I typically leave the McRanty posts to my girls Lou and Has for two reasons. One – I think they are both a lot more eloquent at telling us why they are upset (and really… they are both just better than I am at calling people idiots.) Two – I don’t like confrontation. I’m very laid back, go with the flow, please don’t rock my f-ing boat! But today I saw something that makes me so angry, I knew I had to speak up.
There has been a TON of Internet buzz lately about book reviews. Ilona Andrews, Jeaniene Frost, Shiloh Walker, and so many other great authors have all written blog posts about it. And you know what, they all say pretty much the same thing. As an author, you just have to kinda take a review about your book and let it roll off your back, regardless of what it says. That is, in my opinion, the best advice an author can give or get.
As a book reviewer, I like to share my thoughts on different books I’ve read because I love interacting with my fellow book lovers. Some of the best friends I have, both online and in my every day life are fellow book lovers that I’ve met on Twitter, author forums, or through my/their book blogs. The book blogging community is huge, and we all love to sit around and talk about the books we’ve read. I don’t get paid to do this. I have a full time job I go to every day, and the reading and reviewing is something that I do because I love it. Most of the other reviewers out there are in it for the same reasons.
As a review reader, I respect the bloggers that are honest. Do I always agree with them? Hell No! Would I write the same review as they did, even if we both thought the same thing? Of course not! Reading a book is a very personal experience. I might love a romance book because the hero and heroine are long time friends that have gone from friendly competition to true love. Someone might hate that exact same book because they were once in love with their best friend who ended up with another. Either way, as a reader we form our own views and opinions. It’s personal. As a reader, you may or may not agree with my opinion, but it doesn’t change the fact that the opinion is mine and is real to me.
That being said, Rowena from The Book Binge wrote what I thought was a very good review about a book she didn’t like. She gave a synopsis of the book (which from what I read, wouldn’t be something I would have even considered reading), and then said why she didn’t like it, and even gave quotes from the book to back herself up. She had a personal experience with that particular book, and unfortunately it wasn’t a good one. But was she professional and honest about her thoughts? Yes.
The author then responded with what I thought to be a rude and spiteful follow up on her own blog titled “Authors helping authors” in which she called Rowena and one other review site unprofessional and unqualified to review her book. The backlash from the blogging community has been huge, and I can only hope that the authors who do visit that site for advice, take this particular post with a grain of salt, because it is THE WORST way to go about responding to a review.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, now everyone is throwing in their own two cents in the comments. Many of which I agree with, authors like Shiloh Walker, Lauren Dane and Julie James have come forth to give their opinions. Likewise fellow bloggers have come forth to stand behind the reviewers for their honest opinions. However, there are the few people still commenting about how this author should be praised and commended on a job well done. I just want to remind everyone out there: book bloggers and reviewers are your customers. Sure, sometimes you give us your books for free, but we also buy more books than the average Joe. Don’t insult our intelligence, it’s guaranteed we won’t continue to support you after that.
I can only hope that this author learns from her mistake, and that any authors who read her blog don’t take this one to heart. To my fellow reviewers out there: please do not deviate from what you’ve been doing. I would much rather read your honest review and form my own opinion, than buy a book based on bull shit.