Dishing Junk – The act of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.

Stupid Sh** Authors Post in Response to Negative Reviews

I get it. I really do get it. One star reviews can be painful. Especially if they get personal. Authors get them, if you don’t have any, thank your diety of choice. I’m currently up to 14 1-star reviews on Amazon for all the books, but the majority are for RUN. Not that I’m counting, I went and looked for this post. I won’t look on Goodreads. You know why? I don’t want to. I don’t care. I really don’t care. You might think I’m bending the truth there, especially when you see that my books have been called, “horrible,” “porn with zombies running around,” and “One of the worst books I’ve ever tried to read.” But, really, it’s nothing. I wrote a book. Enjoying a book is a matter of taste. My book didn’t satisfy those people’s taste. If I had a freak out over every 1-star review I would be a mental case. And even if I feel a twinge – I remind myself – they read my book. My book! They read it!!!!

Sure, they didn’t like it. But who the Hell cares. I’ll take your money, you give me a bad review. We even. Sorry I pissed you off enough that you had to tell everyone how much you hated it – but at least I inspired some sort of emotion. I’ll take that. So, when I see Authors go on FREAK OUTS over a 1-star review – well honestly, I want to throw some kleenex at them and scream in my best TI (Training Instructor) voice: “PULL UP YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND GET OVER YOURSELF!”

Don't mess with book bloggers

Phew. Glad I got that out of my system. But, here are ten author reactions/posts that make me feel violent. Because, when it comes down to it, most reactions quickly turn nasty and their focus is the reviewer. And that is when a line is crossed.

Now, I have to preface this post that this is not about “review attacks” or fake negative reviews. This is about freak-outs to legit 1-star reviews. But, really half the time when an author freaks out about a neggie, they claim it’s attack or fake. So, I can’t really put a distinction there. Use your common sense. All of these have been posted about me or a fellow blogger that I consider a friend.

Here are ten author reactions/posts that make me feel violent. Because, when it comes down to it, most reactions quickly turn nasty and their focus is the reviewer. And that is when a line is crossed.

Ten Author Reactions To 1-star Reviews That Piss Me Off:

All metaphors will revolve around food - think of a book as food - sorry I was hungry when I wrote this

Leaving a 1-star review is devaluing the lengths I have gone as an author

Let’s say you’re a cook. You cook a mighty fine dish. You put the dish in front of a patron. They hate it. Not because it’s not a mighty fine dish. But, because that person doesn’t like that particular blend of flavors. Does this devalue the cook and all the time he’s spent becoming a cook? No. The cook takes it into account and realizes that everyone else at the table likes his meal. Be like the cook. 

If you hated it so much – why’d you have to review it?

Because this person is a reviewer. This is what they do. They review stuff. They actually take it pretty seriously sometimes. You know, a person’s opinion is kind of important to them. Let’s say after the meal, the patron walks out of the restaurant and someone asks, “How’d you like the meal?” Should they respond with: “I must refrain from speaking of my experience because I wouldn’t want to be hateful.” No, they’ll probably give their opinion. Because, that’s what people do. They like to give their opinion. You know. Opinions. Like your opinion – that they shouldn’t have reviewed it.

Posting a 1-star review is bullying/trollish behavior

This is a very popular one, thank you Anne Rice. I guess we should shut up and keep quiet. We should all be unicorns too, and poop rainbows. We should all love each other and love everything and only say something if it’s nice. We should all get a trophy too. If we eat at the worst restaurant on the planet, got food poisoning and saw roaches crawl on the plates – we should think of something nice to say about that restaurant. Give them a trophy for having a friendly hostess.

I want a damn trophy. It should read: “I’m awesome in my own special snowflake way.” Someone get me a damn trophy. Again, grow a pair. If I say I don’t like M&Ms, and write on AMAZON – “M&Ms suck!!” Am I bullying Forrest E. Mars Sr.? 

Some People Enjoy Hurting Authors

Yes, they’re evil people and they are just out to get authors. It’s Authorism. They wear robes of pink and call themselves the Book Blogger Brigade. Their goal is to destroy the publishing industry one author at a time. What is not clicking here? 

