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Discussions about books > Why I sometimes no longer want to review books

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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I've been an avid reader since I was a small child. Books have always held a magical "something" for me that I can never describe. They make me happy.

But, more and more often I see crazy authors act a FOOL towards the public and it infuriates me.

I think..why do I bother reviewing?? Why bother to continue to buy new books?? I have enough books between my physical library and my ebook library to never buy another book again.

When I see things like this:
http://melissadouthit.com/2012/05/29/...

It makes - seriously - sick to my stomach.

The author had the NERVE to post someone's real name and address because she didn't like a REVIEW???!? WTF has this world come to?! I would set someone's WORLD AFLAME if I ever found myself in this situation.

Which makes me think...why should I review any longer? Why should ANYONE? A review can never know if the book being reviewed is written by a crazy like this! WHY should we continue to support asses like this who only think of the reading public as an ATM and a marketing opportunity?!

I'm just so horribly frustrated and sad. And I've already had a long and hard month. This just blows and I'm having to reach deeeeeep into core not to curse and yell.


message 2: by Vivian (new)

Vivian (_vivian) | 114 comments I just saw that this morning! There are a lot of things I can overlook, but this:

"The author had the NERVE to post someone's real name and address because she didn't like a REVIEW???!?"
Plus, she posted a photo of the reviewer.

That is completely uncalled for.

AND, the 1 star review wasn't even for that author's book! I don't understand why there's so much drama nowadays between authors and reviewers. Readers read books and give opinions on them. It happens.


message 3: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Stewart (haybop) See, reasons like these are why my reviews stick to the book itself and leave my views on the author out of it - it's unfair and uncalled for and I hope that by my remaining civil the author won't take offense and will see it more as constructive criticism (naieve, me? nope!)


message 4: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Vivian wrote: "I just saw that this morning! There are a lot of things I can overlook, but this:

"The author had the NERVE to post someone's real name and address because she didn't like a REVIEW???!?"
Plus, she..."


I am truly heartsick.

And add this to the fact the author in question had 27 sockpuppet accounts shut down for reviewer harassment.


message 5: by Aloha (last edited May 31, 2012 12:08PM) (new)

Aloha | 940 comments That is really sick. That's all the more reason to keep on reviewing. I wouldn't let such self-satisfied low life stop you from what you want to say about a book.


message 6: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Hayley wrote: "See, reasons like these are why my reviews stick to the book itself and leave my views on the author out of it - it's unfair and uncalled for and I hope that by my remaining civil the author won't ..."

I would agree...but the review that started this whole shebang wasn't rude or uncalled for. The author was not called names or questioned in any way. It was simply a negative (and well written!) review. Sadly, the author and her friends can't handle that. Wendy Darling never calls authors names at all. Even in the middle of this entire issue...Wendy had maintained a level of maturity I don't think I could reach.


message 7: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Aloha wrote: "That is really sick. That's all the more reason to keep on reviewing. I wouldn't let such self-satisfied low life stop you from what you want to say about a book."

Aloha, it really makes me feel rather sick and helpless.

Its reasons like this that I've avoided any and all newly written YA. I used to love YA and some of my favorite books are YA. But I am actually scared that I would end up with one of these crazies. What in the world. I'm scared to read a book now. It's...sicking.

I really want to read the Girl Who Circumvented Fairy Land but I damn sure won't review it. God only knows what would happen. Of course, I would probably only buy used at that point.


message 8: by Red (new)

Red Haircrow (redhaircrow) | 14 comments As a reviewer, I've been attacked by authors seeking a review or after having posted a review they didn't like for a variety of reasons. I actually had someone post about me on their blog, make fun of my name (Red Haircrow) and my heritage as well as mocking me for being a coward because I declined to further discuss a religious book of non-fiction (and exactly the reason I stopped accepting any religious book, fiction or non-fiction.)

