if I just pointed you at other people’s thoughts and said “yeah, that,” some brief thoughts on the matter, in handy numbered form. First, for those folks who are fans of a particular writer and his or her work:
1. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the things they read (or watch, or listen to, or taste, or whatever). They’re also entitled to express them online.
2. Sometimes those opinions will be ones you don’t like.
3. Sometimes those opinions won’t be very nice.
4. The people expressing those may be (but are not always) assholes.
5. However, if your solution to this “problem” is to vex, annoy, threaten or harrass them, you are almost certainly a bigger asshole.
6. You may also be twelve.
7. You are not responsible for anyone else’s actions or karma, but you are responsible for your own.
8. So leave them alone and go about your own life.
Speaking for myself as an author, I am a big boy and can handle criticism just fine. I can’t imagine most people I know going frothy on someone who doesn’t like my writing, because I’m not the sort of people who inspires Justin Bieber-like foamyness in my fans, and anyway I assume most people who read my work are emotionally developed to the point of recognizing inappropriate behavior. But just in case some of you aren’t one of those people, a handy guide:
When I need your help with a negative review, I will ask for it.
If I don’t ask for it, I don’t need your help.
If I do ask for it, you should consider me temporarily out of my head and ignore me.
If you decide to attack someone in my name without consulting me, you make me look bad. That will annoy me, and I may take it out on you, possibly publicly. It will also make me wonder what the deal is that kept you from learning impulse control.
Consider the above in effect for all eternity.
Finally, if you’re an author who thinks it’s peachy for folks who post negative reviews of your work to be harassed by vengeful mental infants for the dubious crime of expressing an opinion, please grow the fuck up and stop embarrassing the rest of us. Thank you.
I trust this makes my position on this matter sufficiently clear.
As a point of clarification, “Leave them alone and go about your own life” does not mean that one cannot comment on, rebut or point and laugh at a review one does not like or agree with, or otherwise engage that review’s author. One certainly may. There is, however, a clear and obvious difference between “I read your review and disagree with it” and “I read your review and now will go out of my way to harass you for it.”
You, sir, do quick work. Your position is most definitely clear and rather what I thought it might be. I’m happy to see you post this article because I highly respect your opinion and because I think that possibly the entire internet (for reals!!) sees most of your posts that concern the hot and/or hotly debated topics of the day.
So… I’m looking forward to your wonderfully blunt voice of reason being heard far and wide and spread to all corners of the internet where it will hopefully knock some cobwebs out of some people’s heads. Because, yeah… this GR Bullies shit is utterly ridiculous.
Also… thanks. You gave me a fangirl moment. :o)
That was awesome enough to ALMOST inspire Beiber-esque frothiness. I am irked by people who think no one should criticize anyone. But in these days of parents flipping out if their kids get a bad grade (at the teacher, not the kid), this doesn’t surprise me.
But authors who engage reviewers by saying they disagree with the review almost always look bad, don’t you think? That’s where most of this controversy comes from — authors taking issue with reviews, and then losing their sh*t when other readers “gang up” on them in support of the mean, nasty reviewers. Especially on Goodreads, authors should probably stop and think about the fact that reader/reviewers are talking to each other, not to you.
kerBOOM. Well-sploded, sir.
There are indeed writers out there who sob and wail whenever they receive a review that they think is unfair. One was a predecessor of yours as SFWA President (this was well before you joined) who was so aggressive about looking for disparaging comments on his work that many of us referred to that as the period of Big Baby Is Watching. For a while the old RWA had a “never publish a bad review of another member’s work” rule that caused people to laugh at them.
I have been accused of quite a lot of things on account of what I have written; the felonies alone would probably make a list longer than a single-spaced page. The simple phrase “someone I don’t know has just typed statements I don’t like about something I wrote too long ago to remember accurately” should be recited to oneself often.
And a gentle and friendly warning, if it hasn’t happened to you yet: sooner or later you’ll try to rein in an embarrassing, too-enthusiastic defender, and you will discover you’d have been less offensive if you’d eaten his/her puppy. The sort of crazies who lose sleep over literary fights are unfortunately the sort of crazies who can turn on a pinhead. At least that’s got to be why they continue to exist; the only way they can reproduce must be that they turn some pinhead on.
Foamy Bieber fans. Lord, I have the mental age of a 12yr old boy indeed. B/c I’m still giggling about that one. :D
“But authors who engage reviewers by saying they disagree with the review almost always look bad, don’t you think?”