That 1-star review was like being raped

I’ve seen this a few times. And it’s no joking matter. I thought Bully was bad, but Rapist is evil. To quote Jericho Barrons “Make no mistake, Ms. Lane, I didn’t rape you. You can lie there on your pretty little P.C. ass and claim with your idealistic little P.C. arguments that any violation of your will is rape and that I’m a big, bad, bastard, all I’ll tell you that you’re full of shit, and you’ve obviosuly never been raped. Rape is much, much worse. Rape isn’t something you walk away from. You crawl.” – Fae Fever by Karen Marie Moning

Reviewers that leave one-star reviews are “haters”

I’m jealous. I’m soooo jealous of your book and your authorness that I’m leaving you a 1-star review. I’m hating all over you. This is me hating on you.

hat·er

ˈhādər/
noun
noun: hater; plural noun: haters

  1. a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing.“a man hater”

    • informal
      a negative or critical person.
      “she found it difficult to cope with the haters”

I got this from the thing that pops up on Google when you google define hater

Yes, well I guess, with that definition they are correct. I hate that book, therefor I am a hater. Urban Dictionary defines it as “A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success” which I think is what they usually mean. And I say in response, “get over yourself.”  Yes, it’s about YOUR book, but again – that review has nothing to do with you. Unless they say “this author sucks.” Then yeah, it has to do with you and that is another story all-together. But if they say “this book sucks.” Well, it’s about — there’s that word again… book. It’s about your book. 

There must be something wrong with you, everyone else likes my book!

Do you love vanilla ice cream? It’s rich and creamy and OH SO vanillaey. It’s been perfectly processed and churned and made from the finest cream ever. Guess what… out of 15 flavors, only 29% choose vanilla. It was the TOP flavor of choice, beating the second best, Chocolate by more than 20%, but still, there was almost 70% that didn’t favor vanilla. Poor vanilla. I guess it’s devalued. No it’s not! It’s the best ice cream out there (even though I don’t know why? Because I like chocolate!). If everyone else likes your book, why do you care that 1 person doesn’t? Focus on the positive. I swear. You’re still tops. Or keep telling yourself that. I do.

 

The reviewer is probably a failed writer, and jealous, and unhappy

We as bloggers just love to tear down authors, because we are poor, pitiful failed writers that aren’t happy about our lives so we have to spread the unhappiness to other people. How do we do this? We post bad reviews about books. Do some people really believe this?

 

You’re not a professional reviewer, so your review does not matter

Touche.

If a chef whips up a plate of yummies but there is no one there to eat it, does he not bleed? Yeah, exactly. Most reviewers get advertising for their blogs or associates cash for their reviews – hence they get paid – hence they are technically professional – hence Amazon 1099s my ass and I have to report it as income. Yep – all the review items I get from Amazon are considered INCOME. Hence I declare shenanigans on that statement!!! 

 

Delete it.

What?

 

I’ve ruined your life? You can’t pay your bills now? Your daughter, with three illegitimate children, was waiting for that royalty check, which is now going to plummet because of my review?

No. I think I’m good. It’s just my opinion. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. Maybe, oh never mind, I only have opinions about books, not people. 

I’m going to hear from your lawyer?

Damn. Good luck with that. 

 

*** drops mic ****

I’m done. Oh wait, maybe not…

This post was inspired by ALL real events. I’m not going to place blame on certain people, most of them happened awhile ago when I first started blogging. A lot of authors seemed to have gotten a clue as to how to react to 1-star reviews in these later years. The majority blow them off, like I do, and chalk them up to taste and part of the fun of being an author. But, some still don’t get it. What inspired this post was a Facebook post from a friend of the blog, Vicki of Romance Between the Sheets. She’s a great fellow blogger and a great person in general. I’ve met her IRL and she’s been around for awhile. She’s had a negative reaction as of late, and explains herself in this post. It’s a little sad, and a little angering, and altogether a bad situation. Because of this I wanted to do a dishing junk post, which are usually a little more light-hearted. This one came across a wee bit angry and sarcastic and I apologize for that. I do have to say that all of those things have been said about me, or bloggers that I know and I’m pulling from experience. As a blogger. And as an author. And they still sting. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just keep in mind – when a blogger espouses about your book – they are talking about your book. When you go off and insult the blogger, you are attacking them personally. Who’s being a bully now?

