Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reactions Speak Louder Than Blurbs

Yesterday started out quite eventful, quite early, and kept me entertained if not a bit peeved at what was going on. I love my community of bloggers and take what I do very seriously, like most all bloggers I know. No, I do not get paid for this and for that matter should not be made to be professional at-all-times. I do it because I enjoy it and I love books. I just want to share with my readers what I love. Just like a fan would share his favorite band or a nerd his favorite video game. This is just what I love doing.

Let me first explain the reasoning for this post, in case you're lost thus far, and please keep reading. It gets funnier and to the point in a second. Yesterday morning, a post (read it here; original unedited post here) popped up on an indie authors blog titled "Authors beware of unprofessional reviewers" wherein she basically said that her feelings were hurt because she read a negative review about one of her books and then went on to take it as a personal attack at themselves. So she came outright and exploited two blogs that didn't like her book per se and thus became personally victimized by this "Regina George." Which happens. She goes on bashing bloggers as a whole saying:
Oftentimes, the people who set up these kinds of blogs have never written a thing in their lives, except maybe a grocery list. Most are avid readers who think they are qualified to review someone else's work. So it's very sad when they go about damaging the image of upcoming small press and indie authors with the rubbish they write.
What she meant was, and I quote Cady from Mean Girls, "I know it may look like I had become a bitch, but that's only because I was acting like a bitch." And that she was. The point of blogging is to give a personal opinion. Every single review on my blog has been a matter of the reviewers own opinion and I take pride in that fact. The reason you send a book to a blogger for review is for "an honest, thoughtful review" as stated in my Review Policy tab above. Now just because a couple of reviews are bad doesn't mean you need to jump from your high horse and hop onto your royal throne to condemn a blogger for doing so. It's their right to.

If I am sent a book for review, I will review it honestly. If I liked it, I'll say so. If not, I will usually state that I didn't like it and thus not review it. But that's just my personal approach thus to avoid such things. But through the action you took, instead of whining about it to friends and family, you took it to, where else, the blogging community itself! That was your second colossal mistake! Why post something, ranting on about "Oh, woe is me. You hate me, so I hate you..." These are my friends you're hating on and I really don't appreciate it.

I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of comments that came from the readers/bloggers that defended those thrown under the bus and criticized. I myself had to comment and left quite a long, thought out version of "You're treading on this water, these are my friends." Anyone who talks bad about my community will feel the distaste of the whole! After so many comments started to feed in, she then went back and edited her post to sound like the victim of some act of violence. Then commented again almost saying, "Half the people in this room are mad at me, and the other half only like me because they think I pushed somebody in front a bus, so that's not good." (okay, maybe that was from Mean Girls again) But it's true. Those commenting were not there for support any more, they were there in defense of their people who were verbally attacked because of hurt feelings.

In the end, I really believe she could've easily just said, "I wish we were all happy like we used to be in middle school. I wish I could bake a cake full of rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy...I just have a lot of feelings..." (also from Mean Girls) and she'd have avoided a lot of trouble. Though she may have lost her job as an author and any readership she did actually have, at least she got a great day of page views.

So please, if your feelings are hurt, don't take it to the blogosphere to hopefully get a pat on the back saying "Here, here. It'll be okay." You only ask for an honest review and that's what you got. Please take this as a wake up call and delete your post as well as stop trying to cover it up. Congrats on the couple thousand page views I noticed yesterday.

Readers: I hate that I had to write this, and trust me, I hate when it happens but you guys are my peeps and I stick up for my bloggers. You guys don't have to do it, you choose to do it because you love books and want to tell others about good books! It's your opinion so feel free to share it! And don't let anyone get you down. As always, I love you guys and hope you have a great day!

The Book Binge's reaction
Chick Lit Plus' reaction


  1. I am commenting here rather than on her post because enough was hashed out there. Books get sold everyday by word of mouth. That's essentially what a book blog is--word of mouth. I don't have to be a writer to be a reader, thankfully. I can't pinpoint what is "well-written" for me, I just know it when I read it. I wonder what she would do if she overheard one reader telling a friend in a bookstore why she didn't like a book. She probably wouldn't criticize that person. That's what a blog is, one reader telling another reader about a book!

  2. Well written.
    If she can’t take criticism, then maybe this lady shouldn’t be an author. Not everyone is going to rave about your books and praise you. She needs to take criticism and use it! It only helps, it makes you a stronger person (or in this case, author).
    If it weren’t for people reading (and reviewing) her books in the first place, she’d probably be nowhere. She should appreciate that someone took the time to actually read her book.

  3. Thank you! I've been thinking about what I want to say about this and how to say it, but you took the words right out of my mouth. I honestly don't understand that author. She rants about professionalism yet she can't take a negative review from someone who's writing she thinks is inadequate. It just makes no sense; I don't know a book blogger who writes reviews for any reason other than to share their opinions with people. Another thing she should realize is that negative reviews sell books, it's seriously wacked but it's true. I buy books all the time that get negative reviews because I want to have my own opinion on the book. It's just really frustrating! Thanks for making me laugh about it though :)

  4. I love Mean Girls.

    Also, this post... it's so Fetch!

  5. Good job. And I also love Mean Girls.

    She should have read Emily Mandel's bit (can't find link) about bad reviews - it's best to take it as a part of the job and keep doing the writing that you love to do, anyway.

  6. This is the link for Emily's thoughts on bad reviews...which was thoughtful and just sane.

  7. Just went to the original post, saw there were 12 comments.... and then saw the comments had all been deleted. Um?

    Your post made for some interesting reading -- now I'm off to read what's on the other sites. :)

  8. GREAT RANT!! :D

    I think I'll have to share this rant with my Tweeps!