That note was aimed more for fans, not authors.
As a general rule, authors shouldn’t respond to negative reviews at all. The exceptions to this are so narrow that it’s not worth the time to enumerate them.
I have no trouble surviving the occasional one star review of my books. I’ve decided that one star reviews are the reason getting a book published in the first place is such a vale of tears. After my first book was published and I torched the thousands of rejection letters in that bonfire that required permits from the county fire marshal and an environmental impact statement from the EPA, it served a vital purpose beyond providing fuel for the local power plant. Those previous decades of harsh rejection stiffened my spine, inflamed my resolve, and built up incredible, manly calluses on my heart.
Having lost all my self-esteem decades ago, such reviews now elicit only slightly crazed laughter. After all, criticizing a book on Amazon is easy; anyone with a computer and internet connection can do it. Writing a book and getting it published by a major publisher—that’s not quite so easy. Fifty years from now, people may still be reading my books. The critics words, whether good or bad, not so much.
I tend to follow my hypnosis teacher’s “One asshole” rule: There can be only one asshole in any interaction. If the other person is being one, you’re not allowed.
Besides, it’s amusing how much more frothy they tend to get when you’re actually civil to them.
The disturbing thing about this whole situation is how the owner(s) of the GR Bullies site is posting personal info on the reviewers with whom they disagree. It’s like they’re inviting or encouraging people to harass those reviewers… and that’s goddamned scary. Whether or not the person or people supplying this info are authors or other reviewers, what they’re doing is deplorable.
Hmm. I’m waiting for them to find my review of “The Bad Beginning,” which I have to admit displayed a great deal more venom than I am usually known for. I give clear and specific examples of why I hated it, but it inspired some… vivid reactions in the comments.
On the other hand, it’s one of my most “liked” reviews, so there must be a lot of other anti-Snicketers out there.
Oh Scalzi… I’d needle you to run for president, but wouldn’t be able to deal with you not having time to write anymore.
I think you under estimate your fan base. We are way beyond Bieber foamy. We are more Quantum Foamy and are harassing aliens in other universes who have disparaged your fine work.
Si señores Brennan y Scalzi permiso de concesión, “Foamy Alien Quanta” will be the name of my next band.
Very well put, John. For me you are an example of how to react to reviews online, the level of professionalism that I need to meet if and when I make it to “published author” status. Thank you for providing that example and for continuing to do so.
Point and giggle certainly seems the best response; but I don’t really understand the motivation behind such attacks, so I’m not sure what would have a real effect on them.
I find your take on the matter rather shallow and pedantic. The characters were not really developed and the story didn’t go anywhere. Not your best work.
you know, I really wish some fan of yours would attack someone on line in defense of you. I bet the beat down would be a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Just having seen the delicate way you weild the English stiletto I bet the poor sap would be chittlin-less in a heart beat and the rest of us would be dodging the spray. It probably wouldn’t be fun for you but dang would that be a sight to tell the grandkids you saw live!
What worries me most is that all the targets of the StGRb site are women and that the posts on them are aimed at them as women–their parenting, for one. The underlying misogyny–behave in the ways we deemed appropriate, or we’ll post your personal information and encourage people to give you ‘what’s coming to you’–is pretty much obvious.
“When I need your help with a negative review, I will ask for it… [and] If I do ask for it, you should consider me temporarily out of my head and ignore me.”
First, XKCD on Klout. Same idea: http://xkcd.com/1057/
Second: I wish I could get any reviews at all. My books have sold several hundred copies and each of them has ONE review, from an Internet friend of mine. (Who was honest, but yes, he liked the books.) Yeah, yeah, I know, be careful what you wish for. But it would at least indicate that the work got somebody to care to the point where they’d SAY something about it. *sigh*
Since I became a publishing author, I have gotten WAY more diligent about posting reviews or at least ratings for every book I buy, especially indie books. I’ve left mostly good ones, because I’m good at picking out books I’ll like. :) But I’ve left a few “well, maybe not” ones and nobody’s called me a bully yet.