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15 Comments

  1. SANDY

    I am a reviewer and ‘blogger’, and I have had one author PM on Facebook and question a 4 star review asking why it wasn’t a 5 star. I explained what I thought about the premise and the situation between the leading characters, and that I felt the character building and world building, so to speak, needed something more (I am paraphrasing). She then began to explain the idea behind the premise and I offered up that perhaps she should have added the information to the author’s notes at the beginning of the story. Her explanation was so very personal and yet still convoluted, that most readers would have had a hard time comprehending the direction she was trying to go. In the end, it was still a very good read but something was missing and thusly the 4 star review. By the time we were finished, we agreed to disagree and I have not reviewed any more of her books. I think the authors also forget, that by ‘attacking’ the reviewer, review or blogger, they are making an enemy as well.

    Reply
  2. nordie@writing about books

    Oh I hope the response to #5 is real, cos I feel it’s true.

    Because of this type of responses, it’s been a long time since I’ve put stars on my reviews. The source of my reviews is my blog, and the reviews get copied/linked to in Goodreads and Librarything. By not putting stars on the reviews means that people have to *read the review* to find out what I thought (stop being a lazy bastard by only checking stars, then moving on). It’s my job to describe the book and how i felt about it, and if I’ve done it well enough you should know how I felt, and have a rough idea of whether you want to read the book or not.

    Meanwhile my review policy is Long. There are statements on there along the lines of “I dont read Christian Fiction, so if you send me your book, and on the off chance I read it, I’m warning you now: chances are you’re going to get a shitty review. I dont like it, dont like being patronised at , and the last 3 that I’ve tried in the hope they’re decent – guess what? They got a shitty review. So take the hint, and dont ask me to review something I’ve already told you I’m gonna hate”.

    Reply
  3. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons

    Great post. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t had to deal with this, but I’ve seen it happen to people. I had a friend who had an author block her on Twitter and ranted about it and get upset over a THREE star review. THREE STARS! She did mention some things about the book that she didn’t like, but she also mentioned things she did. To me, three stars, is still a good review, just didn’t blow me away. That book was the third book in the trilogy. I didn’t read that final book or any other book by this author since then. There are too many authors out there that I haven’t had time to try yet to waste time on an author who treats people who review and promote their books like that.

    Great post.

    Reply
    • Lyn

      Good Comment Melanie, I agree a three star to me is a good book, I enjoyed it but yes just did not give me a WOW factor – which is all my personal choice. My 5 star books are those I would read again and again, I have heaps of those depending on my mood and which characters I want to return to in order to say hello – characters are like a readers family.

      Reply
  4. FranciNa Simone

    Perfectly humorous!!

    Omg I can’t agreed with this more. Books fall into two categories: subjective taste, and objective quality (construction and continuety).

    If people hate your damn book because it has a girl woth purple skin whi is also a unicorn…thats taste move on. If people keep complaining about your plot holes, slide off the high horse and take that criticism like a pro and work harder.

    Authors really have to learn the difference and just ignore the reviewers who were destined to dislike their book, grciously thank the ones who dislike it but are fair, and celebrate the ones who celebrate them.

    Makes you wonder Why is it people like to focus on the negative more than the positive? Like somehow the negative is more true or needs vanquishig

    Anyway, excellent post I’v been waiting for it sense you mentioned it on twitter! ❤️

    Reply
  5. Robert Eggleton

    As a debut novelist, I take book reviews very seriously. I study them all. Only two of seventy-four book reviews posted on Amazon have gotten under my skin. I pay much less attention to Goodreads ratings because a person can rate a book on that site without even commenting why.

    The first edition of Rarity from the Hollow has received several glowing reviews. It was named as one of the best books of 2015 by a prominent Bulgarian book blogger (Codices) and was awarded Gold Medals by Awesome Indies and Readers’ Favorite. Twenty-eight percent of all reviews by book bloggers have been five stars so far.

    I have carefully considered each review that Rarity has received, positive or critical, when working with the editor on the second edition scheduled for release on September 30, 2016.

    I concluded that almost all of the four star reviews (54%) were affected by a formatting problem in the final print of the first edition: missing italics for the internal dialogue which, given the nontraditional treatment of POV, caused a head hopping feel in some scenes. I suspect that just fixing this issue in the second edition could bump up many of the four star reviews to five stars.

