Why the conflict between authors and book reviewers? You may say that we shouldn't fight because what all of us care for are the books. We all appreciate literature and should be able get along with each other right? WRONG! Sadly, in our judgmental literary world, emotions and opinions get in the way of our appreciation for books.
Exhibit A: Wendy Darling and The Selection
With technology and social networking becoming more advanced and user-friendly, many book reviewers blog, tweet, and post their reviews online. More and more avid readers are turning to online reviews on sites such as Goodreads before reading the actual books. For some authors, book reviewers could even make or break their book into ashes or stardom. Let's face it. Being an author (unless you're J.K. Rowling) isn't an especially lucrative job. They have a make a living, too. This factor paired with the effort placed into writing these books can lead to disaster once reviewers are involved.
The downside of technology and online networking is that it's very easy for all of us to forget that behind books/reviews are real people with real feelings and opinions. 90% of the the arguments and fights that happen online wouldn't occur if reviewers and authors (and their publicists) were actually standing face to face. I don't deny that reviewers can be harsh and that we operate with a group one-for-all-and-all-for-one mentality. But, authors can also be at fault. Some authors even berate book reviewers for not understanding the symbolism or meanings behind the book. But, if this book reviewer (who probably reads a lot of books) can't understand the book just by reading it, how can the average shmoe comprehend these "messages"? Reminds me of a twisted version mean girl cliques.
But are book reviewers abusing their power? Some people, i.e.writers, accuse these "unprofessional" reviewers of being trolls and bullies especially ones who post on Goodreads. There's even a Stop GR Bullies website aimed at GR reviewers (They've even categorized reviewers by amount of influence they have over readers aka "vigilance needed"). Even though they aren't actually authors themselves, I don't like that they are bullying book reviewers in the same way they believe book reviewers bash on authors. They even reveal personal "facts" about certain reviewers they deem bullies (which they get from hired PIs!). One of their screen names is Peter Pan in reference to Wendy Darling. You can't fight fire with fire. Everyone'll get burned. Maybe they confuse bullying with exercising the First Amendment *cough* *freedom of speech* *cough*.
Just because we aren't professional reviewers doesn't mean we don't have opinions,too. Very few bloggers personally know the authors and the majority of them post their honest opinions. We aren't here to specifically target and harass an author. There are limits and lines that shouldn't be crossed as reviewers and the majority of us who really care for books understand that. We the bloggers even fight among ourselves, ex. Story Siren's plagiarism (my role model who let me down). Some authors are also bullies and stoop to desperate means to get even with that one blogger. Makes you think if a $15 or $20 book is really worth all that trouble. I understand writing books make authors sensitive.If you know that you aren't the most rational when it comes to any type of criticism, don't read the comments/reviews!
Yes, posting reviews online will be accessible to everyone in the universe, but you have to remember that books are fair game.Way before computers and even type writers, people critiqued works by Dickinson, Bronte, and even Austen. Literature in general is hard to pin down and categorize. Unlike math, there isn't one answer (or even an answer at all). Some reviewers are aspiring writers themselves and I know plenty of authors who blog and review other works by their peers.
The fighting between authors and reviewers (esp. in the Young Adult genre) leaves a stain in the literary field. Journalists, magazine writers, and even nonfiction writers see the world of fiction as unprofessional and immature. Both book reviewers and authors are responsible for all the quibbles that go on.
Read Cuddlebuggery's Buzz Worthy News (on Mondays) to get more examples of author vs book review conflicts.
Sorry for the white background, I copied it right from my blog post.