Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TL:DR - Don't be a dick

I've made no secret of my opinion on the importance of book bloggers and book reviews in general (SPOILER: I love them to pieces like crumbles of awesome pie), so it probably doesn't come as a surprise that this whole mess involving thriller author Jon Stock and his practice of tracking down and "outing" people who leave him bad reviews makes me feel stabby. If you're interested in the whole sordid affair, Dear Author has an awesome write up including the aggrieved reviewer's side of the story and a breakdown of why Mr. Stock's argument that he hunts down people who didn't like his books in an effort to provide "customer service" is about as bullshitty as you would assume. I'm actually not going to go into this situation any further because Dear Author already said pretty much everything I'd want to, plus more I hadn't even thought of. I would, however, like to take a moment and talk about this mess from an author's perspective.

I love book reviews. I love them in theory, I love reading them, and I love what they do for sales. Counter intuitive as it sounds, even bad, awful, flaming reviews sell books. It's win all around! That said, (confession time) I don't actually pay that much attention to my reviews.

Now wait wait wait, don't get me wrong here! I read every single review I can find. I appreciate them all, the good ones that make my day and the bad ones that bum me out, and as an author I have taken reviewer complaints into account when writing future installments... THAT SAID, I'm a firm believer in not getting your panties in a wad over things you can't change, and since all book reviews are, by definition, beyond my ability to do anything about, I see absolutely no point in getting upset over them.

You see, by the time reviews start coming in for a book, it's done for me. The story has printed and is now out in the wild, and even if a reviewer brings up an amazing point that I really should have thought of, I can't do shit about it. That ship has sailed.

This is how it should be, because book reviews aren't there to help the author, they're there to help readers decide if this book is right for them. To put it more plainly, it ain't about me. It's about the book and the reader and the reviewer's opinion. Therefore, for me, as an author, to track down a reviewer so I can tell them how their opinion is wrong is so pointless, aggressive, and insecure I can't even begin to contemplate it.

Tracking down a reviewer who gave you a bad review is like calling an agent who rejected your book to tell them how wrong they were. Not only is it rude, it's actively counter to your objective to sell a book, whether to a publishing house or a reader. Let's say you read a book you hated and posted a review explaining why to warn others, would you want the author coming to you trying to explain how you're wrong? Of course not. You'd think that person was crazy.

Now, this isn't to say you can't think the reviewer/agent/whoever is wrong. You are entitled to your opinion, just as the reviewer is entitled to theirs. But you are not entitled to act like a creep and go all vigilante on a bad reviewer who was simply expressing their opinion freely.

On some level, I can understand why authors like Mr. Stock do what they do. It sucks to put so much time and effort and love into a project only to have someone rip it to shreds. It's hard not to take it personally, but here's the thing: if you're going to be an author, and you're going to read reviews, then coping with criticism like a mature individual is a skill you will have to learn. No book is universally loved. If you have written a novel, someone out there thinks it sucks. That's the writing life, folks, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

At the end of the day, a writer's only job is to write the best books they can. Lovely as they are, book reviews have very little to do with this. In fact, it would probably be better is authors didn't read their reviews at all, but we do. And that's fine, so long as we keep things in the proper perspective and remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it's your opinion that their opinion sucks. If you can't handle that, then just don't read your reviews. But whatever you do, don't be a dick. ESPECIALLY don't be a dick online where everything is easily recorded for posterity. If you do, people will know your name for exactly the wrong reasons, as Mr. Stock is undoubtedly experiencing right now.


Anonymous said...

You think that's bad? Check out this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victoria-foyt/judging-a-book-by-its-cov_1_b_1721066.html

It's basically Victoria Foyt defending her book (which, I think, isn't that great) and calling her reviewers (the ones that gave her bad reviews or one stars) racist. Isn't that nice? XD

Paul Weimer said...

At the end of the day, a writer's only job is to write the best books they can.

I'm not sure, Rachel, that's entirely true anymore, in the world where authors need to be promoters and publicists as much as writers.

Ruth Madison said...

I completely agree!

Reviewers need to be able to freely express their opinion and experience of a book.

It's better that they do that so new readers will have an idea of whether they would like the book. If you don't have reviews warning off the people who won't like it, then you just have more people telling their friends how much you suck as a writer.

Unknown said...

"I'm not sure, Rachel, that's entirely true anymore, in the world where authors need to be promoters and publicists as much as writers."

I understand what you mean Paul but isn't the best way to do this by writing the best book you can and then write an even better one?

I also don't like the fact that he's so proud about 'outing' a woman and doesn't share his encounters with other men...if there are any.

Richard Majece said...

By the way, I know that this info will help you to email your professor. Here you can find more advices about it

Kelly Mitchell said...

There are a lot of the cause and effect essay topics for college students but students must be selective and choose that topic on which they may win by showing the best skills and knowledge. For instance, a person may be not really intelligent about the Arab Spring, but show a sparkling knowledge in the Civil War theme. The choice is obvious.

Poojarao said...

Bali Honeymoon Packages From Delhi
Bali Honeymoon Packages From Chennai
Hong Kong Packages From Delhi
Europe Packages from Delhi
Bali Honeymoon Packages From Bangalore
Bali Honeymoon Packages From Mumbai
Maldives Honeymoon Packages From Bangalore
travel company in Delhi

Poojarao said...

we have provide the best ppc service.
ppc company in gurgaon
website designing company in Gurgaon
PPC company in Noida
seo company in gurgaon
PPC company in Mumbai
PPC company in Chandigarh

Poojarao said...

Rice Bags Manufacturers
Pouch Manufacturers
wall putty bag manufacturers
Lyrics with music

MS Surface Pro Repair said...

