I started my blog in June of last year. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the blogging world when my cousin started hers. No, she certainly didn’t force me…rather encouraged me to get out there and help people. Share my love for all things literary and talk about my crazy hectic life. So I set up a blog on some other website that the name escapes me now and I started talking.
One thing led to another and before I knew it I was moving my blog here and beta reading for a few people, blogging about books I had gotten at the library or bought and generally just rambling on and on about my life. Those early posts were not pretty by any means. My cousin then encouraged me to get on Twitter and start networking. Talk to people. Other bloggers and authors. So like the dutiful cousin that I am, I did. I remember the first time Larissa Ione and Cynthia Eden acknowledged my existence, I about died right there. My poor husband heard my screams of excitement a lot during those first few months. Who am I kidding…he hears them even now.
I started getting a few requests for review here and there and was delighted to accept most of them. By this time I have made lots of great blogger friends and yet…..I’m feeling like I need to say something to the masses at large. I touched on this a bit last month as well. I have noticed there is a trend growing among bloggers and authors (though so far none I have dealt with directly thankfully). I am so very tired of getting online and witnessing attacks upon bloggers and attacks upon authors. Now last time I checked most of us are adults. Therefore I am not understanding the inclinations of people acting like children. Shoot, even the younger bloggers are acting more mature in most instances.
Seems there are authors trying to blackball reviewers for not giving them stellar reviews. Also seems some reviewers are writing hurtful reviews and not focusing on the book but rather slamming the authors. COME ON PEOPLE. SERIOUSLY?
1. Authors- If you can’t take the heat get the hell out of the kitchen as my grandma always used to say. You wrote a book, that book was good enough to be picked up for publication OR you went through the trouble of self publishing it yourself. Good for you. Be proud. But the truth of the matter is, you’re not going to please everyone and you have to be prepared for those you don’t. If you can’t handle a negative or even a slightly tarnished review, then DO NOT READ THEM. Why put yourself through that? Do you like pain? You must. The Bible is a popular book, but even it was critics..what makes you think that your book isn’t going to? When you get on a website and bash a reviewer it honestly just makes you look like you’re throwing a tantrum. I don’t want to read a book wrote by someone like that..nor will I ever review a book by someone I have seen act like that. Even if I happen to have read it previously and LOVED it.
2. Bloggers- Yes, you have the right to write whatever the hell you want about a book. You don’t HAVE to be nice about it…but you should. Honesty is always the best policy, yes..this is true. And an author may not like you after you were honest. However there is no reason to get nasty about it. And under no circumstances is it okay to attack the author. I have seen “The author isn’t pretty”, or “the author is fat” and that’s ridiculous as it has nothing to do about the book and everything to do with making the reviewer feel better about themselves by shoving someone else down. It’s wrong.
There have been several book that I have reviewed that I didn’t care for. Did I hate them…no…just didn’t work for me that’s all. Some of these books have come from authors that I dare to call friend..we talk regularly. I hated admitting I didn’t like their book. I was honest and consistent in my review though…NOT hurtful. Luckily those few authors and I are okay (ha, at least to my knowledge..they are probably stabbing a voodoo doll in my name somewhere) but being honest is what I signed on to do..so I did. I will never write a hurtful review just for the sake of calling it truth. You can be honest without attacking. If an author perceives your honesty as an attack and it’s not, it’s on them and I will totally stand my ground for you. But if you overstep that line…if you focus on anything other than the book and giving your honest/consistent opinion, well then you’re on your own.
Granted most of the horrible examples I have seen around the internet have been from self published or smaller publishers. I am not sure why that is. Maybe they are already more self-conscious of their work. Maybe they are just new and we should chalk it up to not knowing. Whatever it is, it needs to stop. It’s getting ridiculous and blogger and authors alike are going to look back and cringe. And the authors trying to blackball any review site that doesn’t give them a 5 star review should be ashamed of themselves as well. You’re not always going to get a 5 star review. Or even a 4 star review. If what you crave is 100% love then call your mother or your best friend..someone you know will give you sunshine, unicorns and rainbows all the time…don’t look for that in your reviews.
I did have one author in particular stop talking to me because I gave her book a 3 star review. At the time I was slightly hurt. I mean, on this blog a 3 star review is a “good read”. The review I wrote was honest and straightforward. It felt like she stopped talking to me because I didn’t worship the paper her book was wrote on (or maybe worship the screen her book was typed on in this instance). And maybe that was the reason, I don’t know. I’ll never know. But you know, looking back I realize this: her review was straightforward, honest and not in any way bad or mean. If she can’t handle that, that’s fine by me. Will I read something of hers again? Sure. Will I review it? Maybe. Having said that though, she’s not at the top of my list. I won’t be bending over backwards to get to her books. Will my not rushing out to buy her books hurt her? LMAO certainly not. So in the grand scheme of things, IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Before I step off my soap box I want to make something very clear. I didn’t start this blog to get anything from anyone. Nor do I look for that now. I started this blog to talk about my life (in all its craziness), the books I read (even those I didn’t love) and to find other people out there to talk about them with. On that journey I have made some amazing contacts in the blogging and author worlds. I cherish every single one of you, know that much. If you come to this blog you can expect honest, open reviews regardless of my friendship with anyone. I won’t ever say I loved something unless I did. If you want snarky, mean reviews, look elsewhere because you won’t find those here. If I get slammed by people because of that..fine. Whatever. Also know this…don’t expect me to come back at you, word-guns blazing…it won’t happen. I’m an adult and therefore I won’t entertain those people here. I will whine and cry to my hubby maybe….maybe even to a trusted friend, but I won’t be attacking anyone online anytime soon. Opinions, yes. Attacking, no. There is a difference and it’s high time everyone figured that out and was mature enough to handle it.