Remember last October, during the Katherine Hale controversy, when we heard about the reviewer who was whacked over the head with a wine bottle while working in supermarket Asda in Scotland by author Richard Brittain who’d travelled 500 miles to do so as revenge for a negative review?
Ever receive an email from a retailer requesting feedback after you’ve bought something from them? Have you noticed this practice become more common in recent months?
I sure have.
During the past four years there’s been a radical shift in how authors are perceived. Social media and self-publishing are the main reasons for this change. The ease with which one can become an author and communicate with fans and critics alike has led to both positive and negative effects on the reputations of authors.
What many point out is the fact that as soon as you make something available for sale, you’re a business. Businesses succeed and fail based on the quality of their customer service. A small but growing proportion of authors fail to understand this fact despite repeated explanations.
Seeing and hearing this same conversation countless times may mean we’ve begun to see authors as ONLY businesses while dismissing them as people.
Goodreads are deleting books along with reviews of short stories that appear on magazine websites or in anthologies.[screenshot 1] [screenshot 2]
For some reason this doesn’t affect stories published on authors’ websites or Tor.com shorts, but at least two of my reviews have been deleted, for the 2014 Hugo Award winning Selkie Stories Are for Losers by Sofia Samatar published by Strange Horizons and Hugo nominated If you were a dinosaur, my love by Rachel Swirsky published by Apex Magazine, although it’s also available as an audio download. I actually received these stories in multiple formats as part of my LonCon3 Hugo Voter Pack.
I don’t want any misunderstandings so I’m responding here where I can explain fully.
First of all, in my blog post titled ‘Authors vs. Reviewers – An Ongoing War? #HaleNo’ I quoted you verbatim with a link to a screenshot of the entire conversation so those quotes could be viewed in context. That conversation took place on Oct 22nd. ‘Authorgate’, the Tumblr post you’ve linked to, I haven’t seen before and is dated two days later.
Leafmarks has once again responded lightning fast to the reviewing community’s desires, this time in the aftermath of the “Authors Stalking Reviewers” news.
Continue reading Leafmarks Announce New Feature: Private Reviews #HaleNo
Should badly behaving authors scare us all into abandoning reviewing, what would a world without us look like?
Notice the question mark at the end of the post title. It’s there because this is a widespread misconception that’s hurting reviewers. Authors such as Joanne Harris spouting “not all authors” while calling reviewers, like Blythe, trolls is infuriating. This ignorance of how the reading community works is astonishing. If authors are to pass judgement on something that affects their readers, they should educate themselves before commenting in a public sphere.
“I think in my humble opinion that this is getting a little out of control. Why look through all of her articles for more ammo to call her crazy? The stalking is more than enough to hang her out to dry with. If these pieces had been written by someone else, I don’t think they’d be getting the same reaction.”
I’ve come across this sort of comment a few times.