MS Surface Pro Repair Book is completely covered by a two-year limited warranty, covering hardware defects and malfunctions, and 6 months of free technical support for preinstalled software. One of the best Microsoft Surface repair requests is screen replacement. by the way, If anyone scanning for Best MS Surface Pro Repair. Visit my profile

LG TV Repair said...

LG TV Repair helps you to solve your all TV's issues quickly and affordable price. We provide all brand service in Dubai. Our priority is to solve your TV problem quickly and at a given time through our best team. Because we know that today's day TV helps us to entertain, happy, knowledge and what happens in the world.

Assignment Help said...

Student faces many problems while doing Assignments, this problem affects student academic Grades.Psychology Essay Helpsolve students problem We deliver high quality at low rates with zero compromises on quality.

James Thomas said...

Thanks for sharing this blog with us.
Android App Development has various advantages that we can get for the business. The advantages of using android are it requires low investment, easy customization, secure and distributed in nature. These features allow flawless app development services so it is more user-friendly which results in huge reach among the users.

Unknown said...

Rice Bags Manufacturers
Pouch Manufacturers
wall putty bag manufacturers
fertilizer bag manufacturers
Lyrics with music

Unknown said...

we have provide the best ppc service.
ppc company in gurgaon
website designing company in Gurgaon
PPC company in Noida
seo company in gurgaon
PPC company in Mumbai
PPC company in Chandigarh

Term Paper Writing Services said...

Handling Custom College Essay Writing Help is not easy since one has to hire a Highly Qualified College Essay Writer who delivers the ideal for Legitimate Custom College Essay Writing Services.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to reveal this page. I need to thank you for your time for this fantastic reading !!
I really like every part of it and I have also saved it to find new information on your site.

nila said...


nila said...


nila said...


تصميم مواقع said...

تصميم مواقع
تصميم موقع الكترونى
برمجة تطبيقات الجوال
حجز دومين سعودى
تصميم موقع حراج

تصميم تطبيقات الجوال
استضافة سعودية

david hude said...

Get nursing assignment help & writing service online in UK! At New Assignment Help our experts help medical students in their homework tasks. 100% plagiarism free.

Florahmelda said...

Social science coursework writing services are essential and it has become very popular for those seeking social science research paper writing services since most of them seek Social Science Writing Services.


In October 2018, the MPAA's report on Online Notorious Markets to the United States Trade Representative, said that the conclusion of 123movies, 123movieshub, gostream, and gomovies, by walking of a criminal examination in Vietnam in 2018, was "a significant turn of events" in combating illicit film theft administrations. In any case, the MPAA report additionally noticed that various copycat locales had risen in any event in eight different nations. In November 2018 TorrentFreak revealed locales associated or like 123Movies, for example, WatchAsap had additionally been closed somewhere around the FBI, yet were re-coordinating to other document sharing destinations.

MikeVessels said...

Thanks for sharing this blog with us.
If you are looking for b2c tarvel portal within your budget, please contact us

teju said...

Thanks for the best share and i loved it,

onlineAssignmenthelp said...

Assignment Help Cambridge

ada price said...

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.

TV Show said...

Entertainment News, Web Series, Upcoming Bollywood Movies, Celebrities, Tollywood, Television, Breaking News, Upcoming Hollywood Movie, Lifestyle.

Inspiration shayari hindi said...

Best wishes, Love story, Motivation story, Motivational story, Boys status, Girl status, Shayri, Shayari, Wishes, Tips and tricks, Health, Health tips.

Car Expert said...

We focus on areas that you value the most – time, cost and peace of mind.
So, take a look at our services and visualize the difference. Speak to our team to get a personalized experience
like no where else!

Brainmap said...

Our services include VoIP, bulk messaging, call center, and Employment Agency. We create a new world for businesses and marketing agencies to reach out to their customers by offering them customised services that suit their needs.

Mariah John said...

Strategic Management Assignment Help
Contact us for the best Strategic Management Assignment Help. Case Study Help UK provides students with assignment help and homework writing services at an affordable price. We have a team of experienced professional writers who support those students who want better grades in their assessment projects. We are always present on the internet.

Finance Assignment Help said...

Dear students, do you need help with your finance assignment? Visit assignmenttask.com to write your project in any subject at a pocket-friendly price. We provide top-notch Finance Assignment Help from skilled finance experts. Our experts fulfill customers' demands as they require. We provide various subjects related to finance like accounting, business etc.

Case Study Help said...

Get fast delivery from Case Study Help for your assignment writing. Casestudyhelp.net supplies case studies and writing help services before the deadline. We have a crew of academic writers. We even furnish editing and proofreading services for students. If you are scouring for online assignment help in Australia, you can contact us through live chat at our website.

Rudra Printing Solutions said...

Our digital printing solution has revolutionized the printing industry. Direct printing from digital-based images allows for versatility in printing on various media.

David Miles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Miles said...

If you need assistance with CDR Report Writing, you can visit us via the live chat feature on our website, CDR Australia. Our team of experts and engineers is available round the clock to help students.

Accounting Assignment Help said...

Assignment Task offers Accounting Assignment Help in the UAE from accountant experts. We assist with top-notch Assignment Help in UAE and writing services at a reasonable price in all subjects like business, finance, dissertation help, essay writing etc. We are still open online through live chat.

Study Assignment Help for Proofreading said...

If you're a learner in the United Arab Emirates and need help proofreading your assignments, look no further than Study Assignment Help for Proofreading Company. Our team of talented academic writers is based in the UAE and can help you correct any errors or doubts with your project.