bou

Monday, 19 May 2014

Discussing the Pages: Blogger Bashing

So this happened to me for the first time:



and inspired me to write this post. Keep in mind, that I'm not using my experience to showcase it, and tell you not to read his books. You can read whatever you like, I'm not going to convince you otherwise, just because of the things that were said to me. I am merely using this, and showing it, as an example, and to warn you, in case you plan on reviewing any of his books, remember that this could happen to you by this author, no matter that my situation is currently being resolved.

I know this sort of thing has happened before. I think practically everyone has heard about some form of author-bashing-blogger or blogger-bashing-author comments/posts. But you don't actually understand what you would do, or how it feels until it actually happens to you, no matter how much you know that it's bound to happen eventually. So that's why I'm writing this post to both authors and bloggers. Let's face it, one doesn't start without the other.

Message to all authors:
We are bloggers. We review your novel for FREE. Most of us don't get paid to take the time and read your novel/series and write a review. But we do, and we do it because that's why we love doing it. This is FREE publicity for you. This is a hobby for most of us, and more importantly, this is a personal blog. 
No one blogger is going to be the same. Not every single one of us is going to absolutely love your book. Sure, we understand that you do, it's like your baby, but our reviews are our own personal opinion. Not an opinion on you, as an author, or the publisher you are with (if you are with one). This is just ONE opinion of your novel. Some notions (love triangles, insta-love etc) annoy the crap out of some of us, whereas the same thing could be what makes the book others favourite. 
Sure, if the blogger is saying something like, "yeah, I hate this author because he/she is a bitch, and now here is my review. Oh, and don't read anything this author has to write ever again, because this author is a bitch blah blah blah," then you know that this isn't your fault, but the bloggers. You will know that a blogger is "bashing" you, because they judge their review of your novel based upon YOU. No matter how much they might like/love it, they will still rate it poorly, just because they have some stupid vendetta against you. Yeah, I know it's not right, but it's not right to be just as dirty back to them. Most of the time, it's better to do a re-read of a review, especially a bad one (if you actually want to look at it). Sure, they might mention your name, but it's most likely rhetorical. The blogger might be wondering why you did it this way, instead of this other way, but unless they are abusing you for it. It is not bashing you, it's merely thinking out loud as to what you might have been thinking when you wrote it. Trying to put themselves in the same mindset as you. They might be questioning why you did it that way, and you know what? You can go ahead and comment, tell them what you were thinking at the time you wrote that scene, but that doesn't mean that you need to abuse them because they are trying to understand where you are coming from.
Honestly authors, if you are arguing to yourself about everything that I have just said, then why are you an author at all? Negative reviews are part of the job description, and you should either avoid negative reviews altogether, or embrace what others have to say about your book! Please remember, that 100% of the time, it is how the reader has perceived everything that has happened in the book, no matter how well you tell it or don't. It's their own personal taste on what they love reading, or hate reading.

Message to all bloggers:
As a fellow blogger and lover of books, that doesn't make us have all sorts of supreme power to do and say whatever we want. But you need to remember that, no matter what you thought of a book, good or bad, does not mean that you need to take it out on the author. 
After you write a bad review on a book, why not ask yourself after re-reading your review, "is this a review about the book that I read, or the author that wrote it?" If you're answer is author, then you know something is wrong there. Think of it as, you are basically encouraging authors to go to your review and write abusive comments to you. Honestly, that's what you're basically writing in your review, and that's what it will appear to authors. 
Don't think that, after you write a review like this, and then the author abuses you personally, that you have to hate the author for all eternity. Remember that YOU put yourself there by attacking the author personally, not writing a review on their book, which is what you are supposed to be doing. If you want to "bash" an author, then call the post author bashing, not review. A bashing is NOT a review. 
If you know that you won't like a book, then it's probably best that you don't read it. I declined a review copy of The Break-up Artist by Philip Siegel. Why? Because I despise love triangles, and from the blurb, that is the book was made out to be, one big love triangle. If I did say yes to reviewing it, just because it's a copy not even released yet, I would still be going on and on about these characters that I didn't like because of the love triangle. But, I admitted that I wouldn't enjoy the book. Because you are a book blogger, does not mean that you have to accept every book that comes your way, even if you know you aren't going to like it. If you KNOW that you aren't going to be able to write a good review about the book, and you aren't going to enjoy it, why read it at all? It's wasting your time, as well as making you next to-read book, wait even longer for your attention (Yes, this next book on your pile is dying to be your best friend)
Even though your blog is a personal reflection of you, your thoughts and opinions, you need to remember that you have entered this new universe, full of authors and books, and no matter what, you need to act professional. It doesn't matter that some of us don't earn money from this, and ask why we need to be professional. If you don't agree with that, then remember this infamous saying, "Treat others as you would like to be treated," because why can't that be carried out on your blog?


Really, no matter if you are an author or a blogger, then you need to remember that whatever you say is a representation of your book/blog. Sure, you might be angry and upset over the comment/review, but BE THE BIGGER PERSON. What's the point in sinking down to their level? They are just seeking attention, and by commenting and starting a fight back, you are doing EXACTLY what they want. You will draw attention to them as an author/blogger, then everyone will be curious and go check them out. Do you want them to be popular? Do you want more people to come at you because of something you said back to the ridiculous person who originally left the comment/review? NO. NO. NO.

It's like....
and...

Remember, you have a great support network. Us bloggers stick together, and that doesn't mean authors can do the same thing. If you insult one of us, you insult all of us practically, because we all fall under that web in some way.

You know what? At home, you can rant and rave as much as you like to whoever is near you, your partner, your animals, your books (I'm joking about the books by the way, just.... no). But don't take it online, don't take it to their face (if you know them) and don't threaten them. 

Both authors and bloggers are just trying to do what they love. Why try to take that away from them? What do you really wish to accomplish in bashing an author or blogger?

You know what? There are actually things that you can do to try stop it from happening to others.

Go to the publisher. Let them know what is happening, and you deserve some sort of apology from the author/blogger. You know why? The author or blogger that writes/reviews with them are still a reflection on the actual publishing company. If the publishing company doesn't do anything, then why should you write/review for them if they support this type of thing going on? Sure, they might not literally say that they support it, but what do you want to surround yourself with people who really don't give a damn? Do you really want to draw attention to them, and give them credit for actually publishing the novel? You know what, if you don't tell the publisher that this person is saying these things to you, then how will they know that it happens at all? They genuinely do want to help, especially the people within the publishing company that you speak to the most.

or/

If you're an Indie author, you should know what the right thing is. It's exactly the same thing as above, except all the attention goes to you and your novel, as well as your future works. Do you want all that in jeopardy for some stupid comment you wrote on a negative review, or some stupid bloggers post who wants to make you look bad?

Social Media! That's all the jazz nowadays. Twitter, Facebook etc etc etc. The list of them goes on and on. Get a support network of your friends/followers. Make them aware that this is happening. Get the word out, and it will ultimately warn everyone of what the author/blogger will be like if you happen to come past their novel/blog one day. 

Re-Read your posts/comments before posting. You never know what you might say that could make someone believe you're bashing them. Think about what you've written, and if you're unsure, ask what you would feel like if you were reading that review/comment. Still no? Get a friend to read it over for you. You never know when you could be starting a author/blogger bashing, and not even realize it.

What do you all think? Let me know if you agree or disagree with anything I've said to both authors and bloggers. Check out my review for the bashing I received and tell me what you think about if the comment was deserved or not.

20 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry this happened to you Gina. Ugh I am NOT reading any of his books now.

    This was a great post and I think it was wonderful you addressed it from both points of views. When I write snarky reviews I always make it a point to attack the book and NOT the author - I always leave the author out of it. I make it a point to be as nice as possible while also being honest.

    This hasn't happened to me yet but it happens to a lot of bloggers so who knows. I hope it won't happen to me.

    *Hugs*

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    1. Thanks lovely! I wanted to, because I know that it doesn't just happen to bloggers, but it happens to authors as well. That's the same with me. It's hard though, because you want to be as nice as possible, but then you don't want to beat around the bush. Sometimes clear cut reviews sound the worst, but you're just actually getting to the point.
      I hope it doesn't happen to you! But, just be prepared. You never know when it will happen, or over what kind of review you put out there.

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  2. Wow, wow, wow. I would contact the person at Penguin you received the book from with a link to the review and a screencap of his reply. If you haven't already of course!

    Under The Mountain

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    1. Situation is already being taken care of :) haha that's why I included talking to the publisher first, because they will be able to solve the problem quickly and hopefully, without too much damage done on either side.

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  3. Oh my gosh...I am absolutely disgusted at Doug McLeod's response. It's so naive to what and who bloggers are. Honestly. I LOVE his books...I always laugh a lot when I read his books, but that? That's not right. It's like he has NO idea in the world. I am so so so disappointed. I can't even....Gosh. That was so rude though, the "I have a published book and you don't". What the HECK.
    I'm really sorry you had to deal with that, but you did a really good job and I feel pretty inspired. I once said in my review that I thought a book was too similar to another book (an older famous book) and the author tweeted me and explained how it wasn't. Dude: it's MY opinion. I can think what I want.
    And I also want to know what the fine line between being honest and bashing...*sigh* Sometimes my reviews are quite tough and honest, but that's who I am. I don't like to sugar coat. So do I bash? It worries me!
    Great post, Gina.

