Sun 25 Aug 2013
Authors expect bad reviews after a book is published. Great Ducks Of The Universe – how authors should expect bad reviews. Good reviews come as well, of course, and they make a writer’s world a better place but the bad ones can really play some mind tricks on a writer who actually reads reviews. I’ve learned to screen them – one quick glance through and then no more. No hair shirts will be employed. There will be no weeping or gnashing of teeth.
Opinions are like personality quirks and pet peeves – everyone has them, they are often vastly different, and the only opinion you should follow is your own. Often people will play follow-the-leader with opinions, snap judgments or bad behavior. I don’t do that because I think PC stands for Petty Crap and that followers will NEVER arrive at any destination of their choosing. I have my own opinions. You’re not required to like them, agree with them or follow them. You’re only required to respect my right to have them. For example, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some old school romance – yes, bodice ripping and all. I’m actually bright enough to separate what I read from what I believe or how I’ll act in real life. I read to get away from real life.
In real life, I wouldn’t put up with a bodice-ripping guy no matter how hunky he appeared. I’d also NOT leave a shoe and wait for a handsome Prince to show up and rescue me – but I still love Cinderella.
Yes, we expect bad reviews AFTER a book is published, but no one expects to be tormented, bullied or threatened over a book, specially not BEFORE it’s published. Yet that’s what occurred this week and it has caused one author to pull a book she was about to publish and to give up on writing altogether. That’s sad and it’s sadder still that it occurred on Amazon’s Goodreads community. It was – or was intended to be – a site where readers discovered books and sometimes had a chance to interact with other readers who were also authors. (Every writer is a reader.)
Lauren Howard, a/k/a Lauren Pippa, fell victim to a campaign of abuse and bullying on Goodreads and cancelled the release of her debut novel, “Learning To Love.” Here’s how Lauren described events: