Authors Behaving Badly

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! I bringz you all the drama every Thursday from authors who have been a little naughty.



  1. There is yet another incident of authors behaving badly over at Goodreads. It's a self-pub named Heather M. White and her book "When Destiny Knocks". She attacks multiple users (Andrea, Melissa and Kara I believe) in their review comments and on twitter. I'm glad you do an ABB sections because I like to know what kind of authors I'm supporting with my money.

  2. This is too funny. Never seen a feature like this one. As an author, I understand the pain and disappointment of a negative review. This is the time I try to remember one of my positive reviews. The one book that everyone will love simply does not exist.

  3. This is HILARIOUS. Great feature! I run a book blog myself and have had VERY good luck with authors. The truth is not every reviewer is going to love your work. Sure we have given some less than stellar reviews but for the most part, the authors take the review as feedback and nothing more. However, I had one author who, after recieving 2.5 out of 5 stars on his book, emailed be and went up one side of me and down the other, insulting everything from the reviewers intelligence to me personally (I was not the reviewer of that title). After 2 or 3 exchanges where I did my best to keep my cool and be understanding, I finally blew my top. I explained that if he wanted to throw a temper tantrum, he was more than welcome but I refused to subject my readers to him. I pulled his review and any mention of him from my site. It's like he was never there. I soooooo badly wanted to take it to the website and let the readers show him who is boss around there but since I wont tolerate that behavior on my site, I thought better of it.

    Bottom line, a review is an opinion and just because you are disappointed in your review does not mean it's ok to take it out on the person who didn't happen to like your work. Life sucks, get a helmet. On the flipside of that, like I said, I have had wonderful interactions with MANY authors, both indie and under the big six. It sucks that the few that act like toddlers when they dont get their way cause such a sour taste for reviewers.

    Thanks again for the great feature. :)

  4. The author John Donoghue an indie author of Police, Crime, 999 rather than leaving nasty comments goes about putting one and two star reviews on any author that dares to give him a negative review or competing book. He currently has 200+ five star sock puppet reviews on his book and is a real nasty piece of work. If you dare comment you get some smart remark from an account that is not his own of course. As soon as a one star review is posted it is quickly followed by several five star reviews to cover it up and loads of unlikes of course. The reviews themselves are worth a read and you can tell have been written by the same hand.

    A review is a personal opinion and this sort of large scale manipulation makes the whole review process worthless and is harmful to all authors traditional or indie. So this sort of page is needed to uncover those that think they can game the system and fool the buying public.

  5. Author Judy Byington (Judy Byington Weindorf) is notorious for calling negative reviewers of her vanity-press book, 22 Faces, Satanists and child abusers. She and her cadre, in addition to inflating her own 5 star reviews with sock puppet accounts, also stalk the review sections of OTHER books to find and harass her negative reviewers, and to plug her own terribly written book. A book which, among other things, contains an endorsement from Robert Kroon, former Press Secretary General for the UN Press Corp.

    The problem with this impressive endorsement? Mr. Kroon had been dead for 5 years when Judy Byington Weindorf's book was published.

  6. Update to John Donoghue (Police, Crime & 999) above he has been found to be posting malicious one and two star reviews on competing books and books by a publisher he has a personal vendetta against. This is for books on the store and .com store almost stalking one author and acting out his personal vendetta. He is a self published author published via Matador a vanity publisher, which means he can further hide behind his author.

  7. Please have a look at the reviews on Charlaine Harris' Dead Ever After. We have her friend Toni LP Kelner posting a stellar 5* review (the book sucked) and now Anne Rice is getting fiesty on the 1* We have had Gordon Andrews (Of the Kate Daniels series) attacking a 1* reviewer on Goodreads. Author MJ Davidson is also playing in the Amazon discussion thread for Dead Ever After.. Have fun.


  8. Another Author Behaving Badly, on Amazon: “Search for the Alien God” by David Flynn. He attacks his reviewer over and over, then changes his post to show completely different content when the reviewer addresses his comments. Sad!

  9. Authors are human, and also need to be held accountable for their actions. I enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing.


    Linda Joyce

  10. There's a book called Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki. Seems they offered their book for free to bloggers for reviews, but only after the bloggers promised not to post any reviews that were less than 3 stars until their "blog tour" was over. And the author Abi Ketner was leaving snide comments on the less than favorable reviews on amazon under the name of "Liv". She recently deleted them.

  11. Few Years back Christopher Pike behaved badly when someone criticised his secret of Kaa book, and this is a bit personal, but the author of Caught in a web asked me to review the book, which I did. I was being generous and gave her book four stars, although it should have been 2 or 3 stars maximum. She read through review, called it terrible because I felt there was focus on how much her life improved since she became a christian and has asked me to take it down from my own blog and goodreads, which I have done so. Despite the rating, she felt that my review will hurt her book's chances of surviving and prospering. I didn't like it that she called my review terrible. She did thank me, but could have at least said what she hated about my review...

  12. I finally blew my top. I explained that if he wanted to throw a temper tantrum, he was more than welcome but I refused to subject my readers to him. I pulled his review and any mention of him from my site. It's like he was never there. I soooooo badly wanted to take it to the website and let the readers show him who is boss around there but since I wont tolerate that behavior on my site, I thought better of it. is bubblegum casting legitimate

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  14. Ah, don't forget the recent brouhaha concerning Maggie Spence (author of Vardin Village) and her "brilliant marketing strategy." Amazon KDP Thread

  15. I just came across a book called Louisa' s Secret on A reader left a negative review and the author, Chris Hough, proceeded to post a response which included a short story about the reviewer dying and going to hell. I think that one should make the list of authors behaving badly for sure.

