Book Review

Supporting Authors & Supporting ‘Us’

This post I guess is more of just a discussion post, but I’d like to add that on any of my posts whether I say so or not, I want you to drop your opinions like they’re hot. Because I trust you all can be civil and I trust I can be civil so even if we disagree…it’s all gonna work out in the end…it’s when people endorse hurtful shit and say unnecessarily mean things that cause things to go out of hand.

And I’m not here to really say anything controversial today.

What I am here to say today is that the main reason I wanted to book blog is not just a love of books but it’s wanting to share that love, to share books that whether old or new are just amazing, and I think, deserve to be read by anyone and everyone who would be interested.

Most of us support authors in one way or another, whether we blog reviews of their works, tweet about their books, do preorders, giveaways, Instagram pics, Facebook posts, or just buy the book and leave a review on GoodReads/Amazon, or check it out from the library. When we do these things we are supporting these writers and that’s amazing.

It’s time-consuming.

It’s really time-consuming.

And it’s done out of love.

Sometimes we encounter books we don’t like, that’s life, and we are entitled our opinions, sometimes we don’t like them and it’s simply because it’s not to our own tastes, other times we don’t like them because they may actually be problematic in their content.

But that doesn’t mean we get to be silenced. And that doesn’t mean that because we have made ourselves approachable that we’re at everyone’s beck and call.

[And please remember this goes both ways, I love authors, I tag them in POSITIVE Reviews and in bookish content that includes them but I don’t expect them to respond, because they’re busy people with lives, I also don’t expect free books because I review things, and most of us do not have that expectation.]

As many others have stated, this is something we do on our own, and we also don’t do it for people to dig around the net for information on us..or you know…analyze our reviews. *stares* You know who you are.

It’s also not something to joke about.

In this day and age, we are constantly engaged with one another and there is constantly a trail of what we’ve done, it’s the internet, nothing ever truly disappears. You would think this would make people more conscientious about what they say but it seems the opposite has happened.

It’s now okay to email and insult someone who didn’t like your book, it’s okay to call them out because you think they’re the only ones who didn’t like your book. It’s alright to email saying ‘hey you, I didn’t bother to read your name or review policy but you should read my book even though it is not even listed as a genre you’ll consider reading.’ And somehow no one is supposed to call anyone out on this.

Do you know what? I’m not always offended when someone doesn’t address me by my name/blog name when they email, I don’t have an extensive review policy and so I’m very easy going, but I know others have very well laid out and in-depth review policies and for some reason no one bothers looking at them when they submit requests.

We join street teams, we share all the tweets about our fave books and authors and we are judged by numbers and engagement, we put in enough hours that if one added it all up, it wouldn’t be worth the occasional free book, and yet we have to deal with authors who get in our faces, respond to our unfavourable reviews and try to correct our opinions or talk about us like we’re not real people.

[Once more, this definitely goes both ways, such as people who tag writers in negative reviews, that’s a no-no, it’s not nice, and we wouldn’t like it if it happened to us.]

Maybe it’s easy to forget that someone is actually typing away at the keyboard behind Twitter, or on our blogs. But we are real people, we don’t want to be harassed or stalked online.

I will always support authors and writers, I will never stop, but I see others who get flack in our bookish community, and it’s hard to not get a bit ticked off.

So I’m here to say, I will always support authors.

But I will never support harassing/calling out/cyberstalking a book reviewer for simply stating not to like the book.

It would be very boring if we all liked and hated the same books, seriously, so boring. So, let’s be supportive of authors but authors…

Please, please be supportive of us. Stand up for us when someone else does this, remind them that the work we do is unpaid and can be very beneficial to authors.

Let’s all get along, let’s stand up together against prejudices, racism/sexism, and let’s not put each other down for having varied tastes.

Shoot me your thoughts, what have been your experiences? It doesn’t matter, author, book reviewer, bookstagrammer, drop your comments below

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

14 replies on “Supporting Authors & Supporting ‘Us’”

I agree 100% with you. I don’t really have a review policy yet as it is not finished, but i have mentioned plenty times which genres i read and which i don’t over on my blog and goodreads but still some authors have bombarded me with messages about their book that isn’t even similar to my preferred genres 😫 i hate to say no, but i don’t have all the free time in world to read sadly

Liked by 1 person

YASSS HALEYYYYY!!!!! I honestly love that you opened up this conversation, as it’s a conversation that I truly think needs more awareness and dialogue.