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    1. I agree, but I still admit that I liked his book, even though he has said those things about me. I won't be reading it again (or even seeing it again).
      It could happen to any one of us, no matter the kind of review we put out there. It just goes to show that most authors are just a name on a book cover, and we don't really expect this kind of thing to happen. hahaha of course the author is going to completely disagree! They wouldn't purposely write a book, just to be like a re-make of another! Sounds like a wacko. And anyway, it's different for us when we read it, because there are SO many books that are alike now, it's hard to find one that isn't similar in some way to another.
      Just depends. I like to write tough and honest reviews as well, instead of beating around the bush. What's the purpose to it? Just say what you want to say. And that's a good thing (well, I think it is, because I do it too). Just as long as you don't actually attack the author, then it should be fine. But if you are ranting at a particular character, or at an infuriating notion (love triangles etc), then it shouldn't be author bashing, because you are still talking about the book, and it's nothing personal to the author. It's just your own personal opinion. Thanks!

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  4. I'm so sorry this happened to you Gina, no one should be attacked for stating their opinion. Your original review was posted with thought and care and I'm disgusted at his actions. You should hold your head high, not only was it a great review, but you've dealt with his actions with class and dignity. In no way was it an attack on his character and regardless of what this guy thinks, I enjoyed your review. It was honest and if you didn't critique the book itself, then why do any of do this then?

    Mr MacLeod, you've done yourself an incredible disservice. I'm sure I speak for the majority of reviewers who support our friend Gina and fellow community member. You don't speak to ANYONE that way, I don't care how full of self importance you are. This is bullying, and I personally don't care if this is your first incident or last, she deserves a public apology. It's the only way you could possibly begin to redeem yourself within our tight knit book blogging community.

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    1. Thanks for all your support lovely! Some people just don't know how to handle themselves in situations like this and get completely carried away, making it worse for them. Oh, my head is held as high as it can :D I am proud of my review, I am proud of EVERY review that I take the time to sit and read, and you are completely right. I wouldn't be a book blogger if I didn't point out what I didn't like in a book because of my own personal tastes. I take the time to write honest reviews, that I will be proud to read and to post. In no review that I have ever written, have I directly attacked the author, or said that no one should pick up the book, or even manage to write something positive about the book. That even stands with my reviews for novels that I didn't finish.

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  5. Amen sister! Love this post. Especially this: "Both authors and bloggers are just trying to do what they love. Why try to take that away from them? What do you really wish to accomplish in bashing an author or blogger?"

    Unfavorable reviews come with the territory, and as an author, I know they're tough to take sometimes. However, we are all unique individuals and not everyone is going to like the same book. Some people will LOVE the very same thing that others HATE. Bloggers/reviewers should feel safe & comfortable leaving their honest opinion of a book (as long as there is no author-bashing of course), because you're right--you're providing a FREE service by reading and reviewing our work. What a tremendous gift that is to authors!!! At the same time, authors should feel free to express themselves through their writing without worrying about being personally attacked (by name). :)

    I completely agree that the best reviews point out what the reviewer feels to be positive AND what they feel to be "not-so-positive," and focus on their opinion of the book content...never placing the author's name in a negative light. For me, the well-thought-out, constructive criticism provided in reviews has helped me to be aware of the areas I can improve on (another awesome and free gift!), while the "author-bashing" just makes everyone involved feel awkward.

    Thanks for this thoughtful, objective post! Great job!

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    1. Thanks lovely! Even though I don't understand the author side as much as you would, both sides are basically the same. In all my reviews, no matter how much I didn't like the book, I will have at least one thing that I did like about it, even if I marked it as a DNF. Thanks for commenting from an authors perspective!

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  6. That is terrible that the author has left such a nasty reply on your post Gina, and I am sorry that you were at the rear end of it. Reviewing a book is definitely based on personal opinion, and if the author can't hack reading negative reviews then why are they reading it in the first place? It is definitely difficult to read criticism about your baby, but if you can't rise above and accept it as what it is, personal opinion, then don't do it. And knowing you Gina, you probably weren't being hateful or author bashing either. Sigh, this is what makes me annoyed about critiquing.

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    1. Thank you lovely! I agree completely. That's also why I did this discussion post, so that authors are aware as well, and not take it all so personally (especially if they are like this). There is always a downside to everything, unfortunately.

