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Badly Behaving Authors

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Initial post: Feb 17, 2012 11:39:04 AM PST
HJ Leonard says:
I've experienced this. You may have experienced. MANY have experienced it.

You read a book and leave an honest review, maybe not a good review, but honest. After all, you want to let other potential readers know what they might be getting themselves into. That IS the purpose of a book review, after all. To give one's opinion about said book. Reviews are for readers, not for authors.

Let's say that again. Reviews are for readers, not for authors.

We all know that opinions are subjective. Not everyone always agrees, but opinions are usually (not always, though) relevant for someone determining whether or not they'd be interested in investing their time reading something.

So...having said all that (apologies if it was long-winded), there are occasions when a reviewer or commenter is chastised - by the AUTHOR! *mumbles under breath, `wrong, disgraceful, unprofessional, inappropriate, and immature...'*

Occasionally, a wise author realizes their mistake, apologizes and retreats once this has been pointed out. Rarely, but it DOES happen. And they may even take to heart the complaints and go about fixing the issues. To those authors, I applaud you and thank you.

Much more frequently, unwise authors make a line in the sand and begin a barrage of insults and nasty posts, even taking the battle to blogs and other venues to gripe that someone had the nerve NOT to like their book. Do they not realize that they are participating in their own defeat? Of course not. They have blinders on and are unable to recognize that the readers - ALL readers, not just the ones who praise them - are paying/potential customers who hold the author's success in the palms of their hands.

Likewise, many of those same authors (but certainly not limited to) send spam across threads and get belligerent or even lie when confronted by posters informing them of Amazon's Terms of Service.

Well then.

Has this happened to you? Have you witnessed it? Have you been a defender of a reader who has been attacked?

Let's hear it.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 11:47:31 AM PST
I'm bookmarking this thread because I do have some but, of course, I can't find them at the moment.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 11:58:41 AM PST
D. Stom says:
I am a Defender of Faith In The Reviewers' Opinions, dangit!


Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:03:40 PM PST
Redwithabook says:
I think most of us who are regular posters have been attacked by authors. It's bound to happen when they act like little children! Annoys me to death how they don't care! I guess they really don't care about how what they have written is perceived. (shrugs)

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:05:19 PM PST
HJ Leonard says:
I'm waiting for Janet to show up with her list. She said she would, anyway.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:21:33 PM PST
kelster says:
My sole experience has been with the author of A Rose to the Fallen. Her book was recommended for anyone looking for a possessive leading man. I went there and was ready to purchase as the book price was reasonable but after reading her nasty responses to some of her reviewers I felt compelled to respond. And I actually didn't respond to the author I responded to one of her supporters who felt that this author should be able to respond in the way that she did because she was defending herself and that it was the reviewer who was at fault. This supporter also, in response to someone who wrote that the author was in bad form, seemed not to understand why someone would hold the author more at fault than the reviewer. My response to that person was as follows:

joe: I think the problem with the author's response is that she sounds as if she is ranting as opposed to clearing up a fallacy. It's in poor taste and she comes across horribly. Defending yourself doesn't mean that you should act in such an aggressive and defensive manner. It seems that her self righteous indignation overruled her common sense. Instead of assuming that the reviewer was purposely lying why not treat it as if the disagreeable parts of the review were a misconception that needed clearing up. It's possible that the reviewer wasn't the only person that had the same misconceptions (views/opinions). This was an opportunity for her to clear up the misconceptions in a gracious manner that could have swayed naysayers in her favor. Sad that she did not take advantage of it. When an author chooses to respond in such a way to a reviewer, in such a public forum, it is a complete turn off.

Well, at that point the author returned to the post to rant and would not stop. She seemed oblivious to how her actions were wrong and inappropriate and instead focused on asking why the reviewer wasn't vilified by everyone. I don't think that she understood that when someone is about to purchase a book that a raving author carries more negative force than most anything that a reviewer can write.

Needless to say, I did not purchase the book...she stated that she isn't sorry to lose my purchase and does not care that others are turned off by her behavior. Way to value your readers. LOL!

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:30:15 PM PST
kelster says:
I have seen where authors have lost control of themselves but usually by the time I have arrived to read the comments they have deleted theirs, or Amazon has. And while I understand a desire to defend and I understand hurt feelings when someone doesn't like your work I really don't see any value in arguing with reviewers about it. It's not productive and makes the author appear thin skinned, weak and immature. It's ridiculous on so many levels that how they justify their actions is a mystery.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:33:56 PM PST
Romance Diva says:
I've witnessed it, but I say again, that the author is being short-sighted. I have brought and enjoyed a few books DUE to negative reviews. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Don't hate the review, appreciate it.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:36:44 PM PST
D. Stom says:
Ironic ==>


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:43:19 PM PST
kelster says:
Exactly Romance Diva! When a reviewer slams a book solely because of explicit sexual content or a male that is too alpha I usually begin to salivate. Lol! And I don't like when an author becomes incensed because a reviewer didn't 'get' what the author was trying to do. It comes with the territory. I am loving the Fever series but when I recommended to a friend she said that she read the first book in the series and hated it. Huh? Well, she didn't like the H's dismissive attitude. I am loving the mystery of the H. So as you stated, when authors jump the gun instead of keeping quiet they invariably do more harm to themselves and turn potential buyers off.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:48:16 PM PST
"Needless to say, I did not purchase the book...she stated that she isn't sorry to lose my purchase and does not care that others are turned off by her behavior. Way to value your readers."