As a writer, I've had the trolls attack certain of my work based on someone's elses review or what they perceive as some kind of negative behavior on my part. I've never been able to ascertain how or why, though I know the person who prompted it, I have had people list me as "do not read author" and other very pointlessly nasty things. I even had one author post a whole negative article about me based totally on assumptions, all of which were wrong anyway, and easily negated just by reading my author profile.

I believe very much you have those people who think their views or opinions supercede everyone else's and that it is somehow their mission to try to correct, chastise or insult others because of their own inflated view and they make a point to bring their "friends" along with the cyber lynching.

Basically its like people, whether reviews, readers or authors, forget that we all are real people and have real lives, and they disrespect you but they want something back: exactly as they wish it to be.

I agree, though I believe that both some authors and readers tend to see each other for their "entertainment" or postive purchase power. And some of the groups here on Goodreads, when they are allowed to by moderators, have step-up stages/platforms for such actions to take place.

This is completely crap from this author, I don't know what other word to use that isn't strictly a curse word. Actually what they could be seen as passing into the realms of violation of legality in that they are directly trying to incite negative action against the person by posting their name, address and photo.


message 9: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Landmark (clandmark) | 861 comments It's really unfortunate and frustrating that the behaviour of some authors can cause readers to question whether or not to continue reviewing books for fear of being bullied. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of a book, whether it's negative or positive. A reaction such as the one you posted, MrsJ, certainly does little to strengthen and encourage the bond between readers and authors.

I just hope that this type of conduct will not reflect negatively on all authors.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just get along? :)


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) MrsJoseph wrote: "Its reasons like this that I've avoided any and all newly written YA."

It isn't just YA authors that do this. They're just the most visible because of the huge YA readership here.

I'd personally rather stay away from YA until they start publishing books that are actually worth reading again.


message 11: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments Melissa Douthit said that she would one day like to be an author. I think this sort of thing will be remembered if one of her books are ever up for a review.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Quote from the comments there by the author:
"Mimi, as well as you and all your friends, need to realize that because of your deplorable behavior, you have made quite a large group of enemies and just because they are silent, doesn’t mean they’re not there."

That's some crazy, watch-your-back, shit right there.

Who in their right minds would think this was ok?


message 13: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Ala wrote: "Quote from the comments there by the author:
"Mimi, as well as you and all your friends, need to realize that because of your deplorable behavior, you have made quite a large group of enemies and j..."


Dude, it makes me wonder...

at what point do I get to call the police and take out a warrant? I'm all about getting someone a record.


message 14: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) I think she should contact an attorney. At this point her privacy has been invaded. At least to just get counsel about it. The blogger (Melissa) is really out of line.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) That blog post is completely crazy and out of line. It's not just the posting of the personal information, as that information was already available online, but the way it's basically provided so that her blog readers can go attack Wendy.

But I don't think the bad behavior of a few people should tarnish a whole group. I read - and review - a lot of MG and YA books and have never been attacked by an author. The few troll-types I have had have been other readers - and the latest incident was not related to a YA book at all.

As far as The Girl Who Circumnavigate Fairyland, etc, I have never heard of any situation in which Catherynne M. Valente attacked reviewers, so I think you'd be ok. :>


message 16: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments I posted the link in a thread for reviewers to get their take on it or whether they've heard of this.


message 17: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments What's scary is the author has a Computer Science degree and worked for the government. I wonder how she got the information. That is a breach of privacy.


message 18: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments It's things like this that give me pause.

I don't have any cut cards...I'm not going to write a BS review full of crap I don't mean to stroke some stranger's ego. Every time I even THINK of that...I get a mental picture of the guy who trained me in theatre frowning at me...and I can't do it. It's just not in me.

So what do I do...it makes me crazy. And i know not all authors are total crazy bitches like this one...but damn if id doesn't concern me. How do I know if I have a crazy one or not?? I can't know.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) Aloha wrote: "What's scary is the author has a Computer Science degree and worked for the government. I wonder how she got the information. That is a breach of privacy."

By googling.

I spent about 15 - 20 minutes doing some google digging and was able to rather easily find everything mention in that article, with the exception of the alleged photo.