What Stacia Kane said has merit. Even at the beginning where she questions if writers and readers should mingle. Writers, like actors, singers and dancers are simply entertainers. A group of people pay for them to sing, dance, act or write in order to be entertained. I think where most people (entertainers and the customers) get sideways is when they mingle personal life into the entertainer/consumer relationship. Sometimes it works out, if the entertainer has similar tastes in politics, sexual preferences, opinions etc then things are swell. If any of those things (or others not mentioned) get out of whack then there is a chance that one side or the other will let that difference reflect upon their otherwise solid entertainer/consumer relationship. This is not an absolute of course but it can happen. Fans sometimes go seeking information on a favored entertainer and their love grows, other times they learn something about the person that impacts their ability to consume the product if they are unable to overlook it. On the other hand, entertainers can sometimes let their fame go to their heads and then use their success and popularity to try and influence their consumers. This could be over politics, religion, social issues etc.
Makes me appreciate how Ravelry is heavily locked down and modded. I’m not as active there as on Ravelry. It does seem “Drive by” groups in the forums, where those who live to snark and nast can do so without drawing the attention of their targets serve an important function. Having pictures of your own knitting/crochet attached to your identity probably cuts down on trouble as well.
I am so glad you posted about this because I’ve been watching it with puzzled fascination. The STGRB people seem to be indefensible. They are malicious and unscrupulous, cherry picking their tweet and their comment evidence for maximum affect. On the other hand, I’ve read some of the threads they reference in their entirety and a few of the others in the “authors behaving badly” category thanks to Making Light. EVERY one of these threads is over-run by horrible stupid stupid people. I wonder if this is representative sample of GoodReads. If so, it seems like a toxic site. As a reader, I find that sad and I’d really like to see a discussion of that. Is GR really that toxic? Does anyone know? If it is, is there a legitimate way to discourage behavior that will drive sensitive snowflakes like myself away? I’d love to see tnh’s take on the structure of the community.
It seems unfair that a person’s reputation can be ruined on the basis of no evidence. I certainly don’t mind if someone hates my book, but I’d like to know how you, John, would react if a large group of people believed that you did something unethical because they heard it on goodreads? No one here is going to believe that you run sock puppets to prop up your stats, but what if a significant number of reviews mentioned it as fact that you did? And it was clear that new readers believed it and avoided your books?
I write children’s books, so I am oversensitive when I see someone who identifies as a fourteen year old being piled on. If I were the author of that book, I guess I’d have my knickers in a twist because it’s not my site and not my place to comment, although if it were YOU in that position and YOU dropped in to flay the skin off someone, I’d cheer.
So, I would never comment on these things, but I don’t agree that should be a general inflexible rule.
Argh…this makes me so mad! Especially since there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. Is there anything productive to be done?
AJ Lewis – I doubt the is anything productive to be done. I looked at their site for about a minute before the pain became too much to endure. I thought about commenting there, before I remembered they would then have my email address. Not that I’d have anything productive to say to them.
Hope- I like Goodreads. I don’t really use it much, or engage folks a lot on there, but it is not all toxic.
I’m not generally into sci-fi. I read tons and tons of it in high school and college and sort of burned out on it. But you keep writing the sorts of things you do on here and I’m compelled to buy your books because I want to support you. They’re also a good read, which is a nice bonus.
I agree that some of the reviews and/or supporting comments that were pointed out have verged on or been outright nasty. Some comments are a bit over-the-top, insulting authors rather than actually reviewing the book… BUT I’ve seen many authors comment recently on Twitter or FB that bad -even ugly, nasty, insulting- reviews ARE NOT bullying.
However, doing things like posting a person’s personal info online and saying the nasty things that have been said on that horrible site, is totally unacceptable. As has been pointed out here, these are women being outed and the guilty parties are hiding, just as they’ve accused the so-called “GR bullies” of doing, behind anonymous names and avatars. I find this rather scary as there could very well be people reading this nonsense that feel that the site is instructing them to go teach these women a lesson, as azteclady mentions above.
I very briefly considered posting a comment at the site last night just to let them know that they’re asshats but I refrained because I knew that I’d just be opening myself up to the same treatment that they’ve doled out to those who dared to very vocally dislike either their books or their fave author’s books. In other words, I was afraid to be the voice of reason. And that’s messed up. =/
Well stated. “When I need your help with a negative review, I will ask for it.
If I don’t ask for it, I don’t need your help.
If I do ask for it, you should consider me temporarily out of my head and ignore me.” and then “Consider the above in effect for all eternity.”
