It has come to my attention that some authors have felt so unhappy about some things book reviewers have said on Goodreads that they have begun threatening and intimidating those reviewers by exposing personal information about the reviewers' habits and homes and children online, and even called these women at home – as a way of “stopping the bullying” and keeping things civil. 

Exposing personal info crosses a significant line, and seeks to intimidate people, particularly women in this case, and silence free discussion. Some reviewers are now frightened to voice their true opinions lest the same thing happen to them.

A post at Dear Author recaps this problem, and has called for the community to work to solve it. 
Well, I am working to solve it! With badges and buttons designed to alert GR bullies to the consequences of not being nice!

 
I feel these buttons will not only save reviewers and those "gangs" of bookish bullies at Goodreads the hassle of buying and reading books and giving unwelcome opinions, but they will also save the author the time and trouble of having to enforce niceness by hunting the reviewer in real life! 



This first helpful button, above, tells reviewers in a lighthearted way that an author prefers only “I heart this book” type reviews. If reviewers take the “decorative underlining” in the wrong way, so be it. 




A fun rhyming button, which can be placed on an author’s Goodreads profile, signaling to the snarky reviewer to expect terrifying real life consequences for any opinions delivered in a less-than-nice manner. 



A more subtle version, and I think, more poetic way of saying, hey, if you knock my book, I might just knock on your door!!! Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…except if you say them about my book! Take that, Goodreads bullies!


People must realize that if something is put out for sale, or put on a site where customers are asked to freely give their opinions, it doesn't mean they are free to give an upsetting opinion!! When people say upsetting things, free speech no longer applies! 





Most people understand that the thumbs down is not nice. But, you never know if a goodreads bully has simply forgotten that fact! Maybe they deserve the benefit of the doubt! I think this helpful and informative reminder would do the trick of jogging their memories that thumbs down is bad..and hopefully encourage them to change to a thumbs up. Yay!





This one is my most artistic ones! It’s a fun way of heading off trouble before it starts, with a nod to the famous painting. Still I think it gets across the message effectively.  





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A fun and lighthearted variation on the earlier one. This would especially speak to reviewers who love animals. I think this button is a great way of saying that you're all for free speech, but even then there are limits, like if you feel upset!


Here is a stylish button that helpfully signals to a reviewer that one-star and two-star reviews sometimes carry real-life consequences.

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I might use this one for my next book, to alert hapless reviewers that one- two- and three-star reviews are inappropriate for such a brilliant book, and...well, let's just leave it at that, shall we? 


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I think this is an attractive way for an author to signal his or her dedication to niceness, and commitment to the fight against bullying. But, if you look closely at the word 'only' it carries a special message to bullies who do not share that commitment to niceness.  


After all, if we don't police the Internet by exposing these trash-talking bullies to harm, who will? It's not as if a person can simply walk away from the INTERNET!!  





This button, in an attractive diamond shape, helps a reviewer understand, through simple symbols, the type of attitude that is expected on sites where people give their opinions. 


I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to utilize these buttons.

Have a nice day!

**This is a joke post. Just in case that is not clear. I cherish free speech, and this GR bullies thing has been keeping me up at night for how upsetting and wrong it is. Giving an opinion on the Internet, no matter how hurtful or deplorable, should NEVER carry terrifying real-life consequences, such as getting people's real life information exposed!!! [image error]

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Published on July 20, 2012 09:47 • 2,116 views
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message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cummings I loved it. The only problem is that the offenders will never see themselves in your post!


message 2: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane Thanks Michelle! Well, if they don't, maybe people buying into the idea that what they did is okay will think twice. Or if nothing else, it was great a way for me to let off some steam!


message 3: by Linzi (new)

Linzi I read a fascinating book by John Locke who said that 1 & 2 star reviews simply mean that your book was read by someone who wasn't in your target market - and that it's fine because they won't read the next/another one.

OK the content was a lot more complicated than that but that really was the gist of it.

He phrases it better himself in a reply to a reader comment here

"Let me tell you about those one-star reviews. I never got a one-star review on any book until I got in the top 100. This is because you never get a bad review from your target audience. If you get a bad review, it's because someone outside your target audience has found your book and gave it a shot. It's no reflection on them as a reader, and no reflection on you as a writer. --If, as an author, you don't understand this, your writing will suffer, because you'll be writing not to get bad reviews instead of writing to reward your target audience."

This aligns with my personal view that in many cases the fact that I don't like an author's book says more about me and my tastes than their book. I hate books set on the Bayou - seriously I never found one I could like, however highly recommended it came from a friend. That has nothing to do with the author.

