Sunday, November 02, 2014

Snarky Book Review Comments and Stalking


Have you noticed how so many people are getting offended these days?  Often it's not over big things either but silly little things.

I started rereading a book which is now on Kindle by one of my favourite romance authors.  She'd had 258 Amazon reviews for her book.  Most were 5 star reviews but there was a handful of 1 star reviews which really puzzled me.  Now bearing in mind, I thought this book was great 10 years ago in paperback, so when it was republished by Kindle I jumped at the chance to read it again.

 I looked at the bad reviews which said things like, "Don't Waste Your Time With This Book" and "Not Worth It".  No one had commented on the bad reviews except for one thread  where the author was attacked for her political views.  The author replied that they weren't her views but those of the character, but still the reviewer carried on with comments which went over my head as she mentioned rapists.  I hadn't read anything about rapists in the plot and neither had I noticed any of the many typos she referred to.  The author replied once more saying the character's comments were intended as a joke like something from the Jay Leno Show and weren't intended to offend.  Unfortunately, the reviewer then made an issue about the mention of Jay Leno's name saying she found it insulting his name was mentioned!

 At the end of the day, I don't think you can argue with irrational people like that or even stick up for yourself as they will always turn things around to make you the bad guy.  I looked at all the reviews this woman had given to other books and there were many.  The odd thing about her reviews was that she either gave 5 star reviews to books where she highly praised them or 1 star reviews where she slated books, there was nothing in between.

Only this past week I read of one author who tracked a reviewer down who had slated her books, so far as to discover her real name and where she lived!  This Goodreads reviewer has since closed down her Twitter page and other social media networks either gone or turned to private.  Now that seems to be to be a form of reverse stalking, if that term exists.  It’s usually someone who stalks the author and not the author doing the stalking.  Some people have praised the author for doing this, there was even an article she wrote about it in the Guardian.  Guardian Article:

Lots of bloggers/reviewers have condemned the author for tracking down the reviewer all for the sake of a 1 star review.

 I think the best thing an author can do is not respond to bad comments or reviews.  Just as we meet people who don't like us or anything we do in real life [and those who might be irrational and even nasty], we will encounter them online also.  It's tempting to bite back but simply not worth it.

 I just left a comment underneath the reviewer's telling the author how much I'd enjoyed her book and was even reading it for a second time!  It wasn’t worth angering the reviewer, she’s entitled to her opinion and I suspect she would then have turned her rants on me if I had said anything directly to her.

The amount of 5 star reviews and great comments the author has are testament to how good her writing really is and why the odd bad review really shouldn’t matter.


1 comment:

Joanna Day said...

I think it's probably that anonymity enables the nasty streak that could be in all of us, like that retred schoolteacher who sent poison pen tweets to woman whose daughter was killed, then committed suicide after explaining to a journalist who tracked her down that she didn't now why shed done it.