Authors Behaving Badly: When Authors
React Badly to Negative Reviews and Criticism!
Or: How NOT to Handle Bad Reviews!
When an author puts a book out into the world they must know it's not going to get completely positive feedback. All books, throughout history, from Hamlet to The Da Vinci Code, have people who love them and people who hate them. And most authors handle the negative reviews pretty well (even if they're crying inside).
However, some authors decide that they want to fight their critics. Some get personal. Some get downright nasty. Did someone say car crash?
I was originally going to post one article on this but so many authors have behaved badly that I thought I would make it a weekly feature!
2. Leigh Fallon and 'Dickie-ing' the System
Who is She: Leigh Fallon (YA author)
Who She Responded Badly to: Stephanie Sinclair
What Made the Fur Fly: On popular book reviewing website Goodreads, Stephanie posted this negative review of Fallon's novel 'Carrier of the Mark'. It is right at the top on the listed book reviews for this book on Goodreads; a fact which Fallon noticed and was rather upset about. She decided to take matters into her own hands and sent an e-mail about the reviewer to her publicist that was less than flattering. Somehow, somewhere, it got sent to the reviewer it was dissing. Ooops. Here it is in all its glory:
There is the from Goodreads who has been real nasty and keeps doing up really bad reviews of Carrier, then gets her friends to go in and ‘like’ her bad reviews so that that review will be pushed up to the top of all the lists. Now she’s put it up on Amazon! . but what we can do is push her review back down the list by bringing all the good reviews back to the top. How do we do this? Well at the end of each review there is a little button where you can say whether you found the review helpful. Click YES on the good reviews. The more reviews you click YES you click on the good reviews the further down the list that bitch will go. If you leave a comment on the good reviews, that helps too. She’s already got over 20 of her buds to YES her review so we will need to find more people than that to YES the good reviews. There are about 8 pages of reviews (that’s about 7 reviews or something like that) so down the very bottom if you help me out.
As far as I’m aware, you don’t have to have bought anything on Amazon to get your vote to count. You just need to be a registered user. It only takes about 5 mins to go through all the reviews and YES the good ones. I’m not asking to dickie with the system or anything, it’s just moving a horrible review from the top spot. It’s so long, you have to scroll for ages until you get to the good ones. I’d really appreciated it help on his.
Thanks a million, guys. You’re the best.OK, so from this email, we can see that Fallon DOES actually want some dickie-ing with the system to take place and wants the positive reviews up-rated to hide the bad ones. Also...toe rag. Tee hee.
What's more, she even admits to sending the email, which was later provided by Stephanie:
Dear Stephanie:While we can commend her for apologising, I'm not sure that if I was in Stephanie's shoes I would be ready to forgive and forget!
I owe you a message and an apology. I sent a private email to two close friends and I’ve learned that that email somehow found its way to your inbox. Obviously, it was not meant for yours or anyone else's eyes, but more to the point, it was not something I should’ve sent in the first place. It was written in anger and I’m sorry for the hurt it has caused you. As an author, I’m grateful for all of my readers, including those who do not end up loving the book—believe it or not!—and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to think critically about the book and share their thoughts. That said, to put it plainly, your review hurt my feelings. I know it wasn’t meant as an attack on me, but some days, I don’t have a thick skin. So I turned to my friends and vented. I’m sorry for my hurtful words. You are clearly a book lover—you deserve only my respect for our shared love of the written word. Please accept my apology.
Last weeks Author Behaving Badly: Jacqueline Howett