I feel like on both sides (both blogger/reviewer and author/writer) tend to forget that there is indeed another human on the other side of their computer/phone screen, and that they–like themselves–do in fact have feelings, triggers, and emotions. I think we forget that because their isn’t an actual human standing in front of us and then we go on these bingers of rants without taking those feelings into consideration. I also think we forget the difference between constructive criticism and just down right criticism is–but that is tea for a different day.

I feel like from the reviewer side of things that we tend to forget to separate the creator from the craft when reviewing their work; and when we have a negative review for one of their pieces, we go after their lives instead of just reviewing their work. On the authors side of things, I feel like (like you said) they don’t realize the sheer amount of work that goes into creating a review for their book, as it isn’t just soley our thoughts on a platform (if that was the case most reviews of mine would be “this was a banger, go read it” or “yeah, this is a no from me dawg” or my favorite “wtf?”) but instead we have to tediously take notes during our reading time (making that stuff hella longer) and then weed out information from our notes that we think would be beneficial to not only the critique of the book but those who are thinking about picking up the book. I feel like authors are blinded by their love of their own work (which is fine) that they stopped handling criticism well and because of that we get these instances of angry emails and cyberstalking that just makes me stop altogether.

I have no clue if any of this makes sense, but I completely agree with you in your post Haley. I think this is a cycle that is enabled on both ends and has gotten toxic and more toxic with how accessible it is to share what’s on our minds the instant it comes to mind this day and age. We’ve stopped considering one anothers feelings, and because of that we’ve got all this balogne.

Okay I’m done rambling. Great discussion post Haley! If none of this made any sense, please ignore me completely. *waddles to hide in corner under shrubs with a pillow*

Liked by 1 person

YES. 100%. I’ve had a few negative reviews, one recent and of a book I received to review. They’re not easy to write and I take WAY more time to write them because I want to be very specific about what didn’t work for me, I don’t want to just say, “This sucks!” and then run; I take copious notes and give specific examples of why this doesn’t work for me. I take review books very, very seriously, and to be honest, with all that’s been going down lately, I was a little nervous to post it. And that stinks. People are allowed to dislike things and disagree with others- even me! (Not everyone in the world follows my blog, and THAT’S OKAY!) I know it’s hard when people don’t love your literary creation, but the correct response is to walk (or run) away, not to demean or stalk the reviewer. Because yikes.

Excellent post, and something that definitely needs to be said, over and over and over, unfortunately.

Liked by 1 person

I feel like I missed a drama here.. xD but I do stand by you, dear!
What we do is hard, and IS very time consuming. Sadly, many authors take that for granted and choose to use our voice for their benefit without a second thought. Most of us do all this for free, or for donations even, because we do LOVE books and authors. Without them we wouldn’t be where and who we are.

It’s however not since yesterday that some people choose to say harmful stuff for the sole purpose of being behind a screen, horrible things they couldn’t even say anywhere else. Having that mixed with what we love is awful .. I don’t get why anyone would think that behavior is okay. One part of being an author is having to accept both side of the critics; while some will ADORE your book, some will also hate it. you can’t just go and bash them ! Wtf? Especially that us bloggers do talk to others.. and having that behavior will have the community run for the hills and not interact with your book at all.

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YES TO ALL OF THIS. reading is such an individual experience; the same book that makes someone feel seen / helps heal their trauma can set someone else back in their recovery and be a totally forgettable read for someone else. and as a less extreme example, sometimes I read a book (or review of a book) that I know isn’t for me but one of my friends would absolutely love. and I absolutely agree, that variety keeps the bookscape, and really our world at large, interesting.

