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Post  big chicken on Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:55 pm

2012 seems to be the years of authors behaving badly on GoodReads. I think this is like the third skirmish I've heard orginating from that site.

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Post  Genevieve on Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:49 pm

I really had no idea that good reads was some kind of drama llama factory farm. It is certainly something else.
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Post  PrincessCleo on Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:29 pm

big chicken wrote:2012 seems to be the years of authors behaving badly on GoodReads. I think this is like the third skirmish I've heard orginating from that site.

Well, that link itself describes three or four separate ones. And I swear I read an entirely different author hissy fit they didn't even include. There was a rash of this business last year with the "YA Mafia" thing, but omg, all of these seemingly unrelated in a single week. I don't even know.
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Post  particle_person on Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:49 pm

Genevieve wrote:I really had no idea that good reads was some kind of drama llama factory farm. It is certainly something else.
It's like LJ in the Harry Potter years, but with ALL THE BOOKS. So many more opportunities for mayhem. In math, they call it a "combinatoric explosion," which I suppose fits with the idea of wanking pretty well.

It's kind of the reverse of HP though, in the sense that the authors are bringing most of the drama. I'm used to seeing it from fandom.

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Post  PrincessCleo on Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:14 pm

I'm used to seeing it from fandom.
There have been a lot of blog posts musing on what the hell is going on here, but one (and I wish I could remember which one) was talking about how there seems to be this idea that your sales are tied to your reviews, and so it seems that these writers (all of them fairly new, it looks like, and getting published in a genre that is itself new and huge and maybe going through some growing pains) are convinced that they have to go ~DO SOMETHING!!!~ about these nasty reviewers who are totes going to ruin their careers.

Also, someone on Absolute Write pointed out that the Halpern blog entry reads exactly like a fanfic writer tantrum. A lot of YA and/or fantasy writers these days seem to be in their 20s or early 30s and probably cut their teeth on internet fandoms. I mean, Judy Blume's on Twitter, but I think she's been around so long that she knows better than to give a shit, and this kind of widespread Jets/Sharks rumbling seems more in the spirit of fandom.
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Post  QueenSix on Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:17 pm

particle_person wrote:It's kind of the reverse of HP though, in the sense that the authors are bringing most of the drama. I'm used to seeing it from fandom.

That's very true and it makes me wonder now if any of these writers were at some point involved in a fandom. Not even in a drama llama sense of OMGHARMONIANS4EVR, but perhaps some TV show or something that they'd discuss online with others and because of that online upbringing so to speak (like Cleo said yesterday on Twitter, these authors are very much a part of the Internet Generation), this is their default reaction to dealing with situations like this.

That's not to say that any of us who have been involved in fandoms would react that way in similar circumstances, but this is just what these particular people think is appropriate.

Just a thought because that's a lot of author crazy to happen in a short space of time.

Edited to add: Cleo posted her thoughts as I was typing.


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Post  Poubelle on Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:37 pm

PrincessCleo wrote:
....there seems to be this idea that your sales are tied to your reviews.

Wouldn't that be reviews in major publications, though, not random ones on the internet? (And wouldn't reviews someplace like Amazon have more weight than GoodReads? I think what's more important at both places is if the overall trend is to four- or five-star reviews, not if there's individual one-star reviews. Especially since it's the bestsellers that get popular enough to have a full range of rankings.)

Of course, I think the idea "good reviews=automatic good sales!" just sounds woefully naive. And it seems extra-naive if anyone truly involved in the internet/blog world hasn't learned this lesson.
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Post  DarkSpork on Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:51 pm

If any of these people had actually been in online fandoms, you'd think they'd know better. Such behavior stinks of fannish newbies to me, but my own experiences with so-called pros behaving badly in the face of fandom negativity has mostly come from folks new to the whole concept. (And/or folks with control issues, but that's another post entirely.)

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Post  particle_person on Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:29 pm

PrincessCleo wrote:
I'm used to seeing it from fandom.
There have been a lot of blog posts musing on what the hell is going on here, but one (and I wish I could remember which one) was talking about how there seems to be this idea that your sales are tied to your reviews, and so it seems that these writers (all of them fairly new, it looks like, and getting published in a genre that is itself new and huge and maybe going through some growing pains) are convinced that they have to go ~DO SOMETHING!!!~ about these nasty reviewers who are totes going to ruin their careers.

The problem with that theory is that quite a few of the kerfuffles involve OTHER authors weighing in. Like, Flannery reviewed a book by Melina Marchetta but the wank was started by Danielle Weiller, not Marchetta. If the problem is that Weiller thought someone was going to ruin her career, wouldn't it be a review of one of her own books, not some other author's? Similarly, Kira reviewed Julie Cross's book, but the wank began with Dan Krokos, not Cross.

My theory is that something happened in authorspace, some internal discussion about how Goodreads reviewers are awful and vicious and nasty, and the participants in that discussion then went forth all riled up, and started fights.

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Post  PrincessCleo on Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:40 am

My theory is that something happened in authorspace, some internal discussion about how Goodreads reviewers are awful and vicious and nasty, and the participants in that discussion then went forth all riled up, and started fights.
Well, true, that could have been the case. At the same time, it's easy for friends to want to go off and fight battles for you, if you both believe that good reviews are necessary to your livelihood.

