Monday, January 14, 2013

Questions Re: Authors & Reviewers

I found this story while searching for something entirely different, and I thought it would be interesting to pose some questions about it.

The short version of the story:

  • "Vine" reviewer (blog author) reads book, posts 4-star review on Amazon.
  • Author starts pushing for #1 New York Times Bestseller slot on Facebook; is unhappy that it stays steady at #2.
  • Someone gives the book a 1-star review on Amazon. It's not abusive, mind you. It's just harsh.
  • Author's husband tears into the 1-star reviewer; legions of fans jump on board. Death threats ensue.
  • Author references the fracas in an amused fashion
  • Blog author changes review to 1-star, explains that it's because they can't support the author's behavior:
  •  Both the blog author and the original 1-star reviewer receive threats and anonymous phone calls.
  • Author steps in, sorta-kinda. One of her comments:
amy--we did reach out to her with an official apology. if she is really getting death threats, which is appalling, she should probably remove her post--or at least stop talking about it. alternatively, she should call the police ASAP. There is nothing i can do to help her from atlanta. why are you still talking about it? i think you are making it worse for this poor woman by drawing attention to it on my page. if you care about her and want it to die down, please stop posting about it on my page. that is what i mean by "protect all involved". i'm sorry you don't seem to follow this logic. but maybe you want the drama to continue? if so, THAT is really, really bad.
...And that about summarizes it. Full details in the link in the post above, naturally.

So my questions to you, dear blog readers, are:

Should the book's author have acted differently? How?


Should the blog author have changed their review? (edit: I meant, from a 4-star to 1-star, which they did; was that a good thing or a bad thing?)


If you were either of these people, what might have you done differently? What might you have wished you'd done differently?

1 comment:

oedalis said...

What? You want to know what *I* think? OMGOMGOMG!!!

1) YES. Can I just say what a spoiled selfish asshole she was about the whole situation? Holy fuck, egging her readership on to "rebut" one single negative review? Stupid, stupid, stupid. She was terribly irresponsible with her influence.

2) NO. And I think the author's response you quoted above was a load of bollocks. "She should shut up so she's not threatened anymore"---talk about not taking any responsibility for the avalanche of hate she started! What she should do is take control of the situation instead of watching it passively and, can I say, just a smugly. The very fact that she hasn't addressed her readership directly about the situation and asked them to COOL IT the same way she SICCED them on anyone who's review they'd perceive as offensive to her, is a glaring statement that she feels not one whit of responsibility for the fire she obviously ignited.

3) In the author's shoes, I would follow my own advice and very loudly and officially tell my readership to back down and APOLOGIZE for my horrendous behavior! It may not ruin her career but it won't help it and extending a formal apology and copping to her childish attitude can only make her look better.

In the reviewer's shoes, nothing. I'd change nothing.