  9. Great post Jeremy! You said everything I was thinking...:)

  10. On one hand, I understand how Sylvia feels. If I were in her position I'd be upset to get a negative review if I worked really hard on a book. I am sure most authors have much thicker skin than I do!

    On the other hand, people don't follow what book bloggers say 100%. Before I buy a book I'll check out reviews to see what other people think of it, but there have been plenty of times where I bought a book even though reviewers didn't like it.

    I really didn't like that she posted so rudely and anonymously to one blogger's post. It seems that if she did feel the review was unfair, it would be far better to discuss it in private with the bloggers in question.

    Lastly, you are awesome for sticking up for your fellow bloggers and friends.

  11. I too came across this authors blog post yesterday and took great offense to what she said. I was going to add my 2 cents but everyone pretty much said what I was already thinking. Thanks for sticking up of me and our blogging community! I think I'll go watch Mean Girls now since I haven't seen it and some of the things you said made me laugh!

    YOU ROCK Jeremy!

  12. Thanks for the link and I enjoyed reading your post.

    I noticed she deleted all her comments from the blog...I still had that window open on my computer and went through them all again. While they may have gotten angrier as they went on, I can't think she expected anything less.

  13. Yea too bad all she did was delete all the comments, leaving the post up. Whole thing should have just been deleted. She really is not helping her situation by her actions. I was told by one of the bloggers directly that she insulted that the author even took the time to find the bloggers FB page and attack her for a 2nd time that day. Awful way of doing business.

  14. +1 for Mean Girls quotes. XD But seriously, how totally unprofessional. This seems to be going around in the book world lately. Wasn't there another author who made a huge deal about book bloggers who write negative reviews? Something about how you can't be a blogger and a writer at the same time, because other authors will be mad and it'll prevent you from getting published?

    Whatever it was, there seems to be a lot of negative feelings about our blogging world right now, and it sucks. So, absolutely, perfectly well written response! ;D

  15. Dear bloggers,

    Yes, it's me, the one who posted the blog - the blog leper, I call myself now, but at least I maintain my sense of humour. I am replying on this blog because Jeremy expressed his views he in a civil way and I appreciated his opinion. Yes, I had a go at a couple of harsh reviewers, but one of them in particular. But perhaps I should have done it in a different way and not said harsh things in my blog—although it was obviously okay for this particular blogger and her colleagues to say harsh things about me (and believe me, there are always two sides to every story. It wasn't just about a bad book review, honest). But with this thing one can never win. Anyway, this whole thing got crazy and some bloggers started emailing my publisher and having a go at her. This was totally unacceptable—the poor woman had nothing to do with it. Anyway, I know my blog post upset a huge amount of people, but I am a blogger too, and I have the right to express my opinion just like all other bloggers. I love the friends I’ve made through the blogging community and I would never hurt their feelings for a thousand years. So I’m sorry that some of the bloggers took this on as a personal attack on them, even though that was never my intent. I did edit my original post, because I wanted to take off the names of the two blogs that I mentioned in the original blog post (I didn’t think I should have named them publicly), but unfortunately people seemed to take offence to this also, saying I was covering my tracks or something along those lines. Well, to cut a long story short, the whole thing got out of hand and I didn’t think it was worth carrying on with it. I certainly didn’t want to start WWIII.

    Thank you, Jeremy for expressing your views. People might not always agree on things, but it was nice to get a comment that didn't threaten me :-)

    Kind regards, Sylvia Massara.

  16. Sylvia,

    1. A lot of us "blogger" have real life jobs that are professional and I read through everything and not one person threatened you. You are in the perfect profession. Over dramatic and able to edit your post at the drop of a dime to suit the latest onslaught to make it seem that you are the victim. In a way you are a victim. I went to your blog prepared to feel sorry for you, but you are a victim of your own idiocy to think that you can say that a whole group of people are crappy at something and get away with it. What if I said all people from Australia really blow at cooking shrimp? That is a truly ridiculous statement is it not? I was also the blogger who said, hey let's all wait for her to wake up, it's like ass'o'clock there. Then when you did wake up what did you do? You spouted more vile stuff. I tried again to be sympathetic to you and you let me down. The original unedited post is still there floating around twitter, you blowing up the comments and editing it did nothing. If I were your PR lady, I would ask you to take down that post, and write a new one. Explaining what you just did about bloggers who emailed your publisher with demands and were rude to her WITHOUT naming names and without any crass rudeness.

  17. Dear Jeremy,

    As I said in my earlier post--you just can't win. Thank you for your earlier email to me and best wishes :-)

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  19. This is an excellent post that really does a great job of articulating what is wrong with this situation. Also, fantastic use of Mean Girls references.

  20. This is a great post, Jeremy. Oh and I always say, if all else fails, use Mean Girls. Haha. Here's my postif you have time!

  21. AMEN! LOVE this post! And I LOVE Mean Girls! Thanks for posting this, I couldn't have said it better myself, literally. I would have babbled on and on like an idiot! Thanks for sticking up for all of your fellow bloggers! *High Five*

  22. Fabulous post, Jeremy. It's truly classy that you responded in such a civil way to such vitriol. I also really appreciated how you lightened things up a bit (because is it tense in here or is it just me?) with the Mean Girls quotes -- they were so appropriate! You rock for defending your fellow bloggers in such a terrific way.

  23. Great post! And, great references from Mean Girls. :) I feel like you said exactly what needed to be said.