Book Reviews

Book Chat: Authors Being Negative Towards Reviewers

Hi Ya’ll.

So I wanted to open up a discussion about a problem I am noticing more and more across various social platforms: some authors, generally not highly-publicized authors but no promises, have been attacking reviewers for bad reviews of their book. 

Just a warning ahead of time, the screenshots are a little blurry but still readable, and if you’re not a fan of bad language this post might not be for you.

I hopped on Goodreads today ready to scroll through my feed and noticed a huge conversation surrounding a review of The Black Rose by Eliana Bonaguro. The posts have since been deleted that the author made, but after reading a negative review on their book that someone had written the author decided it was a good idea to start attacking that reviewer in the comments on their review. A ghost account also started insulting the reviewer at the exact same time, which we have come to the conclusion was a “sock puppet” account the author created, due to the fact that it has since been deactivated. In this screenshot, you can see the author stating that apparently every woman that doesn’t live in New York is “small minded” and “ignorant.”

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The author and this other Goodreads user, first name Noah, started attacking every aspect of the reviewer, including their education, weight, and whether or not they are employed. They also started attacking anyone who joined in the conversation in defense to said reviewer. And I quote “You are either an ignoramus or really stupid and cannot comprehend what you are reading…Now go stuff your already fat face with some pie, would you?”

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I’m not even going to touch how ignorant and horribly redundant that insult was. I mean, honestly, as an author you can’t come up with something more original than calling someone fat?

There were also various posts by the author, not only on that review but on other reviews on Amazon, claiming that the reviews were fake. As I said, the comments have since been deleted, but here are some screenshots:

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Even better is when the author starts getting technical, like she knows something, and accuses a user of SLANDER because she has a shelf on Goodreads called “shit-list”. Clearly you don’t know the definition of slander.

“the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.”

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I hate to inform you, this website is all about expressing opinions ON BOOKS. Calling it slander is ridiculous. To further analyze this screenshot, the author tells a reviewer to “Go to NYC and see if you can handle it…Keep making false allegations and I will find out who you are…” Do you think you’re hard because you live in New York? Cleveland has a higher crime rate.

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Look, the fact is that this author has only damaged her own reputation after this situation went down, and things like this happen all the time not only on Goodreads, but on other social platforms. This needs to stop. As an author, you must have read books by other authors. Are you trying to tell me you’ve never once hated a book you’ve read. Stop with the bullshit, please.

We need to get to a place where reviewers and authors can agree to disagree. Everyone is going to have an opinion, and it’s probably never going to be the same as yours. 


I only want to ask two things of you guys, my readers. Firstly, do not contact the author in any way on any social platform attacking her for her ignorance. The situation has been put to bed and there’s no reason to drag it out. Secondly, if you had any inclination to buy her 99 cent book, I ask that you refrain from doing so. I’m a firm believer that we shouldn’t reward people for bad behavior. 99 cents or not, money is going towards her and she doesn’t deserve it.
Have any of you ever been involved in a situation like this? How did it affect you? Have you ever seen a situation like this and still bought books by that author?
In case the author somehow reads this post and thinks that I am uneducated like she has previously accused other reviewers of being, I want to say that (a) I never read your book, I’m not here to analyze any aspect of it. I simply wanted to open up a discussion on your deplorable behavior. (b) I hold a dual bachelor’s in accounting and forensic accounting. I am a college educated woman and earned and paid for the degree myself.
I was not asked to write this blog post in any way, this was entirely my own doing.

UPDATE: it is now almost 3 AM and I have spent the last few hours of my life being attacked by this “author” on a goodreads update. I finally just blocked her. I don’t know how this happened. This author’s small minded-ness is astounding, and I don’t know where she got the idea that any of this is okay. Oh by the way guys, this author says a dual bachelor’s is no accomplishment. I’m not even going to begin to touch that one.

