17 June 2012
There have been many debacles, fiascos, tantrums and the like on that site and it makes me sad. Especially when a reader is taking it out on a writer or the writer can't handle that someone out there just didn't like their book. I know that it is an absolute impossibility that I will like everything I read. Reading is very subjective and there are many things that go into a book that sparks the endorphins and neurons in the brain that tell you that I like it. (of course, I making this completely up, but it sounds logical!)
Do I think this behavior undermines the work that we reviewers do on our blogs? Does it harm our relationship with our tenuous relationships with the publishers? I don't think so, because they know how we write and how we review books. They understand that we will not always like a book. Do they prefer we don't review those books, of course! But to be completely honest and trustworthy as a reviewer, we have to take the good with the bad. But that does not give one carte blanche to go all Rambo on a book or author. I know that a lot of reviewers, bloggers and media people have high standards when it comes to reviewing or just talking about a book.
Instead of going off on a book or writer, why not discuss what you didn't like about the book. Why not state what the problem was and what you think could be a way that an author could've handled that scene or plot device or whatever. Why attack the author for what she wrote, and what she got published. Said book went through betas, crit partners, agents, editors and copyeditors before the final copy was published. Obviously someone liked the book or some people. It is not our job to degrade anyone in the industry.
I don't know anything about sock puppets (although I've heard the term several times now), and find that when one person posts a bad review, it's like they all come out of the woodwork. Similar to the old psych 101 class where you learn that if you're in a group setting and there are a dozen donuts, until someone gets said donut, they will just sit there. Pack mentality. As long as I see someone else doing it, it must be okay. Well not necessarily.
I know that some of you are probably saying why is a third-rate blogger even addressing this. Because this third-rate blogger is disturbed and annoyed with what she has seen on Goodreads. This is a big playground and we need to all learn to play well together.
Posted by Laura Benson
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