They always say this. Whether or not it's true is another question.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:51:09 PM PST
kelster says:

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:53:11 PM PST
Kate Barley says:
If this particular author is unconcerned about losing readers and thus losing sales, then why publish the fanfic in the first place? Obviously the bottom line has to count sometime.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:55:25 PM PST
HJ Leonard says:
Amen to that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:58:09 PM PST
I agree. It's the silliest statement and I always know, at some point, the authors' who fight back are going to say it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:01:41 PM PST
Kate Barley says:
See we don't understand because we are not Ar-Teests.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:02:08 PM PST
This position is probably going to be unpopular, but I really hate people publishing fan fiction on KDP. I think it is skeevy. I honestly don't care how "different" the author says it is from the work that inspired it. If the inspiring work is still in copyright, I think it is morally wrong. I have no issue with fan fiction sites, free fan fic, etc. But putting it up for money . . . here I draw the line.


I am on the "I just won't pay money for it" side of the line. And, no, I haven't bought Fifty Shades of Gray. Or Gabriel's Inferno. Nor will I.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 1:03:58 PM PST
Dear All, I'm a recently self-published author (I know, I know, there are too many of us and too few get professional editing) and I have had a mixed bag of reviews. I hope very much that I can discipline myself to fall into the category of learning from reviews and righting my mistakes in future books. I think the issue with authors responding badly to reviews is this...hell hath no fury like an [author] scorned. It's wrong, it's foolish and it's self-destructive but the image in my head is of a girl spending all evening plucking up the courage to ask a good looking boy at a party to dance and, when she finally does it, he turns her down flat. It's not a rejection of anything that reviewers write, it's the emotional flare up in the face of what feels like public humiliation. Too many authors don't realise that like any other publicly available art form, one has to have a substantial amount of backbone to put a book out there. I think that what really helps is this - striking a balance by stating both the strengths and weaknesses of a book, even if it's only something very small that was praiseworthy (like the cover art?) and making it clear how things could have been made better. At the end of the day though, I hope most authors know that you have to take the rough with the smooth and the mere concept that one book could appeal to, and be enjoyed by, all is ridiculous. Lastly, for those of you who have been subjected to author-outpourings of this nature at least you know that if they ever make it big, you have an excellent dish to serve them cold later on. (Also, on behalf of the many authors who want people to carry on reading and reviewing, please ignore the few bad eggs and know that the vast majority are very grateful indeed for positive and negative reviews alike.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:05:51 PM PST
HJ Leonard says:
I paid the money, but was unaware of it/them being fanfic prior. Actually, I read them before I read the various recs on the threads, so I really was clueless at that point.

I don't search out fanfic, but I don't have a moral problem with it, either.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:10:02 PM PST
Kate Barley says:
Honestly, before I didn't know what fanfic even was but now I have conflicted feelings about it. I can appreciate why you feel that way.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:18:50 PM PST
kelster says:
Helen: Thanks for your insight. I guess when the criticism is public the pain (humiliation) is magnified. I know this but even with that knowledge it drives me crazy when authors have no self control and make their situation worse by acting like a child in the midst of a temper tantrum.

It takes maturity and a desire to become better for an author to listen to what is being said about them and their writing so that they can grow. Some authors don't have it. All they have is ego and thick head that nothing penetrates.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:21:38 PM PST
kelster says:
Until I came to the Hero's thread I had no idea that fanfic existed or even what it was. Do the authors of the inspired piece think of it as flattery or do they see it as encroaching on their market base and using their original work to do it? Have authors spoken out about it?

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 1:22:42 PM PST
Agnes says:
I have never had an author comment on any of my reviews (though I did have another user leave a really nasty comment on something I wrote a while back and eventually deleted), but I have witnessed this being done (and this newest instance is a perfect example). The one thing that gets me here is the author's "I don't care" attitude. She doesn't care if her comments are having a negative impact and might (and definitely will, in my case) keep many from purchasing anything by her. I don't care for this kind of attitude. Authors' feelings get hurt all the time. It's the way the game goes. You can't be thin-skinned and prone to getting your hackles raised only to throw in your side and survive.

It's not so much her comments that get me: though these are one of the contributing factors. It's her "don't care" attitude, which, in turn, I could care less about.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:27:35 PM PST
Kate Barley says:
I don't know the reaction of most authors but I don't think many are thrilled with fanfic because it infringes on their original work. Of the ones that I have read, you couldn't tell it was twilight fanfic. The characters had the same physical descriptions of Bella and Edward but their personalities weren't the same at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:30:07 PM PST
Different authors have very different opinions on this subject. There is actually a decent wikipedia article discussing the controversy. Stephanie Meyer does not object to fan fic.

From a legal aspect, there are two separate schools of thought. Some people believe that it is within the appropriate "fair use" of the source material, so long as the fan fic isn't offered for sale. Some people believe that it is always a violation of copyright.

Something like a "sequel" to LOTR (which is still within copyright) using the same characters -- say a story about Aragorn's reign as King of Gondor -- if published for sale would clearly violate Tolkien's copyright and his estate would sue to have it withdrawn from the market place. However, the same thing, published for free on a fan fic site, would be left alone.

I suspect that most authors have made their peace with fan fic at this point. And, it is rather a tremendous compliment, in a sense, that people have devoted entire websites to expanding on the world that you created from your imagination.
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  338
Total posts:  10000
Initial post:  Feb 17, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 23, 2012

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