Update: the situation perpetuated into even the next day until goodreads finally got back to me letting me know they deleted her account on goodreads. I want to say thank you to everyone who showed support for the reader community throughout that entire situation. Even when things like this happen there is something that shows me that the Goodreads community is still a positive one. I appreciate you.

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31 thoughts on “Book Chat: Authors Being Negative Towards Reviewers

  1. Also, anyone else notice she was like it hasn’t been bought recently? Like, I buy kindle books sometimes months or a full year before I end up reading them half the time

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh and you forgot to add screenshots of all the bullying and ridiculing that went on before that conversation. Why did you not add that? How covenient and biased!

    Like

    1. Stating your opinion is not bullying and ridicule is another word for criticize which is something that *gasp* people are allowed to do. There’s this thing called freedom of speech. I KNOW SO CRAZY WOW

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Not to mention as an author youre supposed to be professional, and no amount of “bullying” can ever excuse the fucked up shit you said to some of these people because you got butthurt over their review. Get a life dude

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Eliana, as an author, you need to develop thicker skin. Regardless of any one star reviews and negative comments how does YOUR bullying help? As Kayla stated, there’s such a thing as freedom of speech. If you feel a review is bullying and abusive, Goodreads allows you to flag it and explain your reasoning. Your response is beyond unprofessional and only adds to a growing problem. I for one will not be buying any of your books.

      Liked by 6 people

  3. THank you for this post! I was on the receiving end of a bullying author as well. Being an author myself (who read the goodreads rules) I was astounded and shocked to find that he was attacking me for a review that was, while negative, still respectful. I felt attacked and slimed afterwards and personally, I think behaving like that at all, whether you are an author or someone else is inappropriate. As an author myself, if you don’t have a tough enough skin to take some criticism, then maybe you shouldn’t be an author.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very interesting post. It’s terrible that this happens and I have heard of people being bullied by other readers for their reviews as well. A friend of recently gave up reviewing books because of an upsetting comment she received.
    Do you mind if I reblog this post on my blog? I will of course credit you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Howlin Books and commented:
    Good morning/afternoon people,

    I want to share a very interesting article with you all today about something a lot of reviewers will probably have experienced or witnessed before. That is authors (and sometimes other reviewers) attacking people for the reviews they write. I haven’t experienced this myself but I have witnessed it happen to a friend of mine who stopped reviewing altogether because of what was said to her.

    This behaviour is completely unprofessional from the author and a deplorable way to interact with your audience.

    Check out Graceling Accountant’s article below.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reblogged this on By Hook Or By Book and commented:
    I just have to share this eye-opening post from Kayla. Online bullying has become so prevalent, but when it’s on a book related like Goodreads, it seems even worse to me. Our own Dani from http://touchmyspinebookreviews.com was targeted by a troll yesterday, and was utterly devastated. Here, Kayla brings to light an author who is doing the bullying, which also has me outraged and determined to never buy one of this woman’s books!