BUT it's my damn account and if I want to give a book 1* to remind me to NEVER buy another book from that author because it's not good for me or them and I hate wasting my book budget on things I won't enjoy - that is my right!

I'd love to see them come to visit Scotland - we have guard sheep here and we know how to use them ;-)


message 4: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane Hey, thanks for passing along that quote! That is a smart, interesting way to look at it. Heck, at least the person gave the book a whirl.

And you're right, low-star reviews help readers find the right books - instead of wasting their money on the wrong-for-them books.

Plus, I feel like, if 1 and 2 star reviews didn't exist, then the 4-stars and 5-stars would be totally meaningless.

Guard sheep. :) Keep up the good work, guard sheep!


message 5: by Linzi (new)

Linzi BTW I really meant to say how much I loved the buttons - I just got too angry about the whole issue to remember I had choked laughing at the scream one. Nice angle on the issue Carolyn ;-)


message 6: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane Hey, thanks Linzi! I had actually made the post earlier in the week, but felt it was maybe too aggressive to run, but then when the Huffington Post thing went up, I was so angry, I was just vibrating with anger that this behavior was seeming normalized! A long way of saying I totally get feeling angry about this issue.

I think a lot of us readers and writers have a really big free speech button.


Alisha-Dear Constant Reader I loves these! Loves!

Can we get a theme set that are misogynist? Something about how women should stay ignorant and quiet! Oh! No dirty language. That's a big theme over at STGRB too.

Keep the drawings coming! This made my day--again! I had to show my husband. Words would just not do, lol.


message 8: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane haha. Yes, we need a set for that, too, don't we? Sigh!

Hey, thanks for the kind words.


message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra You forgot the unicorns, methinks. Other than that, excellent buttons. Also, highest of fives on the lovely snark. Well done. :)

By the way, I completely agree with the statement in bold. :)


message 10: by Kerry (new)

Kerry Haha! Great post. I wish authors would see how much their behavior effects their sales. When I come across a post like this it makes me look forward to reading your work. Thanks for the laugh!


message 11: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane Sandra wrote: "You forgot the unicorns, methinks. Other than that, excellent buttons. Also, highest of fives on the lovely snark. Well done. :)

By the way, I completely agree with the statement in bold. :)"


lol thanks! But, how could I forget unicorns? noooooooo!


message 12: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane Kerry wrote: "Haha! Great post. I wish authors would see how much their behavior effects their sales. When I come across a post like this it makes me look forward to reading your work. Thanks for the laugh!"

Thanks so much, Kerry! I just hope this community can repair from this. Is it too much to hope we come out stronger?


message 13: by Katy (new)

Katy HAHAHA!! Excellent - all now that's left to get me back to a normal attitude is some George Takei Facebook, and maybe a milkshake ... :-) Too bad I have no idea how to post an image into a comment here on GR; the only time I did was just by copying the HTML from my blog and it looked icky ... :-) I'm an HTML dummy! :-)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

This gave me such a good laugh, thank you!


message 15: by Pete (new)

Pete Morin A little chuckle for you, Carolyn.

http://youtu.be/ZKG4WKLIgvs


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Fisher Linzi wrote: "I read a fascinating book by John Locke who said that 1 & 2 star reviews simply mean that your book was read by someone who wasn't in your target market - and that it's fine because they won't read..."

Guard Sheep!!!! hahahahahahahaha! I want one!


message 17: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Writing a bad book and expecting everyone to coo over it, and threatening consumers if they don't like the fare being offered, is exactly the same principle as to put putrid food in front of customers in a restaurant, and threatening them at gunpoint if they refuse to finish their meal and if they comment that the food tastes off to them.

I just cannot understand how these authors don't seem to get that concept...

Amusing post though--good work!


message 18: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Elizabeth I'm from the Historic Fiction community, and the number of gang-ups; the mob mentality of certain authors, has left me so angry. This post, however, made me laugh aloud. Thank you so much! I thought it was just the delicate snowflakes of the Hist Fic community that were like this. Although saddened to see that it's more widespread, it is sort of a relief, too. Great post, very funny. :)


message 19: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane Hannah wrote: "I'm from the Historic Fiction community, and the number of gang-ups; the mob mentality of certain authors, has left me so angry. This post, however, made me laugh aloud. Thank you so much! I tho..."

Oh no! Sad to see it's happening in historic fiction, too. I didn't know that. Thanks for the comment!


message 20: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Crane Traveller wrote: "Writing a bad book and expecting everyone to coo over it, and threatening consumers if they don't like the fare being offered, is exactly the same principle as to put putrid food in front of customer..."

LOL I love your vivid analogy!


message 21: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Loved your badges too, Carolyn! :)


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