I can’t speak for how it is in the adult book blogging world, I used to keep up with it but now that my blogs (and job) have become so entrenched in the YA genre it is something I know nothing about. However, I do have a thumb to the pulse of the kidlitosphere and this past year has been dark and dirty. Several times last year I thought about quitting. Several times last year I was scared to post negative reviews. Several times last year I saw friends and colleagues hounded for reviewing negatively. This behavior and these tiny wars between authors and bloggers need to stop.
Last year I was publicly mocked (on a genre forum) by an author for reviewing a graphic novel for the first time and apparently doing it wrong even though I gave him five stars.
Jordyn from Ten Cent Notes quit blogging for a while because she was afraid she would never become published if she continued to review negatively.
Authors wrote posts asking reviewers to ‘be nice’. (This particular thing set me into a rage.)
And most recently Wendy Darling was called a bitch by an agent. Please visit that link, she has put a timeline of happenings there.
Here’s the bottom line. Reading is fucking SUBJECTIVE. We are not all going to love the same books. We are not all going to love every book we read. After four years I have gotten pretty damn good at vetting books I will love just by synopsis but still every once in a while something slips through and I end up reviewing negatively.
-Stop harping on people who only want to review positively. Some people only want to deal with the happy.
-Stop telling (me) others that they have lost their edge. Maybe they just stopped reading books that didn’t speak to them.
-Stop telling reviewers who aren’t professional to play nice. Or if you are going to do that, do it to Kirkus and the NYT as well.
-Stop Googling yourself.
-Ban Goodreads from your computer.
In the end one bad review (even on Goodreads) will do NOTHING to the sales of your book. The GR crowd (myself included) just like bloggers (myself included) are a very small number of your whole readership. While we may be the loudest, we are the minority of your readership. When you call attention to these negative reviews (even if you feel they are snarkfilled and just mean) you bring awareness of this bad review to your whole readership.
You may think you can do it quietly. You may think you are right (but you aren’t). You may think that you HAVE to speak up for your book. Just don’t do it. It is that simple. It will never end right for you, dear author, even if you are ACTUALLY in the right. Chances are however, that you probably are not.
I would love to continue to review on my new .org site for four more years. So if we could all just coexist that would be awesome.
Here’s a secret: I really didn’t like The Selection. I felt that the stakes weren’t high enough. I thought that the Prince’s dialogue was laughable, there were so many exclamation points after things he said I wondered if crack was still legal in this universe. It was wholly subjective but the book didn’t jive with me at all. But I was afraid after Wendy’s trouble to say that. So I didn’t. This doesn’t sit right with me, and I am ashamed for having been afraid to post a review. It hasn’t happened to me before, and no matter what my job is, or who I need to not bridge burn with it will not happen again.