    Like

  7. This is horrifying to me. Authors rely on reviews, and whether good, bad, or indifferent, it’s what ‘ranks’ the books on the various platforms.
    For this reason, please don’t add the one-star reviews because every one of them counts as a review and puts the book higher on the list. Yes, even the one-stars.
    I know every reader will read a story differently. I’ve shown stories to friends and asked what they thought, and sometimes asked a pointed question (did you think it was …?) and sometimes been shocked by the answers. Not what I expected, not what I wrote for, but – what it does it teach me how people respond based on their own experience?
    That’s what reviewers do. that’s what I rely on them for. I’m a newbie in the game, and if I don’t listen, I’ll be a done-for and out-for-the-count writer if I don’t take notice.
    I have one story with three reviews; one seemed to read the story of the romance undertone, one seemed to read for the battle undertone, and one seemed to read for the deep immersion of fantasy. It was the same story, read by three individual minds who all saw/felt it differently. I’m using their comments to: ensure the novels I target at a particular audience contain the elements they expect; that there is enough description of the world and setting to suit the readers (one of the things I always disliked in Tolkien was the over-abundance of description of setting, so I tend to lose more than I should); and to find a point where the magic is clarified or shown.
    What I’ve learned from these reviewers is how to make the next book better.
    it’s the most valuable lesson of all, and I thank all reviewers for the work they do. All of you. thank you. You’re appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! Thanks to Kim for the re-blog so I knew to stop by here. I’ve had a few somewhat disheartening reviews (possibly a troll, possibly just rude/mean people, possibly just poor at providing clear feedback) of my books recently, but I’d never publicly respond with negative criticism of the reviewer. I can take someone not liking my book or explaining why it was inaccurate (if it was), but there’s a fine balance to keep in this world! I usually sulk, get upset at myself, think I’ve done something wrong, yell at him/her in my head… then it dissipates over time. Even though I’m sure it might help in a few cases to chat it out fairly with the reviewers, it’s never worth it. Negativity just generates more negativity, so I choose to abstain from responding, as it will only hurt me in the end. It’s not easy, but it’s the way I’ve decided to handle it. On the flip side, reviewers need to be fair and constructive, even when they hate it. Too many people try to make a name for themselves or stand behind ‘freedom of speech’ meaning they can say whatever they want. Sure, you can, but that’s not really the right thing to do. It’s a book, not a fight for human rights. If there’s a chance you’re wrong, don’t put it in writing and potentially mislead other people. Find a way to share something balances on what was good, what didn’t work and what might be better next time. But being rude, using hateful language in a review or bullying the reviewer is just wrong. Only my two cents, but I’d rather the energy going into something constructive to help things improve in the future, not to just make someone hurt, ashamed or irate. Eye-opening posts, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. When an author hits the publish button or releases through a publishing house, that book no longer belongs to them – they’ve decided to share it with the world… and feedback is going to be good and bad. Get over it. Attacks are meaningless and speak to the mind-numbing ignorance of the attacker. (And that the reviewer struck a sore spot! HA!)

    There is an author who no longers speaks to me because of a THREE-star review. I didn’t care for the heroine – she said I “read her wrong.” Bye, Felicia! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow this author’s behaviour is completely and utterly unacceptable. It’s totally unprofessional for the author to be so much as commenting on the review. And I can see from above that she hasn’t learned her lesson. The reviewer has every right to say what they like- reviews are often for readers, not a favour for the author.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Reading a book is personal and cannot be objective. Characters, plot even writing style is perceived differently by everyone. If I don’t like some of the food in a restaurant the chances that the cook will come after me is next to zero because everyone knows taste is subjective. Consuming any kind of media and not liking it somehow has a different position in our society even though it is practically the same. Sure I can understand how a negative review may disappoint the author, but that gives her no right to do that sort of thing to the reviewer. It is in short deplorable and absolutely pathetic in my opinion. No review, positive or negative, is ever objective and therefore not a fact and not set in stone. But the fact is, this author has done something inexcusable…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yikes! I’ve heard of situations like this but I’ve never seen it first hand like this myself. It’s unfortunate both for the book reviewer AND the author. You can’t expect to ever be taken seriously if you act the way this author was acting.

    Like

  13. This is appalling. Last month an Australuan reviewer who I follow on Goodreads gave a two star review of an Australian book. The author attacked her, saying she would take her her to court. Goodreads subsequently deleted the comment, but the prolific reviewer was hurt by the experience.

    I can’t believe authors think this is acceptable behaviour.

    A fav author of mine once gave advice to fellow authors: do not engage with reviewers on Goodreads. It is a community for readers, not a platform for authors to vent their unhappiness with criticism.

    Thanks for writing this.

    Like

  14. Authors should just take the reviews into consideration to help improve their work and if they keep seeing the same thing appear frequently that may be HELPING them. It’s sad to see this happen.

    Like

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