I always felt it boiled down to “If you don’t like it, don’t read it, but piss off, I got’s better things to write than a reply to some badly formed invective.”
Just my two cents.
“I trust this makes my position on this matter sufficiently clear.”
I’ll let you know as soon as I work through the nuance.
One of your links:
That’s probably the scariest and most pathetic part of this story: scary because I can imagine it would be terrifying to receive such a call, pathetic because someone has such delicate feelings they resort to thinly-veiled threats of violence to silence one of their critics. I mean, honestly, if an author is so thin-skinned that reading a negative review makes them want to threaten the reviewer, is it even a good idea for them to be disseminating their work in the first place?
Now let’s all sing along to ‘Make Bullying Kill Itself’ (it’s kinda catchy like a Disney tv song): http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/412200/make-bullying-kill-itself
Reading this brought to mind a recent Bloggess post on how to tell if you’re a troll or not:
@Tim OShenko: That was awesome and I actually laughed when I got to the scoring section. So thanks for linking.
Also, I’m a B person! Yay!
John, someone apparently needs to send your post to certain Batman fans, too…
This is another one of the those Very Important Internet Events I’d heard nothing about until now, so of course I had to go look at the StGRb site. Now I’m really depressed at being reminded of just how much stupid there is in the world–both the “bullies” and the supposed “counter-bullies.” I will now scan the comments above and below mine to find something smart that someone has said so that I don’t slide into total despair.
Well said, on all accounts. This whole situation makes me sick to my stomach. Who started this cold war between authors and reviewers anyway? I didn’t think we were enemies.
Also, slightly off-topic, but I bought my dad Red Shirts for Father’s Day this year and you now have a shiny new fan.
‘”I’m really depressed at being reminded of just how much stupid there is in the world–both the “bullies” and the supposed “counter-bullies.” ‘
Don’t read a highly coloured, selectively edited and one-sided presentation by people with an agenda and assume the people they’re describing are ‘stupid’. Ridley, Lucy, The Holy Terror and Kat are decent, intelligent, honest, articulate women who champion good books and good writing and who don’t deserve what’s happening to them (no one does of course) and certainly don’t deserve your drive-by assessment.
For an assessment of how this is particularly a problem for *women*, and how we’re targeted disproortionately over our tone and outspokenness, I recommend this post by Janet/Robin at Dear Author:
Oh, and there’s more. The “Stop the GoodReads Bullies” knuckleheads have apparently been running around giving one-star ratings to authors who speak out against them.
@hope I’m on Goodreads and haven’t found it toxic.
@ap No point in posting a comment at StGRB site – they delete any comments which don’t gleefully agree with them anyway.
@jdrhoardes – I agree with Ann Somerville – the “examples” cited are not the whole picture. The reviewers in question have merely had the ‘audacity’ to write book reviews which feature forthright and snarky language and shelve (without rating) books on a “do not read” shelf for whatever personal reason they like. They are lovers of books and their reviewing stats are, overall, positive, so many many of their reviews are actually sharing the book love. In any event, a book review and a Goodreads shelf does not, ever, justify the kind of behaviour exhibited at StGRB.
It appears this sort thing is spreading to movies:
The whole thing makes me embarrassed to be an author. I have been savaged by reviewers and other people have loved my books. My response it stoic silence and both have lead to sales so why comment. I am not a big fan of the large pieces of toilet paper with brown strips hanging on the walls as art at my local art gallery but someone thinks they are worthy of adoration. The world would be a boring place if we all liked the same thing. And naming, shaming and hounding people for their personal opinion is not cool.
@Hope: I’m active in spurts on Goodreads. I have managed to avoid friending toxic people, and would quickly unfriend those who became toxic, so I am not exposed to this stuff until it blows up and everyone links to it. My GR experience has been pretty positive, both as a reader and as an author, so it makes me sad to see this stuff going on. But in general, I find Goodreads is what you make it.
Stacia’s post was right on. While there is some immature behavior going on among some GR participants (and they don’t all have the excuse of being adolescents, sadly), the “anti-bullies” group goes way, way too far. Honestly, a few people being snarky about your book on GR isn’t going to make your book fail. I don’t think it makes that much of a difference.
Just so you know, you have frothy fans in Austin. So you think I missed the point fo the article? Meh, it’s all been said.
Many thanks for the feedback about GoodReads. I’d like to think that the really unpleasant people described here are a minority accidentally and temporarily magnified.
