Reviewers and readers behaving badly. Where does it end?

Published October 23, 2013 by G.L.

In the past, we’ve written about the behavior of authors and how it effects readers and reviewers. At times it appears  to alienate readers from authors, particularly those whom are self published. While traditionally published authors(Im not a name outer, but most people know which traditionally published authors are complete pricks)are still very much capable of putting their foots in their mouths, they often have publicists, or individuals who are there to make sure the boat doesn’t sink(damage control). But self published authors tend to work for themselves, and are penalized when they speak up for their work.

We understand that authors behaving badly is just one side to the story. Due to the world wide web being so simple to maneuver, just about anyone can write and or bully whomever they want, without having to face the person they’re directing their passion toward. Readers and reviewers are very much capable of being even bigger trolls than the authors who just maybe haven’t had a chance to learn online etiquette correctly. Goodreads released a policy a few weeks back that put the drop on reviews commenting on author behavior. I, myself was not affected. But I was lucky, many were not. The deletion of reviews and shelves drove many reviewers and readers to behave badly themselves. Many even refused indie authors, while others purposely began marking every book they did not want to review, with a one star AND no rating. But the bizarre thing is, several readers were performing these acts long before the Goodreads policy change.

It does seem a bit unfair. Authors deserve to know with a constructive review, why their book wasn’t well perceived. It allows an author to tally up common factors that may have come up in their writing that many have noticed, that they themselves did not. It’s the best chance for a writer to improve. I for one, am not turned off by an author by ONE book I’ve read of theirs that I wasn’t a fan of. It may take some time, but Im the type of reader who would give a book by an author of a book I’d read and disliked, another chance with their next work. I draw the line when an author is openly ignorant(cough* a certain science fiction author*cough), but I don’t have to read a person’s work if I don’t like their brand. In fact, I don’t have to give them much thought. So it’s understandable that many authors wish to fight this type of behavior. Im not 100% sure what it will do, as trolls will only find other ways to bug you, but I can understand the action behind it.

But where does it end? Authors behave badly, so reviewers/readers behave badly back. Reviewers/readers behave badly, so in return so will authors. If anyone has a long term solution to this underlining issue, I’d love to know it. I have a particularly thick skin, and numbers and rating scores wouldn’t  particularly bother me, but they bother many authors. So what is a constructive way to go about this?

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10 comments on “Reviewers and readers behaving badly. Where does it end?

  • I think the best thing is to just give each and every effort your best. So long as I know that I’ve done everything I can to create a good story that reflects what my imagination came up with, I’m happy. And no one can take that away from me. 🙂

  • I am a reader who will not try another book by an author if I really did not enjoy it, UNLESS someone tells me it is really good. It is not me trying to be rude it’s just that there is so many books I want to read I prefer to try other authors. But I will try another book of an author I only mildly like because I know they can improve with time.

    I think I am a fair reviewer. No matter how much I dislike a book I always try and find something positive. I also usually state that it is my opinion only and can see why some people like it. People have different tastes for books and just because I was not a fan does not mean it is not a good book.
    I recently gave a book a 3 star rating an explained why I was not a huge fan etc and what I liked, the author saw my review and liked it on goodreads, I thought that was really nice of her shows she appreciates her readers not just the ones who give her rave reviews.

    About the constructive way to stop people behaving badly, my only suggestion is banning both authors and reviewers from goodreads for any such behavior, but then they will just misbehave somewhere else.

    I love reading and reviewing and I would also love to be an author someday soon, I believe that people are entitled to their opinions but there is no need to get rude or personal about the individual who wrote it.

    Really good post 🙂

    • I have to agree with you, I recently posted a three star review. I was over the moon, as the author wasnt resentful at all.😊 She in return thanked me for pointing out the good and the bad. I have to say, she is the first author who was self published to do this, and brought back my faith in indie authors.

      • It’s okay, sorry about the long reply I got into it lol. I agree I am much more likely to read an author again if they are nice about a little constructive criticism. It was a great post, very nice read. 🙂

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