(And I might have missed it, but is Wendy's full address listed or just her city and state?)

I'm not saying the blog article isn't douchy, but I doubt there's anything illegal about it since all of the information is publicly available.


message 20: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments ± Colleen (of the Crawling Chaos) ± wrote: "Aloha wrote: "What's scary is the author has a Computer Science degree and worked for the government. I wonder how she got the information. That is a breach of privacy."

By googling.

I spent ab..."


Well, I was thinking the purpose...

She collected the information with a clear purpose of intimidation and harassment...


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) MrsJoseph wrote: "Well, I was thinking the purpose...

She collected the information with a clear purpose of intimidation and harassment... "


I agree. As I said, I'm not saying what she did wasn't douchey - precisely because of the reasons she did it. I'm still not sure it crosses the line into illegality. I mean, one could argue that Wendy's posting the author's and agent's twitter information and whatnot served the same purpose. *I'm* not arguing that, but I do think it's a slippery slope type of argument.


But my comment was directed at the comment I quoted intimating that Douthit used some mad hacker skills and/or government contacts to get private information.


message 22: by Red (last edited May 31, 2012 02:13PM) (new)

Red Haircrow (redhaircrow) | 14 comments To the OP, Regina, Aloha and the rest, as I said, and as a former law enforcement officer who continues active in consultation: what that person did is grounds for an investigation, and as a government worker a possible abuse of position, and certainly simply by looking at the facts shows intention that could incite criminal activity. Cyber laws are toughening.

You can suppose all you want to but I just gave you facts, and to Colleen, yes it can be investigated as being illegal because of what the possible outcome could be as well as motive. Just because it is publicly available information doesn't automatically negate it considering what was additionally written in the post.


message 23: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments ± Colleen (of the Crawling Chaos) ± wrote: "MrsJoseph wrote: "Well, I was thinking the purpose...

She collected the information with a clear purpose of intimidation and harassment... "

I agree. As I said, I'm not saying what she did wasn'..."


I can see what you mean...

...but twitter is rather pubic. It's not like someone can show up at your twitter address.


message 24: by Regina (last edited May 31, 2012 02:19PM) (new)

Regina (reginar) I agree Red. Twitter is public and not analogous. Wendy developed a public persona which shielded her private life and her private information was made public without her consent. Not knowing California statutes and case law on this topic (but I do remember them being more active than other states in online bullying and privacy protection), there is an argument that there is a cause of action for invasion of privacy -- which is civil, not criminal. I think it is worth a consultation with an attorney who can help her, in the very least, to get the private information removed.

ETA: Colleen, I understand where you are coming from, but I actually don't think this is a slippery slope. It is the difference between reposting publicly shared material v. posting for the first to the world privately held information.

2nd ETA: This is a really quick pull and only addresses in a cursory fashion the civil implications without regard to a jurisdiction (set up to protect people): http://www.libel.com/privacy

In California there may be other ramifications both civil and criminal. And clearly the blogger knew that Wendy is located in California.


message 25: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (last edited May 31, 2012 02:19PM) (new)

carol. | 2616 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "I really want to read the Girl Who Circumvented Fairy Land but I damn sure won't review it. God only knows what would happen. Of course, I would probably only buy used at that point."

Don't let that stop you, hon. Valente is a well-reasoned feminist-humanist kind of person--I've been really impressed with her blog and her politics. The kind of person that made a statement that she will come to any school in maine, at her own expense, and talk about books and writing.

That doesn't excuse the other crazy people, but know that it isn't everywhere.


message 26: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) Carol wrote: "MrsJoseph wrote: "I really want to read the Girl Who Circumvented Fairy Land but I damn sure won't review it. God only knows what would happen. Of course, I would probably only buy used at that poi..."