Another thing that pisses me off as a semi-professional critic is the idea that every bad (or even mixed) review I write must be motivated by some bad faith gumbo of literary penis envy, a personal grudge against the author, general misanthropic loathing, trying to build a career over the bleeding corpses of traumatized writers etc. etc. etc.
So you’re really really pissed that I gave a bad review to a book by an author you adore? Guess what, honey, writing it wasn’t exactly shits and giggles either. I’ve just delivered a 400 word book review to a magazine. I read over three hundred pages. Twice. Without skimming. So, that was the best part of a week’s discretionary reading time down the toilet.
That doesn’t even include the time expended on actual writing, or an allowance for any edits/re-writes my editor may ask for.
Hey, I’m just doing it for the money – right? Sorry to tell you this, but on a per-hour basis my after-tax income from book reviewing doesn’t even come within spitting distance of minimum wage. I’d really love it if everything that crossed my desk was a heartbreaking work of staggering genius because I’m sure not doing this for money, sex and universal adoration.
My “The Science of Watchmen” video on youtube has garnered quite a few comments. One of my favorite nasty comments was posted by wDum4Kicks, who wrote: “His wife left him, his kids hate him, and he suffers from a serious case of genital warts. Hope the book deal works out buddy!!”
To which I have a simple, two word reply: Lucky Guess!
Reviewers ought not engage in personal attacks on authors AT ALL. Now, if you want to call someone a talentless hack after detailing why their work is godawful, a Robert Christgau E if you will, I think that’s in bounds because you’ve provided a fair amount of evidence to your point. But. Going outside of someone’s work is out of bounds entirely–you are doing this to review books, not call people names. If that line is blurred a little, I’m sorry; but since it is blurred, might I recommend attempts to stay on the polite side of it?
Writers ought not to answer negative reviews ever. Water. Duck’s back.
Readers ought to treat reviews that bother them the same way as writers: walk away. No one says you have to read ’em, anyway.
This makes me even more ill than the time I discovered the pathetic “man-o-sphere”…literally, I’m feeling nauseous right now. An author whose work I adore, in addition to having a high opinion of her as a person, recommended Goodreads a while back, marking the first time I’d heard of the site. I was planning on getting an account as soon as I could make the time to enjoy it. Now I discover subhumans stalking Goodread reviewers. This is the kind of reason I never had a MySpace account and don’t have a facebook account; assholes ruin everything – I’d call them mental five-year-olds, but most five-year-olds I know have at least some concept of boundaries. I use to hope extraterrestrials never showed up because I was concerned they might decide to rebuild us. But the way sociopaths poison every community, I’m starting to wonder it a little “rebuilding” might be just what the doc ordered.
Well of course *you* can handle negative reviews. You’re John Effin’ Scalzi. Your books are hailed as instant classics. So of course you can handle the odd mentally unstable critic.
Try walking a mile in my shoes. When random people come up to you on the street to berate you for your poor spelling and cardboard characters, when literary agents break into your house to “return” your manuscript by piling them on your kitchen table and setting fire to them, when Amazon receives profanity-laced one-star broadsides against your book from your own mother, then will you grasp the feelings of shame and inadequacy that lead to a site like GR Bullies. Then will you truly know my pain.
I’ve been reviewing online for 11 years now, and have written hundreds upon hundreds of reviews, many good, some bad. I’ve only ever had one author respond angrily to a bad review. I’ve entered into one very friendly and interesting dialogue with another. But for the most part, it’s all just business as usual. Some books are good, some aren’t, and there will always be something new to read.
That said, fan reviews by people not skilled or used to expressing their opinions through the written word can take the form of incoherent raving, whether positive or negative. And we’ve seen idiocy passed off in “review” form on Amazon for nigh on two decades. So why did the “Stop the GoodReads Bullies” crowd think they’d stumbled upon anything new?
I’ve been a GoodReads member for years. I’ve witnessed plenty of mean-spirited comments responding to various negative reviews. Go check out the one-star reviews of “The Road” or “Twilight”. Somehow, I don’t think Cormac McCarthy or Stephenie Meyer really need to be defending. I’ve also seen authors attacking reviewers who didn’t like their work. It’s very unusual to see readers making personal attacks on authors. Most stick to the work.