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  7. Sorry to hear about this, Gina. I read that review and thought you were very fair and didn't deserve the response you got. I can't believe this is still happening, I thought authors would have learnt from things like this happening in the past. I agree with everything you said completely about authors and bloggers, it's a shame you even have to say anything, you think it would be common sense.

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    1. Thank you Rochelle! I think that something like this will never go away. There will always be that one author who will take a review too seriously, or reads into it the wrong way. Same thing the other way around too. haha you would think that it would be common sense, but it's good just to put the reminder out there anyway.

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  8. Wow!! I'm almost lost for words. I've never had a response like this from an author. I cannot believe that this stuff goes on. I was under the assumption that reviewing a book meant that it was your 100% HONEST opinion of what you've read. Nobody likes to have anything negative said about something that means a lot to them, but being an author means that it's going to happen. Not everyone is going to like what you write!!! That's a fact!! Even the greatest authors have critics. We all have different opinions. If we didn't the world would be a pretty boring place. Personally I think your review was very fair Gina.

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    1. Thanks Tracey! I wish you never do have an author say these things to you, or anything similar. It is, but sometimes authors take things too personally. Most authors that talk about this, say that it's best not to even put yourself in the situation to get angry at a blogger for having an opinion. As in, if you see it's going to be a bad review by the rating, then don't read the review. That's why I wanted to do this post because, yes, it still goes on. I completely agree! How many authors actually get the publisher that they send a manuscript to first? Authors get bad reviews, even before they have published the book.

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  9. Man, this is horrible. I'm so sorry that this happened to you. That was extremely unprofessional for the author to do - and to think that your review wasn't even completely negative anyway! But I'm glad you took the bigger and higher road. It's so easy to talk and bash back, but that leads to even more drama, and I think the blogosphere already has enough on its place (I know I am!). The best revenge is to attack with kindness and positivity, and to have people with authority deal with it themselves (in this case, the publishers).

    Thank you for your messages because these are the things that needed to be said. I've seen some kind of overlyconfidence in our part of the blogging world lately, in which some of us feel we have the right to trample on authors just because we can. It may look cool and such reviews may give you more likes, but at the end of the day, what's the point? Are the authors the product? Why are we reviewing them instead of the book? I stand by for blogger rights, but there are lines that don't need to be crossed. Negative reviews are awesome - they let others know what to expect from a certain book - but only limit it to what you read. Just the book, and not the author. With that said, I bow down to your wisdom.

    New follower, for sure :)

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

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    1. Thank you lovely! I've just put the whole thing over my shoulder. As long as everything has been sorted, then I'm all OK with it all. Exactly. Those kind of comments are only meant to torment you and to get a reaction out of you, yet if you give them a reaction back, they are just getting what they want.
      Absolutely no one has the right to trample authors. I can't believe some bloggers are like this. Just because they get free books, and early copies does not give them the right to think they are King of the Mountain. I completely agree with negative reviews, I like to look out for them and read them, because they tell us everything that others who absolutely love it missed out.

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  10. I haven't experienced this kind of situation (thank goodness too, because I don't think I could handle that kind of drama) but I understand that even if you're not considered as a "professional blogger", we need to act respectable and decent (as any other blogger should). Meaning, we don't need to be easily swayed by one nasty comment or bashing. I definitely agree about author bashing, I've made it a point to not take the things I read personally, even if I "hated" a book, that doesn't mean that I am judging the author themselves. Even when writing reviews, we should reread and think, if this is something that wouldn't hurt people intentionally. Part of being a blogger, is sharing your opinion, not ridiculing others or talking down on them.

    As for negative reviews, I actually like reading them, I've been known to like even the most cliche romance ever, and sometimes, even if a lot of people dislike a love triangle, I like it a lot. haha :D Point is, I love seeing an opposite opinion about the book, it makes me see things I never really paid attention to in a book. I'm sorry that you had experienced this, but I'm sure that everything will go better from here for you, :)

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    1. I hope you never do! I would rather it have happened to me than to any one of you! Fantastic points, and even though it may be hard at times, it's better to re-read so that you don't accidentally hurt someone. I love reading negative reviews! They provide a different insight that you might have missed while reading the book, and it takes you out of the whole gushing fantasy. I hate love triangles, and I've steered clear of definite love triangle books, to save myself from an inevitable negative review. Some books though, have made me like the love triangle (can't believe I'm admitting to this haha). Thank you lovely!

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Thanks for leaving a comment, I love hearing what you have to say and talking to you all!