lately it seems like every time I go on twitter another author is digging themselves into a PR hole, whether they’re alienating a group of reviewers, targeting other authors, or just acting entitled to promo and good reviews. it honestly baffles me that they don’t think before they post these things, and makes me sad because for all I know I would’ve loved their book … but if this is what the author is like as a person, I don’t want to support their work. if they grow in the future and learn from their mistakes, I believe in second chances … but so many people never seem to learn. (and for those readers who can separate the author from their work and enjoy the book regardless, I get where they’re coming from and all power to them; I just personally can’t do it.)

ultimately reviews are for readers, maybe they help the author by promoting their work and getting more people to pick up the book, but the intention is for readers to find books that they’ll enjoy and be forewarned about potentially upsetting or problematic content. when I first started writing reviews, they were literally just for myself – so that I could remember what I thought of a book and didn’t end up suffering through a reread out of curiosity when I could be trying something new instead. (also, I’ve seen so many tweets that begin with “my author friends told me not to go on Goodreads, BUT” and they always make me cringe and brace myself to mute another account.)

as a fanfiction author I got a variety of comments, from the “holy wow I love this” to “ew this is trash delete your account”. so I get that bad reviews can feel personal, and it sucks when people don’t like your writing since it’s so close to your heart. but I think the difference is that fanfiction comments *are* meant for the author, as feedback and usually encouragement. and, again, reviews are not for the author, they’re for other readers and/or the reviewer themself. so it’s really bad form to comment on a review or email a reviewer because you didn’t like what they wrote; it would make me so anxious every time I got a notification that an author commented on my Goodreads review, and so many of them were defensive or even aggressive that I ended up restricting comments to my GR friends. which I didn’t want to, because I love having conversations with people who wander across my updates and drop a comment. but you do what you gotta.

I already feel bad when I give a review below 4 stars, but ratings lose all meaning if we artificially inflate them. and the reason our reviews and ratings still hold weight with our friends and blog readers is that we’re honest about them – because just as you said, we’re people too, and our professional reputations matter even if we’re not as high-profile as some authors. (which is not to say that authors are automatically more important or popular than bloggers and booktubers, because that’s certainly not the case across the board!)

so it’s definitely a minefield of a situation, and I wish we could all just remember that behind the words on your screen is another human being worthy of respect (even if their worldviews fundamentally conflict with your own), and if we could live and let live the bookish community would certainly be a much nicer place. maybe that’s idealistic, but I do think overall my positive interactions have far outnumbered the negative (though it’s the latter that tends to stick with you) so I do have hope.

Liked by 1 person

Yep, I totally agree with you. I haven’t had any negative experiences as of yet but it seriously grinds my goat when people vilify others because of a like of dislike they have. What also irritates me is the other side of things – people claiming something is rubbish without a concrete reason! I think we need to remember the person behind the screen as you say, and just generally be supportive and understanding whatever side of the book review we’re on.

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i think ive been very lucky these past 8 years as i havent had any super negative experiences, (in fact one time i wrote a lil dnf about a book and the author contacted me saying she was v thankful about it – even tho i was p snarky – because she hadn’t seen it from that p.o.v before and realised that it definitely could be an offputting start to a book).

anyone who acts out of anger and hate in a malicious way really needs to step back and remember we’re all people. we can’t love every book ever lmao

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*drops her opinions like its hot, like its hot, drop it like its hot*

The internet never forgets, much like I never seem to forget when someone hurts me immensely. We have the memories of elephants in that regard. And honestly people need to remember that the internet is forever and perhaps THINK before TWEET. I swear that book twitter has been a trash fire this month, and a lot of this could have been avoided by authors having private, personal accounts to share their every thoughts. Because they are public figures and everything they say on their twitter, whether or not they think it is a personal account, is marketing their brand. And we have little patience for the brand of entitled, rude, and belittling authors.

Most of us started and maintain our blogs out of our love for books and wanting to share our love with the world. We don’t go into it looking for monetization (although there is nothing wrong with hoping to get an income from such a time consuming hobby!), but we are constantly treated as … free labor not worthy of common decency. I do get bothered when I am sent an email that isn’t addressed to me or doesn’t follow my review policy, because it shows to me that my time isn’t valued enough to even warrant copying my name from my blog. Hell, my name is in my blog’s email address!

I really like this post, particularly how you show there are two sides! Because there are def people tagging authors in negative reviews which is so not for them. Why do people do this.

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