Monday, March 28, 2011

Authors behaving badly. Bullying "readers".

By now I'm sure everyone has heard of the author meltdown over at Big Al's Books and Pals. If you haven't, go read it and come back. I'll wait.

I'll be honest, I found it amusing at first. What the hell was she doing?! Sabotaging her career--that's what. This will blow over, a lot of people will forget, but I'm sure many will remember her name. They won't buy her books. I won't lie. I'm one of those people.

Her behavior has completely turned me off, and she couldn't write the most beautiful novel of all time, and get my money. Because she's left a bad taste in my mouth that will never go away, and I know I would never be able to forget that long enough to enjoy one of her books.


At what point do the 'readers' stop bullying the woman? Clearly, she is unstable.

I'm all for us sticking together. It's part of what I love about the blogging community. But to go to Amazon and rate a book one star, and base it on her behavior rather than the novel, is petty. How is that any better than her meltdown? I know most of us strive to review books as a whole, and never let one aspect completely sway our rating. Guess what? As annoying as it may be, poor grammar is ONE aspect.

The author's behavior has nothing to do with the story she wrote.

Where's the line?

Authors, for the flying spaghetti monster's sake, don't attack a reader for a negative review. It will not go well for you. These things never, ever go well.

Readers, bloggers, etc. Am I alone in the opinion that this has gone too far?

(Please don't think I'm attacking anyone for discussing this via Twitter and such. I'm not. At all. I'm referring to those who continue to leave nasty comments on the blog, and on Amazon.)

(And apparently the comments are now disabled so nevermind on the blog part. :p)


  1. I've said it once and I'll say it again; I would rather one honest, if negative, review than a whole bunch of the same fodder stating how 'great' my work was.
    And while I agree that the comments after the aforementioned review were a little much, I can't help but think that Ms. Howett brought it all on herself.
    With technology and communication being the way that is it now with sites like facebook and twitter, people have to be incredibly careful about what they say and do because it can affect them in every way possible if it goes wrong. It’s no secret that no matter what your occupation, an employer can now find out personal information about you online and then relate it back to your workplace performance.
    But this technology can either work for or against you.
    For instance, netGalley is enabling advanced copies to be released without the overhead physical publishing costs. This enables the authors to get the word out on their works while garnering reviews to promote sales for when the novel is released. It’s also a win-win as far as advertising goes since the publishing companies, netGalley, and the author benefit.
    However, if an author goes off on a very unprofessional rampage like this, word spreads like wildfire and the result is the 300+ comments. At times like this the author needs to retract their claws and retreat to lick their wounds because acting like an animal isn’t going to help them in any way at all.
    But they also say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so who’s to know what will come of all this for her. I just hope that she also seeks help because an outburst like that has to be triggered by something baser than a negative review.

  2. You're not alone in saying that this has gone too far. I'm all for a healthy discussion on Twitter, but people should definitely *not* be leaving negative reviews on Amazon if they haven't read the book - just to attack the author due to her behaviour.

    I actually hadn't heard of this situation until you posted. I've just read through the comments (yes, all 300+ of them) and I agree with a lot of what people are saying. "The author is unprofessional"; "The author needs an editor"; "The author..." and yet, it's already been said countless times. There's no need to continue leaving comments attacking the author. I'm sure she can learn that what she did was wrong from the first 100 comments. I hope so, anyway.

    Anyway, thank you for bringing this to my attention! I actually found your post and the comments on Big Al's blog to be very interesting :)

  3. @-K
    I definitely agree that she brought it on herself, and I'm all for negative reviews. I write them myself. But all in all, the review wasn't negative. He gave it a low rating based on his personal experience with her poor grammar, but other than that he did say a few positive things about it. Which is why I don't think she's stable. But of course that's just my personal take on the situation.

    My thing is, there were already hundreds of comments. I believe some backlash was needed, because she needed to learn from this, but at what point do the readers realize she's had enough? I don't think there is a point for that, in any situation involving the internet. And rating her book one star on Amazon when they haven't even read it, is just as bad as what she was doing.

    One thing is for certain: Ms. Howett has no place in the world she's thrown herself into.

    Yeah there were few of the comments on the post that weren't absolutely justified in calling her out. But I think it was overkill. Like you said, it had all been said, over and over again.

    Thanks for reading & commenting, ladies :)

  4. I didn't know anything about this. Very sad situation. Not everyone is going to like the same book, agree with the wording or how it is written. After all, we don't all like the same movies either. A review is one person's opinion. When you put your name out there, you are going to get discussion good or bad - that's all part of the business. You can't take it personally.


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