So for those of you that don’t follow the YA genre, twitter, and Goodreads, this week you have missed a lot of drama. Some of you will be happy about that, and others will be asking, point me to the drama please. And make no mistake, it was drama to the fullest. There was trolling, bad behaviour and such a lack of maturity from certain quarters that I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if publishers sent a memo asking their YA authors to not engage in anymore behaviour that makes the YA genre look as if it’s full of wank and immaturity. To find out what happened this week, please follow the links.
The first incident is about a review on Goodreads. A user named Kira reviewed a sample of Tempest by Julie Cross. I think it’s page 3 in the comments where the drama starts. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show.html?id=248683171&
The reviewer, Kira, was trolled by another YA author who was offended by her review. We come back to the ‘negative reviews are mean’ argument which seems to show its head every few months or so. So an author having a go at a reviewer wasn’t surprising. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it’s not a new experience. But what made the drama go on for longer was that a editor and agent took part in the chastising of the reviewer for her negative review.
And then the drama llamas came out. It becomes even more muddled when some YA authors took to twitter and made remarks about Goodreads that were pretty silly. Where is the professionalism here? Here’s the link that explained what happened: http://thebookwurrm.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/because-god-damn-it-all-i-need-to-effin-rant/
In fairness, the authors who took part in the twitter comments have now spoken out and said that they had no idea what had transpired on Goodreads when they made those comments. So make of that what you will. Me? I’m a little more cynical but I can’t read people’s minds so perhaps they are truthful in their statments. But once again, despite the authors not knowing what happened, where is the professionalism in berating Goodreads and its users like that?
Jane from Dear Author wrote an amusing piece about it in her Wednesday News post: http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/wednesday-links-and-deals-ip-listing-of-your-fave-sites-authors-attack-ep-1-2012-ya-edition
Separate from the drama above, another situation occurred involving a YA author. It came to the attention of a reviewer on Goodreads that an author had been sending emails about her, and it wasn’t very nice. The author was complaining about the review, and called the reviewer a toe rag and cow. Nobody has the right to complain about what is said in a private email where it’s meant for private ears. But in this situation, the author didn’t email a few personal friends. She set up a campaign where she wanted others to pass on the word to vote the review down. When you engage in this behaviour, it’s called playing the system and guess what, it doesn’t make readers happy. To see all this drama in full, please go here: http://www.goodreads.com/user_status/show/10254573
And if you believe this is the end, well, I’m sorry to say it’s not. Last night, a YA author (see a pattern here?) pulled an almighty temper tantrum that pretty much set twitter alight. When I saw who the author was, I was pretty pissed because I enjoyed one of her books. Julie Halpern does not like negative reviews. Why can’t reviewers do something more productive and happy? We don’t understand how authors put their tears and souls into their books. We don’t live the ‘high’ life that authors do. I can’t give you a direct link to what else the author said because she deleted the posts. But as everyone knows, nothing stays deleted on the Internet. A quick thinking reader on twitter screen capped the post, and Jane from Dear Author uploaded it: http://dearauthor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Julie%20Halpern’s%20Blog%20of%20Wonder-Google%20Trash%20(20120106).png
I just had to check with Has if I missed anything because writing all that out, it really makes you think what the fuck went on this week. Why did all of this happen?
Update: And I did miss something! Thanks to Dhympna on twitter for the link. Another YA author complaining about reviewers and our ‘sweet solid gold stool’. All I can say is huh? When did they hand out these gold stools? I want one so I can sell it on ebay. Gold makes money these days you know. http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/1822438-the-breaking-straw
And this is my opinion, and mine only, but I think that there is a certain vibe amongst the YA genre ( and I believe it’s a minority) who seem to think they are more speshal than others. When you look above, all of the dramas are centered upon negative reviews. I think that they have forgotten a important point. Book publishing on the author’s part is a business. You are a business professional who has a contract with a publisher. You write a book and hand it over to the publisher. When you do this, you hope to sell copies of your writing for exchange for money. You are SELLING a product. You have become a brand. Once you put a product out in the public domain for sale, you DO not control people’s opinions about your product. Your book is just like any other product out there for public consumption, whether it be a tin of beans, a music download, or a pack of tissues. If the consumer does not like the product for any reason, they have that right. You don’t think Heinz go around emailing and harassing people who have written about their tin of beans tasting like crap, or if there’s too much sauce in their product?
Recently, Has and I wrote a joint review of a book. Has really enjoyed and I really disliked it. Has is one of my BFF, and we were able to talk about the book with very opposing views, and not once did we call each other names or berate each other for our likes and dislikes. We never got personal with one another. So why does it happen regarding Authors V Reviewers?
Oye, just writing all this out has given me a freaking headache. To sum it up short, everyone needs to put on their grown up panties and act like freaking adults. And now I’m going to go eat the rest of my chocolate orange cake, and try and forgot how much WTFuckery went on because it.was.too.much. For real.
6 thoughts on “Authors in the Red Corner, and Reviewers in the Blue Corner”
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I am just giving this mess a big sigh. If they want to censure negative reviews have they thought about what that makes them?
oh… that’s a good point I hadn’t even considered.
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It makes them partial to censorship of the negative kind. It kind of makes me laugh because what happens in their books that will make a few people unhappy, they’ve managed to make lots of readers unhappy, and not due to the content of their book, but because of their online behaviour.
I wonder why YA authors think they’re so special? I really do think it’s because the YA genre has exploded and every new YA book that comes along and is buzzed and given a big advance is treated as the end all and be all of books. Heads and egos grow and if there are bad reviews about these books, the author of whomever thinks it will hurt their sales.