    Most of the three star reviews (10%) appeared to have been primarily related to comfort zones. The second edition was toned down a little because the content didn’t need any more shock effect. The two star reviews (5%) appeared to have been mostly related to me being overzealous and requesting reviews by bloggers who focused on mainstream fiction. These reviewers were very nice people who were motivated to help the project, probably because author proceeds have been donated to child abuse prevention, but were inexperienced with semi avant guarde titles. This situation was my fault in its entirety. No book is for everybody.

    Rarity from the Hollow, first edition, has received two one star reviews. The first still gets under my skin. The reviewer originally posted that she didn’t like “war stories.” But, there was no war in the novel. The only thing gunshot in the story was an imitation Barbie doll used for target practice — a metaphor of the impact of poverty on the self-esteem of children. This reviewer deleted that portion of her original review and it now simply reads, “Not worth the read.” UGH!

    I’m kind of okay with the second one star review of Rarity from the Hollow, first edition. I had emailed the reviewer a .mobi file one evening and the review was posted on Amazon the next day. I’m accepting that it was an honest review by a very fast reader. The worst part of this scenario was that this review was picked up as a mention by other book bloggers, so a link to the most critical review that the novel received was broadcast. Oh, well.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my experiences. Overall, I’ve found that book bloggers, as a group, are wonderful people who donate their time in the best interests of literature. Regardless of how any reader rates a novel, I feel that it would be highly inappropriate to disrespect or disregard any of them, with the possible exception noted above. lol

    Reply
    • nordie@writing about books

      and this is how grownups (re)act. Well done and thank you for sharing!

      Reply
      • Parajunkee

        Grown-up seems to be a mythical achievement…

        Reply
  6. Heather Fowler

    Let me begin by saying there is only one response that an author should make toward a negative public review:

    SILENCE.

    Seriously. A writer never EVER comes across well arguing against someone’s personal opinion. Get over it. Move on. I’ve got plenty of bad reviews (one Amazon one, I would actually have loved to take the reviewer to task for, because they were factually WRONG. Also, I wish I could bash people in the head for complaining about things like publisher prices and cover design. Authors don’t actually have a lot of control over that unless they’re Nora Roberts.)

    BUT… I never do. Because then I become one of THOSE authors who just looks like a whiny idiot. I agree with you–it’s an honor and a privilege being able to do what I love. I write for myself, then for the people who like my work. If I do the best job that I can, why should I care what people who don’t like it think? The only exception to that is when you’re part of a critique group, or working with first and beta readers–then you’re seeking opinions, and you should take them into account.

    It’s not quite fair or accurate, though, to assume that every review on Amazon or Goodreads is given in good faith. They are steaming jungles of trolls, who wear reviewer clothing. I remember many years ago, when Amazon was in its infancy, an author who wrote a novelization of a TV show that a certain fan faction took serious umbrage to. I watched the campaign spring up in newsgroups–a concerted effort by dozens of fans to rate the book down so it would have a one star rating. They posted horrible things about (the very popular and well-known) writer and her writing. It was absolutely disgusting, and many of us were more than happy to write to Amazon and help put a stop to it. Back then, there wasn’t even a verified buyer system in place–anybody could rate/review. Also, back then, Amazon cared what customers thought. They deleted anyone who attacked the author personally, or who ranted about the particular part of the story they objected to.

    Mostly, I don’t read Amazon or Goodreads reviews. I count on the many book bloggers whose opinion and good faith I trust.

    I love Dishing Junk! Always food for thought. 5 Stars! 😉

    Reply
  7. nathan

    I am new to reviewing and personally, I don’t give one bad review much weight. So, a book has one review and it is a one start review. That is only one person’s opinion and it could say that the book was outside their comfort zone. Yes, if a book has several 4 or 5 star reviews it sounds better, but I actually read a little of the book first and then decide if I should give it a chance. Other reviews opinions only carry so much weight. If authors would prefer to know why only I gave 4 stars and not five, then next time I will say so. For example I said why I liked The Last Necromancer, but I also said it was dark and gritty, which is what pretty much kept it at 4 stars. I like these kinds of books, but books that deal with dark mature subject matter are going to find it difficult to get a perfect review just because they are by their nature a little disturbing. So fair warning. And not all books are for everyone. So, to authors, you need to remember, you can never please everyone, and if you want to know what flaw (if any) the books has, if I review, I will for now on try to point it out. I never attack an author and reviewers and authors should never get personal with negative reviews.

