So now there’s another brouhaha ablaze, and it bubbles and toils like nobody’s business. Still does. In the memory of book bloggers, especially. Apparently author Kathleen Hale stalked a reviewer, to the point of obsessively trying to find out about her on the Internet, followed her posts and Net hangouts, and finally got her actual address. Did it stop there? Oh, no! Of course not: She drove to this person’s house, rang the doorbell, and when no one answered, left a book on the doorstep and returned to her rental car (yes, she went the extra mile to get a rental car). And the way she described getting the reviewer’s address, under the guise of participating in a book club giveaway, smacked of sick sneakiness, in my humble opinion.
Alas, they say confession has it’s own soul’s relief. She took it to the last world’s end and wrote about it in her article, “Am I being Catfished?” If you’ll notice, I’m not posting links here on my blog. Don’t need to. You’re smart readers. Go Google it. You’ll find it with no problem whatsoever, along with any other information you want to know about this incident. (And if you want to know my first experience with an author behaving badly, so much so that she or Amazon eventually pulled her book, check out “The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett–also read the series of comments on BigAl’s Book and Pals).
From an author’s standpoint, I’ve heard for a while about authors being bullied and trolled to the point that authors have sometimes had to remove themselves from social media for a while. I’ve heard LOTS about that. Even Anne Rice has spoken about this on her Facebook page. Stop The Goodreads Bullies is a site where trolls and reviewers behaving badly were placed in a position of what used to be known as the pillory. Having virtual tomatoes thrown at them via copies of their reviews, shaming comments, and having their personal information posted for the whole world to see: their social security numbers, their home address. (Oh, I forgot to mention, Kathleen Hale also CONTACTED the reviewer by phone and spoke to her, under the pretense of “fact-finding”).
As a result of this lovely shenanigan by Hale, bloggers banded together to host a book blog black out from 10/23-27, or some date like that. This incident frightened them so badly, they decided it was time to take a stand, and stand together they did. They hosted a blackout, and did not do book reviews or carry through with blog tours during this time as a means of making a statement: We’re not gonna take it!
What’s my opinion? I think authors need to stop worrying about book reviews and concentrate on making sales. That’s the name of the game: make sales! That will get Amazon and other sites noticing you and ranking you higher. I’ve seen books with only a single one-star review, and their rankings are fantastic! The author is selling books. Granted, there are sites where you need a certain number of reviews to participate, Pixel Of Ink being one of them. They do this to ensure a certain quality, but in light of shill reviews, I question this thinking. But what else is one to do?
Punchline: Just because someone gives your book a low review doesn’t mean you’re being catfished. The reviewer is giving an opinion. I don’t defend in any way whatsoever showing up uninvited on someone’s doorstep. It’s dangerous, could get you arrested, or at the very worst, killed. DON’T DO IT. EVER! Instead of working on her next book or promoting the one she had, Hale wasted precious time traipsing after a reviewer for not liking her book. And though Indie Authors have been the worst offenders for getting royally pissed when things don’t go their way, it looks like traditionally published authors do the same at times.
I’ll say it again. To those who have purchased my books, I thank you wholeheartedly. I hope to goodness I haven’t wasted your time. If you want to know more about what’s going on with me, I have this blog where you can sign up for my newsletter to get special treats others don’t get. You can also like my author page. I will NEVER harass you for book buys or reviews (though I appreciate both). I want writing and book blogging to be productive, fun, and most of all, SAFE.
End of rant! And happy reading and blogging, whether you be a reader, blogger, or author, or all three! #Haleno