The best feeling in the world though is when you write a good review of a work and the author sends a personal message thanking you. It’s especially nice when it’s a fairly well-known and respected author (not necessarily famous). That kind of response tends to make me feel good about the author and more likely to read more of his/her work and recommend him/her to my friends.
Oh my blog, I came up with a name for these people. The Whiny Author Horde, aka WAH.
I’ve started my own blog, Stop the Entitled Authors. I think this whole thing has been so damaging that it’s important to get the truth out there. After that Huffington Post article, STGRB has been given a platform for their hate that the people they’re bullying won’t ever get.
You sound like the kind of author I need in my life. Bravo and all that jazz.
Mr. Scalzi, I remember when you were an advisor to the TV show Stargate Universe. The show often had strongly negative fan reviews, which were unfortunately met with nasty responses by the show’s producers, writers, and even actors. Thank you for taking the high road through that mess.
So, go ahead and destroy Russia… Or number two?
I recently watched half of the movie “Hecklers” by Jamie Kennedy, which is mostly interviews with comedians. It talks about why people heckle, and makes some good points, that much of heckling and even many critics are really just about “look at me, not that guy on stage!”
But what I really disagreed with, was when Frank Black and some others said “it’s not fair” that people can say mean things and whatever they want. As if people aren’t entitled to share their opinions. It really doesn’t matter if someone is very knowledgeable and can make good arguments, if they just don’t like it or do, that could still be valuable information (in aggregate at least). Sure people shouldn’t be rude, but saying “it’s not fair” and to be rude back is a childish response that misses the point.
So I stopped watching halfway through, there wasn’t much to learn there.
I love you. Please continue living on planet Earth because you’re making it that much of a better place to live and blog!
John I agree entirely. When I was first published I prepared myself for negative reviews. Everyone gets them at some point. I have been lucky in that I have only had a few of them. If I were to get
upset it would detract from my purpose: to write.
I draw the line however, at the habit some people have of attacking a writers’ character. There is an unsavoury group online who like to abuse people they don’t agree with, that is not reviewing. I have bought books on the strength of a good review and been disappointed, and read ones I enjoyed that were unfavourably reviewed. It’s subjective. A good review leaves aside personal prejudices. The reviewer asks himself the question what is the writer trying to do and did he succeed?
Oops. Typo, a writer’s character.
If it is any consolation, I for one don’t bother with sites like GoodReads or pay attention to Amazon’s Stars. It makes no difference to me what someone else thinks of an author or a particular work. As one who reads voraciously and listens to audio books daily, I get a good dose of everything. If I like it, I listen/read. If I don’t, I try another author. I will probably never read 50 Shades of Grey – the synopsis doesn’t interest me. To listen to others trash an authors work and base your reading decisions on their opinion is like joining the lemmings over the cliff. Bring on the books! I want to read them all.
I would like to say a couple things. I like your writing, John Scalzi, and I also believe people should be able to express their opinions. HOWEVER, there is no excuse for the attacks, the harassment, the degradation and the outright hostility that these people on GR put out. I was dismissive of it, too, until I came under attack, for just asking that people take a look at an entire situation, not a single comment taken out of context. The attacks go on for two pages, one of those ages after I said I was walking away. They cannot allow any disagreement to their own views, while loudly shouting they’re entitled to state them. What about the rest of us? Why aren’t we allowed to add in our own thoughts without being attacked? The original posting of information that the STGRB site put up was all readily available on the internet for anyone who took the time to search it out – I don’t support that they put it all in one place, nor do I support anyone who took that information and harassed anyone – but they didn’t put out anything that wasn’t already out there, and they have since removed it.
All the best!
Goodreads is like the rest of the internet. There are intelligent reviewers, there are complete butt-munches, and there is the rest of us great unwashed in-between. With an account on Goodreads I follow the reviewers that interest me. If I was interested in bullies and name-callers I suppose I could fill many pages with this sort of drivel. Instead I try and find interesting people who read interesting books and find ummm, interesting things to say about those books. Like the rest of the internet, you get what you deserve.
Yes it is September. I don’t get to read everything I want in a timely fashion. This post regardless of when it was written, is unfortunately always timely. After all a review is a single persons opinion. Not every author or book is for me. Thanks for a great post.
Late to the party, but this is perfect. When my book comes out, I will read and re-read this. You, sir, are my hero.
I’m very late, but as someone whose name is on STGRB’s list of “Amazon fora trolls,” thank you so much for this.