    1. The author's name is Chris Gough, not Hough. My kindle decided to auto "correct" for no apparent reason while I was typing.

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  17. Type: Indie author
    Place of bad behavior: Facebook Author Sky Turner.
    Date: 08/30/2014
    Details: (setting) so apparently someone friend-ed the author and asked for a free copy, then posted on an open page asking for free copy. (While the person demanding a copy, was rude, the authors prolonged immaturity with her "friends" is what's really sad).
    She preceded to belittle (talking about how low brow, how stupid, how pathetic, {there were specific names called, but there is no need to repeat every slur} etc) the offender was and encouraged her "friends" in stalking and attacking the person. When another person tried to interject that it was wiser for her to act professionally, they then turned on him like a pack of dogs. Attacking, belittling, name calling etc.

    Frankly from what I saw, this author and the author friends that participated have lost me as a reader. Their lack of maturity just perpetuates a lack of professionalism with indie authors. It's sad that this unprofessional behavior tars other Indie authors.

    1. Actually, I think you have your FACTS wrong. The person who requested a *free* book was requesting it from a PIRATING page and had the gall to tag Skye Turner in the illegal request. At what point should Author Turner feel good about having her work stolen? At what point does this make the author the bad person? Does she have no rights? As the copyright holder, as the person who lost hours of time with her family while writing, as the mother who writes to help support her family, including a child with an autoimmune disease and heart condition, she has EVERY RIGHT to be angry that someone is publicly and blatantly STEALING her work. For you to support the thief and bad mouth the one person whose actions are correct just goes to show a small piece of what the hell is wrong with the world today. Skye's behavior doesn't tar other Indie Authors, but your support of a thief tars you. You should be ashamed!

  18. You should add Anne Rice to your 'to do' list, she's done some doozies!

  19. Please fix link to "Melissa Douthit Commits an Act of Severe Douchebaggery"

  20. Not as bad as some others, but I certainly got a kick out of this author's behavior!

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  22. Joel Schwartberg's responses to negative reviews on his "The 40-Year-Old Version" are also clearly the result of an unhinged mind.

  23. What is the point of getting mean with reviewers? I have enough trouble just getting reviews, aside from the ARC reviews I ask fellow authors for (I have a small group who are willing to do so as a trade. I do reviews of their work as well), from customers who have actually bought my books. I am grateful for each and every review I get, even the less than stellar ones. (of which, I only received one...a long time ago for my first book. And when I asked for an explanation of the reviewer's methods, all I got was accused of wanting them to "blow smoke up my ass".

    Despite this, I have matured as a writer and understand that each reviewer has their own genre and style they like to read. their reviews usually reflect this and nothing I can say will change their mind. I accept criticism, as long as it is constructive (as for the very first review, the one I mention, it was very destructive. nearly made me give up writing), and ignore the ones that are so negative that you would swear they were envious of your abilities.

  24. I recently tweeted to a well known author that I was 50% through his recent release (released on March 24th) a thriller, that the book was boring. He tweeted right back to me "why on earth would you tweet that to me?"
    Well honestly, I expected much more from this new book and was extremely disappointed that I paid around 12$ for his book.

    1. I agree with them - that's rude. @tweeting somebody is no different than seeing them on the street and going up to them to tell them their book is boring.

      What did you expect them to say in response?

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  25. As a reviewer, I have seen my fellows get a lot of flak from fans. One author wrote a book, controversial in its genre, and received a number of critical reviews. Her fans commented on many of these, attempting to challenge and disprove what readers said-(many of their arguments reflecting those of the author) but they and the author did not apparently take well to people challenging their glowing reviews.

    It got the point that the author has started making accusations of 'stalking' against one person- the basis of this? Allegedly 'disparaging' those who leave positive reviews (ignoring the disparaging of critical reviewers, and her own occasional practice of trying to 'name and shame' them), and writing comparative reviews mentioning her work.

    Recently, she decided to write a review of a history book I wrote, which I felt deliberately misquoted it, and contained more than one historical error. Its interesting how quickly she attempted to turn the comments towards her own work, or a discussion thereof. The review seems to have been in part, revenge, and in part, an attempt to force me to repudiate criticism of her own work and gain some kind of weird, ideological coup (by proclaiming 'You believe X and Y and you said it in your so you have no right to judge me and my writing...)

    Unfortunately, it seems there's a lot of hatred and ill-feeling out there.

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  28. Ari Bach, author of Valhalla, tried to ban his own book to make it "edgier". He also posted a bad review he got on goodreads to his tumblr accounts (plural!) so his followers could harass the person. The reviewer has since deleted the review and their account

    1. UPDATE: I feel "Harass" was a strong word. He didn't say to attack the person, but did link the review to his accounts, including the book's fan blog.

    2. I would also like to make it clear that my statement about his followers is/was strictly my own opinion as to why he posted a link to the review, nothing more. I was/am not hoping to stir up any anger or misunderstandings. Thank you and have a nice day.

    3. Hi different anon here. Sorry for the late post but I saw that when it happened and I want to say that Ari Bach only posted a couple funny quotes from a bad review and linked to it to give credit and said clearly in all caps NOT to bother OP within the post and again on every reblog of it he made. He always tells his fans not to argue with people he posts negative things from. The ban thing is completely true though.

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  31. The authior W.O. Cassity along with aid from author R.delRio got their one star negative reviews removed by claiming that every reviewer was tbe same person. AMAZON complied with bis claims without investigating the fact that the reviewers were nationwide with different accounts with varying purchases and credit card information.

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  38. clearly, of cause not the most of reader have the same opinion so the author should learn to face the badly reviews and not too happy to face negative ones

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  48. "I figured you would do that already...

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