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?