If any of these people had actually been in online fandoms, you'd think they'd know better. Such behavior stinks of fannish newbies to me, but my own experiences with so-called pros behaving badly in the face of fandom negativity has mostly come from folks new to the whole concept. (And/or folks with control issues, but that's another post entirely.)
Yeah--I even keep wondering why writers keep doing this after OTHER writers have already flamed out doing it, forget fandom experiences. At the same time, you see it all the time on Fandom Wank--people who've been around long enough to know better, but go off the rails anyway.
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Post  Jasmine on Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:13 am

It's all so weird, because I'm on goodreads all the time, and it all seems so friendly and yay books from my little corner of it where I just talk about books with my friends. Why do authors feel compelled to do shit like this? I speculated to someone the other day that it's because being a full time writer and being so insular can just start to drive you crazy, and because you are alone all day you do not have people to have the "I shouldn't read reviews of my books, right?" "I especially shouldn't respond to them, right?" conversation.

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Post  Daisy Steiner on Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:09 pm

Some authors get riled about the tiniest thing on Goodreads. I read a comment somewhere in this brouhaha from an author who was really annoyed about people rating her books 1-2 stars and then not explaining why they gave this rating in a review. The nerve!
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Post  big chicken on Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:21 pm

Good buzz on the Internet will definitely make me take a look at a book--this site alone is responsible for at least 1/3 of my book buying. A bad review only affects my book buying/reading if I know the person reviewing has similar taste and even then it depends on why they didn't like the book--whatever issue they had with the book may not necessarily be an issue with me. Stars and numbers or whatever ranking system on their own have no effect on what I decide to read. Writers acting like entitled jerks on the Internet do affect what I read especially if I haven't read any of their work. There are a lot of books out there and I have a huge TBR pile so don't give me a reason NOT to pick up your book.

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Post  Paris, Texas on Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:24 pm

There are a lot of books out there and I have a huge TBR pile so don't give me a reason NOT to pick up your book.
That is so true. Especially for someone like myself who doesn't blog on YA, or write fic, and isn't very knowledgeable about the latest in that publishing niche, there is something of a struggle as to what to actually read. Especially as the pond is still so full of the urban-fantasty/Twilight knockoffs. So when Becca Fitzpatrick spouted out that "Be Nice" post, or when Maggie Stiefvater giving "advice" to that LJ reviewer, it's a given that my reading hours were going to be directed elsewhere. If I spend my hard earned money - and more importantly, IMO - my very precious time reading the output of someone's creative endeavours, you'd better believe that if I have an opinion about it, it's not necessarily going to stay under wraps. Hey, I was brought up to be mouthy.

The whole author-responding-to-reviewer relationship shows how immature the industry author-as-publicist is, in historical terms, compared to the actor-as-publicist. Stars of stage and screen pay a lot of money to people to consistently coach them to sit down, answer questions politely, look good, and don't piss anyone off when promoting their work. After all, being freelancers, the future of their careers are dependent on keeping the artist-media-audience balance in check. Paul Newman decided not read reviews for his own peace of mind, and loads of actors do the same. I read an early interview of Cate Blanchett promoting Pushing Tin, in which she said that John Cusack gave her a great piece of advice: don't ever get angry with or take out your frustration at the media. They all know it's not worth it.

And it's probably not worth it to get angry or frustrated at consumers and opinionated reviewers whose words don't fill a writer with joy, either. The post-fanfic brood of authors haven't established appropriate boundaries. And, actually, it's not just the YA writers, it's also successful, pre-blog traditional writers like and Alain de Botton and Alice Hoffman who still haven't conquered to paper-to-email-to-twitter divide. Michel Faber has a really funny bit in The Fire Gospel about an author reading the user reviews on Amazon. Authors have a long, long history of treating each other and the media with contempt. The smart ones know who and when to vent.

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Post  year of the cat on Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:43 pm

They should thank their lucky stars Twain isn't still alive to review books. His takedown of the Leatherstocking Tales is a masterpiece of literary demolition. Or Dorthy Parker OMG.
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Post  bookworm on Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:57 pm

OK, I had to Google it since you mentioned it, and that was awesome in so many ways. I need to read me more Twain.
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Post  big chicken on Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:13 am

Twain hated Jane Austen but he loved Anne of Green Gables. I like Austen but his quotes on her make me laugh.

"Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

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Post  year of the cat on Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:15 am

Negativity is not usually a source of beauty, but that is on my list along with a. Orson's Frozen Peas rant (inspiration for Pinky and the Brain) b. Harlan Ellison talking about TV in What Killed the Dinosaurs, c. Ms. Parker, and d. Byron's dedication of the Vision of Judgement to Robert Southey. Classics all!
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Post  bookworm on Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:21 am

big chicken wrote:Twain hated Jane Austen but he loved Anne of Green Gables. I like Austen but his quotes on her make me laugh.

"Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

*gasp* OK, now that goes too far.
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Post  bbridges on Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:56 am

The best part about Twain v. Austen is he says "everytime." He hates the book so much he reads it over again.
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Post  QueenSix on Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:13 am

bbridges wrote:The best part about Twain v. Austen is he says "everytime." He hates the book so much he reads it over again.

Hah, you just know if he were around today that Twain would be a top poster on the TWoP forums!

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Post  particle_person on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:28 pm

Author swindles two women out of millions

And also posts fake Amazon reviews, sigh.

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Post  Rhilin on Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:39 am

bookworm wrote:OK, I had to Google it since you mentioned it, and that was awesome in so many ways. I need to read me more Twain.

This is off-topic, but you do! Hey look, here's Twain mocking text speak several hundred years early*.

And here's Twain talking about humanity.

He was sort of the George Carlin of his time.


*=The link to the longer "Simplified Alphabet" essay doesn't work. This one does.


Last edited by Rhilin on Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:01 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Auroura76 on Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:47 am

Amazing! Thanks for the links.

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Post  Crackie on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:15 pm


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