Didn't the author just have an incredibly positive blog post? Let me see if I can find it.


message 27: by Red (last edited May 31, 2012 02:33PM) (new)

Red Haircrow (redhaircrow) | 14 comments In the end, criminal or civil (though criminal less so) it would come down to a matter of money. Whether you wish to get that consultation, pursue the matter, pay the costs of the various requirements to bring the attention of authority and then following through. It's not an easy process, and honestly that is what some people who do such rely on. That someone will not do so.

Then you have those who are only thinking about their own ego at some given moment and post what they wish, without considering the possible ramifications. Sure it's posting to their blog or website and maybe they're thinking it goes just to their fans and occasional visitors, but it is that too is public.

All in all, this has generated likely what was intended: a higher number of "hits" and click throughs to the site, the review and attention to the work itself. Negative or positive, they have gotten more free press.

"I respect the courage it takes to allow someone to read your dreams and imaginings because in many ways it can reflect your ideals and inner self, some aspects that might not ordinarily be presented to the world.

At this site, I am a reader and reviewer of books. In many ways I understand the creative process because I am a writer myself, but like anyone else I have my likes and dislikes. I would never promise a positive review of everything I read, but I will always be fair because I do realize the words you write are personal. Just the same, I will never be derogatory or use wording that disrespects the author and the enormous time and effort they may have put into their work."


That's my review site's motto. I've honestly seen some sites and read some reviews? I respect different views. I've lived all over the world and learned all kinds of interaction styles, but its true that some reviewers do make a name for themselves by the cutting phrases or what they consider funny mockery or desultory way they speak of a work or the author.

No, I do not agree with such, nor replying to such for I think that kind of way says more of the reviewer than the work itself. But it is fair to consider there are two sides to every story, even if this one may be different.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) Regina wrote: "ETA: Colleen, I understand where you are coming from, but I actually don't think this is a slippery slope. It is the difference between reposting publicly shared material v. posting for the first to the world privately held information."

But it wasn't first to the world privately held information.

This blog article was written under the name Mimi Guethe. In the "About the Author" section there are links referencing her Midnight Garden blog, her Twitter account, and her Wendy Darling profile here on goodreads.

A google search under Mimi Guethe bring up various entries, including this link which includes the following:

"Mimi Guethe is a writer, crafter, and former film publicist who lives with her husband and three cats in Los Angeles, CA."

The fact that she's located in Los Angeles is also readily available on her public goodreads profile.

Also available on her goodreads profile is a link to her Midnight Garden blog, which further links to her Happy Honeybee account.

The most incriminating parts are the photo, which I can't find any source for, and mentioning her husband's name, though that's also fairly easy information to find/guess at. (Just have to google Guethe Los Angeles to get his profiles, for instance.)

I suppose, of any of the four privacy issues, this would touch the most on the first: Intrusion of Solitude refers to one person’s undesired exposure to publicity by another party, as Duthit is bringing more undesired exposure to Wendy Darling.

But since Wendy Darling's review on goodreads and on her blog are publicly available I'm still not sure it would actually get a ruling.


message 29: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments Thanks for doing the research, Colleen. I read the comments in the blog. There were persuasive arguments telling Melissa Douthit that what she did was nasty, but she stubbornly held onto her belief that she did nothing wrong.


message 30: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments Mrs. J., how did you find out she has 27 sockpuppet accounts closed down for reviewer harassment?


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't care that the info is easily googled, but posting it all for no reason other than as a targeting assist for trolls is wrong. There was no reason to even post the info aside from "look! This is the person I want you to harass!"

Then claiming it's ok because its public and, anyway, someone else looked it up is just pathetic.