    Reply
  8. Vicki

    Thank you for the post. And well said.

    Reply
  9. April Junes

    I love you for this post! I agree with everything that you said. I review based on how a book made me feel and honestly I am not much into grammatical flawlessness and perfection. They matter of course, but I’ve read a handful of books that wasn’t perfect when it comes to editing and grammar, but I loved them. I haven’t given (yet) a 1-star review, and haven’t received any negative comments from an author (again I say–yet). As a blogger and reviewer, it’s not easy to give a rating. Easy when the book is at the top awesome, but when it’s a 3 or even lower, I find it hard to review a book. Authors, since they are readers and most of them bloggers too, should be the ones who understand this. WE ARE NOT HERE TO RUIN THEIR CAREER. WE ARE NOT HERE TO BULLY THEM. We are here because WE LOVE TO READ and we review books to help fellow readers pick something that is WORTHY of their TIME. We review to support our favorite authors and to give back to them in a way we can for writing books that we love. I don’t like the word HATER, cos haters gonna hate and we aren’t like that (not all of us I mean). We may not like a book, but it doesn’t mean we don’t like all of the author’s books. It’s about preferences. I believe we are all aware of that. I know that some bloggers/reviewer get personal sometimes, BUT there are MORE HONEST and GOOD reviewers out there. And I TRULY APPRECIATE AUTHORS who know how to handle this kind of stuff and just work even harder to be better (even if things like this hurts them).
    Let’s just all spread love in the community… 🙂

    P.S. I managed not to accidentally hit the 1-star button on your post this time! Ugh, that last time sucks and I still remember it. 😛 Have a great day! Awesome post!

    Reply
  10. Briana @ Pages Unbound

    I am always baffled by the “You can’t reviews this because you are not a professional critic” argument. I actually wrote an entire post about it a while ago. In the first place, you don’t actually know what kind of credentials random people online have. They could have a literature PhD, experience in the publishing industry, a past job as a professional reviewer, whatever. I think I could make a really good case for why I have decent credentials to talk about books, actually, but I don’t publish them on my blog. (In fact, many professional reviewers may not have much more to recommend them than an English BA, so…)

    I think the more pressing point, however, (especially int he YA community) is that the book was NOT written for experts. The intended audience isn’t publishing professionals and tenured literature professors from Harvard. It was written for and sold to “normal” people. In the YA market, it was sold to TEENS. Hence, the author has assumed that the book will be perfectly comprehensible to people who may not even yet have a high school diploma. Teens are supposed to read the book. How can you say they aren’t “professional” enough to have a “valid” opinion? It makes literally no sense.

    Reply
  11. Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders

    This is definitely on point. I loved the chef and food analogies. If they don’t get it, it’s not for lack of trying. You make it very understandable. I have only had two incidents of this, and one wasn’t because of the rating. The first was because of the review. The author (also a professional editor) went over my review DAILY for about two weeks and sent me an email detailing any typos, commas out of place, things I had “misunderstood” (apparently I SHOULD have revealed the spoiler of the whole book!). This went on and on. A new email every day. I corrected my typos, but refused to change my review content. I didn’t know what to do, so I started ignoring the emails and they stopped. This was when I knew nothing about book blogging. Last year the author contacted me to review a new book (I think actually a series) and all I could think was, “Really? Lemme take zero milliseconds to think about this. DELETE.”

    The second time was for a tour. I had finished the book and marked my rating on Goodreads, but my review was not for a few days. The author asked the tour organizer to contact me about the rating, which wasn’t bad. They didn’t even know what I said yet! I was miffed, and haven’t received as many tour notifications from that individual since.

    I have called out an author in a review for creating multiple accounts and posting 5 star ratings on Goodreads to fluff her rating, and I don’t regret it. I did the research and verified what I found. It wasn’t disputed, and in fact other bloggers also made mention of it as well. Did I do the right thing? I don’t know, but it was unethical and what I said was the truth.

    Reply
  12. Lizzy

    Hahahahaha!! This was hysterical. Mad props.

    Now I need to read Fae Fever. Thank you for once again contributing to my out of control TBR list.

    Reply

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