To start I’m going to link back to this post about Difference of Opinion. Yes, it’s mainly about celebrity encounters but a lot of the same principles can be applied to what I’m going to discuss next.
But back to what this post is about bullying and reviews. Yes, the internet has changed the way people review items. Reviews can now be seen almost instantaneously for a variety of subjects. Positive reviews, negative reviews, sarcastic reviews, snarky reviews are all apart of the reviewing/blogging culture. Everyone has their own different style as to how they want to present their experiences. Not everyone’s style suits everybody.
A bad, negative, snarky, sarcastic review about an item does not make whoever created the product being reviewed a bad person. Reviews are used to show a consumers experience with a product good or bad.
Lately, out in the book world there have been some authors who have been going after reviewers who did not like their books. I’m hoping that these “authors” are few and far between and that a lot of the authors would take some advice from their agents or anyone with half a brain to stay away from the negative reviews. Face it, when you write something you aren’t going to please everyone.
Yes, some of these reviews aren’t going to be pretty. They may be snarky, sarcastic and bitter. This is no reflection of you the author, unless they specifically call you some name, which even then doesn’t cross the line into bullying until it becomes a repetitive action or threatening.
Maybe everyone wants everyone to write things that are cookie cutter, and just boring. There’s no fun in that. Everyone is free to express their opinion certain ways as long as no one is getting hurt it’s fine. People have different writing styles, and you know what that’s OK.
Guess what else isn’t cool. People who tell other people to stalk and defame people who happen to write a negative review. Tell me what good is that going to do? Nothing. All that will happen is that people will get hurt. This isn’t going to silence them. This will make them fight even more. If people enjoy writing negative reviews that’s their prerogative. That’s how they write, and people can’t that away from them.
Also while on this topic, outing people who use pseudonyms or posting private information (ie information that was not publicly available) is completely and utterly uncool. The only thing that shows is hypocrisy. Stalking/Bullying people to try and stop them from writing negative reviews just doesn’t add up. People claim that is the way to get people to act into submission or have them stop writing, but how is bullying someone who wasn’t even bullying a logical explanation?
Author’s and Reviewers alike need to take a chill for a while. Negative/Snarky/Sarcastic reviews are not going to go away, and will always be a part of the internet culture. Yes, a negative review can sting a bit, but you knew that getting your book published that not everyone isn’t going to like it. But also guess what those people that hated your book, still read it to a certain extent. Be proud. People besides you are reading your material. So what if a consumer doesn’t “get” your book, that does not make them dumb, stupid, or any other words I’m not going to insert here. That is also no cause for an author to insult the consumer.
Consumers (at least I do) tend to buy, borrow books for the book itself, not what other people have to say. I may look at other ratings, but that isn’t going to influence my decision to purchase or not purchase. Reviews should not be the be all end all decision on making any type of purchase.
Also as an author, write for yourself to start with. If your story has any merit, people will read it. If you write for everyone else, you’ll just end up miserable because you can’t please everyone. If you are pleased with yourself, then everything else will fall into place.
In conclusion, negative reviews are here to stay, they will change with the latest fads in internet technology. Negative reviews are not bullying. So please instead of jumping on the bandwagon because someone says go take this person down, think about it. Think about how you would like to be treated, would you feel comfortable with people telling other people to go hunt you down at a restaurant you frequent? I think that would make one quite uncomfortable. If you can’t handle negativity, don’t read the reviews (or at least hire someone to sort through the reviews and give you the gist of them).
Also if anyone is so inclined to bash me about this, go for it. I won’t approve the comment. I’ll screencap it, and use it as evidence. I’m also not naming names of websites involved either, so don’t go mentioning them. I’m trying to remain neutral here, because I review items, but I also do more than that here on this blog. I just want to make my stance known that I’m not afraid to write a negative review if something warrants it. And by writing that review I am not bullying the author, or company or whatever I’ve reviewed. It’s my opinion, that’s all. Opinion.
Coming soon. the backlog of blogs I’ve got to write.