You don't dox someone like that unless you're hoping they get trolled. Or worse.


message 32: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments Put nicely, Ala.


message 33: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) ± Colleen (of the Crawling Chaos) ± wrote: "I'm still not sure it would actually get a ruling.
"


Interesting points Colleen. But there is definitely enough to file a claim and get Melissa to back off; although, I do believe the case law supports more than just a threat.


message 34: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments I'm always hesitant about writing how I really feel about a book if I don't like it, if the author is not seasoned and have a lot at stake in a few reviews. I usually write reviews only of books I find stellar to draw attention to them and analyze them. Otherwise, a book usually gets a cold shoulder. Not worth my time.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

MrsJoseph wrote: "I really want to read the Girl Who Circumvented Fairy Land but I damn sure won't review it. God only knows what would happen. Of course, I would probably only buy used at that point. "

Just to add to what the others have said, you most likely won't have a problem with that book(I've read it, it's good) or that author. She seems pretty nice and is a contributor to a podcast I've recently begun listening to.


message 36: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Aloha wrote: "I'm always hesitant about writing how I really feel about a book if I don't like it, if the author is not seasoned and have a lot at stake in a few reviews. I usually write reviews only of books I..."

I write reviews for everything. If I don't like it, I say so. If I feel it deserves snark, I snark. I don't attack authors, I review their books. Apparently too often they can't tell the difference. But even if they can't, I won't be scared away from my own opinions because someone didn't put on their big boy or big girl underoos that day.

Authors "need to realize that because of [their] deplorable behavior", they have probably turned off a large percentage of their potential audience, and "just because they are silent, doesn’t mean they’re not there."


message 37: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments You're braver than I am. I find a lot of current horror books mediocre. Try to do a bad review of an author's book, in which the author's main thought is how to stalk and hack somebody to pieces.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Aloha wrote: "You're braver than I am. I find a lot of current horror books mediocre. Try to do a bad review of an author's book, in which the author's main thought is how to stalk and hack somebody to pieces."

I'd do it. :P


message 39: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments Write a bad review, or stalk and hack somebody to pieces?


message 40: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) LOL I dunno about brave. But I sure as hell hate a bully.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Aloha wrote: "Write a bad review, or stalk and hack somebody to pieces?"

>_>


message 42: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments What do you think of an author sending in cronies to dislike a review. Amazon has a "Was this review helpful to you" with a "yes" and "no" button. When I was reading PNR, I reviewed a werewolf book from an unknown author in which I thought the book was mediocre, and put my reasons. It was analytical and thoughtful. I received several "no"s which seems to me by either author or cronies. I'm not afraid of bullying but it feels dissatisfying putting more energy into reviewing a book that I don't care much for.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) Ala wrote: "I don't care that the info is easily googled, but posting it all for no reason other than as a targeting assist for trolls is wrong. There was no reason to even post the info aside from "look! This..."

I don't see anyone in this thread saying it wasn't wrong.


message 44: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Aloha wrote: "What do you think of an author sending in cronies to dislike a review. Amazon has a "Was this review helpful to you" with a "yes" and "no" button. When I was reading PNR, I reviewed a werewolf b..."

Well... helpful is subjective. How much time and effort you want to put into your reviews is up to you. If you want to say "This book sucked" then do that. If you don't want to review mediocre books at all, then don't.

I do, but I'm weird like that.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

± Colleen (of the Crawling Chaos) ± wrote: "I don't see anyone in this thread saying it wasn't wrong. "

Me either?


message 46: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Aloha wrote: "Mrs. J., how did you find out she has 27 sockpuppet accounts closed down for reviewer harassment?"

Via another reviewer.


message 47: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 940 comments Mrs. J., is that reliable information? If I repeat that, I'd like to know the source information. I want to make sure I'm not repeating rumor.


message 48: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments Some people are flat-out jerks. They will act like jerks at the least provocation, and the relative anonymity that the internet provides may give them a feeling of security as they do so.
Anyone who posts on line leaves themselves open to jerks. I've run into a number of them myself. If you don't ever want to deal with such people, the only viable choice is to never post. But then the jerks win, and go on to their next victim, encouraged, emboldened, and possibly a bit jerkier than before.


message 49: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments All that is necessary for jerks to win is for enough decent people to do nothing...


message 50: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Aloha wrote: "Mrs. J., is that reliable information? If I repeat that, I'd like to know the source information. I want to make sure I'm not repeating rumor."

There are some comments here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

In the comments section.


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