Check this out:
and here is the author's post (she also posted in the comments above as "annonymous"):
Authors - this is a great example of what not to do.
Why am I not surprised that Massara has since "p****-edited" her post to make it seem as if her commenters are the thin-skinned, overreacting ones?
I read through the links and the comments and all I can say is wow, that was a waste of my lunch hour. However one thing did come to mind. The "Trashy" comment. I dont think she was calling them trashy...I think she was saying they were trashing her book or herself I'm not sure. I read it several times....
Yes we as authors have to have thick skin as harsh reviews are slicing and difficult to take. I'm all for honest and objective. I also can't find anything all that wrong with the review itself other than they weren't all that enamoured with the book. However, she as an author is entitle to blog about her feelings as the reviewers were entitled to blog about there. To bad it reeks of high school.....
She did have a good point about checking out your reviewers though....
One reason I wouldn't blog about my feelings even if someone wrote a bad review of my book?
It prolongs the incident. It gives people even more to talk about. And it rarely if ever portrays the author in a good light.
This isn't such a hypothetical scenario either. Some time back, there was a blog which attacked me (and certain others I knew online) personally. The blogger had something against all of us, and resorted to lies and insults.
I didn't respond on the blog. I didn't mention it at all online - that would have given the blog too much attention, and it deserved to be ignored. As far as I was concerned, that blog didn't exist. And now it doesn't, because the (anonymous) blogger took it down after a few months.
I'm going to do the same if I ever get a negative review. Other authors, of course, have to do whatever works for them - but I know for a fact that my way worked very well for me.
I read it and thought it was a well written review.
A review is simply one persons opinion. Just because someone doesn't like it doesn't mean that they are uninformed or unprofessional. All the author did was show me how pathetic she is acting and how hypocritical she was being as well. Like a friend of mine who is a model said, "If you don't like criticism, don't be an artist."
Heck I know nothing about music, but I do know what bands I like and what bands I don't. Going off of what the author said, that makes me uneducated or whatever term she used.
I've been tracing some of the after-effects of this in the book blogosphere and now think book bloggers have been melting down just as irrationally over this and other related comments. There are quite a few self-congratulatory posts out there about how great it is to be a book blogger, how selfless we are to do most of it totally for free, how powerful we are when it comes to selling books, how wary authors and publishers have to be of our clout, etc. And all of them can be traced back to three different critical opinions:
a) that authors should be careful when dealing with unprofessional book reviewers
b) that book bloggers don't actually sell books
c) that the practice of showing off swag (which includes ARCs) is a bad thing
I find it interesting that these made so many people (yes, even me) get so defensive. Book blogging is supposed to be a hobby--an extension of our reading, which we already do for free. Receiving complimentary books for review and getting to interview authors make everything more fun--but if the professional side of the book world suddenly stopped sending ARCs or responding to interview requests, would we stop? Of course not . . . because this is just a hobby.
And well, not all readers have this hobby. We're actually in the minority here, which makes our claim to represent readers ring kind of hollow after all the drama dies down.
My final thought . . . Although all "book people" are in this together, as Shawn has pointed out, it is the authors who have the most to lose. When an author publicly criticises a blogger, other bloggers demand an apology and hint at a boycott. We can do that precisely because we are unprofessional. On the other hand, when a blogger publicly criticises an author, other authors will likely stay out of the drama to protect their own sales. But they will have found out who the touchy, defensive bloggers are and draw some other conclusions.
It makes me wonder how many "nice" authors are just kissing ass, so to speak . . . and how many bloggers really are motivated mainly by the freebies.
If you mean Massara, you know I agree.
But as Shawn noticed immediately, if you can get past her bitter intentions, her whiny tone, and the fact that it was an attack, her point is actually quite reasonable.
Interestingly, what puts me off book bloggers' response to her (and the other critical authors) is not the "how" but the "what."
Massara had some very valid points and some good advice for authors, I agree.
By the way, I don't believe the PR folks look a the "selling" aspect of book blogs.
Blogs are part of a marketing strategy which includes many aspects of the media and creating a buzz.. A marketing strategy doesn't include one avenue - but that's a different conversation :)
That's another good point about PR vs. actual sales! Which means that the posts which attempt to prove that we do indeed "sell" books kind of missed the boat. =P
But someone's observation that "book bloggers don't sell books" managed to get lumped into the first controversy and the posts I've seen have been taking all three as one monolithic insult, so I included it here.
"So a hobby/blogger being obnoxious can hurt an author from putting food on the table if that is a source of income."
You are 100% correct and that's something I keep in mind when feeling like thrashing a self published author (only happened once though and I didn't publish the post). That being said, the review Massara complained about wasn't obnoxious and it makes what Massara did even dumber.