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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Don't Look Now, But They're Out To Get You

I was out of town last week, so I missed the big blow up in Bloglandia about Meanie Reviewers and Authors Who Bitch About Them.

I addressed this some time ago, but a new thought recently popped into my head about this.

What exactly will bitching about this accomplish?

Are reviewers suddenly going to love your book?

Are they suddenly going to stop saying snarky things about books?

Somehow, I seriously doubt it.

Why bitch and moan then? All you do is turn yourself into a lamb to be slaughtered.

So...I have to ask myself, why would someone bring it up?

If I had to guess.....

Publicity

Wondering how I came up with that?

How many people didn't know *insert person complaining about Mean Reviewers here* name before she posted about how mean reviews are? And how many know it now?

And in a few months, chances are no one will remember exactly WHY we know the name
but we'll remember we heard it and maybe pick up a book because of it, right? I know this has happened to me in the past. I'll see a book on the shelf at my local store and think, "Hey! I remember that name." Then I pick up the book and read the blurb. Then, if it interests me, I buy it. But just because I remembered the name doesn't mean I remember WHY the name was mentioned. Maybe it was a review that got 5 stars. Or maybe she has a personal blog and wrote an article you found compelling. Or maybe she was one of those whiny baby types who complained non-stop about the "Mean Girls" of the world. Who can keep all these things straight, anyway?

Ehem.

In any case, what ends up happening is the name sticks in our minds (Or mine, anyway) even if the reasoning behind it doesn't. And the end result is....SHE WINS.

I'm telling you, it's all a big conspiracy.

Creepy, eh?

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12 Comments:

Blogger ames said...

By pan's furry balls, it IS a conspiracy!!

Seriously though, the same name-recall thing happens to me too. 'Tis why I go to a bookstore with a list, so names don't call out to me from the far recesses of my cavernous brain cavity.

April 5, 2007 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

*by pan's furry balls*

STOP IT!!!! I don't want that in my head! LOL!

April 5, 2007 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Huh, interesting theory, could really backfire though. Does make one wonder, doesn't it?

Ames, Pan's hairy balls?

April 5, 2007 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Stacy~ said...

Yeah, I guess I can see that happening. Sad but true. I'm like Ames - now I bring a list, especially so I don't end up buying the same book more than once anyway.

April 6, 2007 at 4:22 AM  
Blogger ames said...

Well Izzie, I didn't want Dennis Franz in my head. LOL

Blame Holly-she's my inspiration.

April 6, 2007 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger nath said...

Well you know, it's the same as for some tv series and movies - sometimes you'll have big rumors, gossips and etc. happening, published in newspapers... and so you get free publicity. So, it's not a bad thing, but it is a conspiracy.

April 6, 2007 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Daphne said...

yup. i've done that so many times. where i'm at the bookstore and i just remember an author's name. can't remember if it was in a good or bad context, but it still makes me curious enough to buy the book and find out. a conspiracy i tell u!

April 6, 2007 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Chantal said...

Some authors need to learn not to read reviews.
If you can't take the heat, stay the hell out of the kitchen.

April 6, 2007 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

I am a reviewer, not an author. I swear it!
The reason I wrote that post was because I kept coming across reviews which rip into books but don't really explain why they suck so much. And I just don't get the whole bitchiness aspect of it all.
So I was asking why reviewers did the snark thing. And I got a lot of answers which changed my viewpoint slightly. As a reviewer I have reviewed books which I didn't like and I've said so and explained why so I wasn't saying you have to gush about a book no matter how crappy it is.

It wasn't a conspiracy from where I was standing anyway.

I gave an opinion and asked for other opinions. That was all.

Happy Easter

April 7, 2007 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Chantal said...

I kept coming across reviews which rip into books but don't really explain why they suck so much.

Can you direct us to some of these reviews?

April 7, 2007 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

You were just the latest to address it, Maria. It wasn't just you I was referring to. This topic comes up often. The thing is, we're all different. Each and every person on the face of the planet. What I loved about a book, you may have hated, and vice verse. The world would be a pretty boring place if we all agreed, right?

But I refuse to be silent about a book I hated, just as I refuse to be silent about a book I loved. I will say what I think, always. I'm sorry if that upsets the author who wrote it, but I try to be fair about it. Some books i truly can't find one good thing about. Not one. And sometimes I'm so angry that I wasted the money on it I want to tell everyone else, and spare them my pain. But still, i try my best to be fair.

It's just that sometimes, I get so frustrated with authors constantly complaining about a negative review. I honestly think the ones that just slam are few and far between. Do they happen? Sure. But not as often as they used to. But when an author publishes her works, she's putting them on public display, and she invites criticism. That's just the name of the game.

I understood your question and your post. I see where you're coming from. And I think things tend to get out of hand, because we - as readers - feel we have something invested in these books. Time, money, whatever. So things get heated, perhaps when they shouldn't.

But I think you took some of the negative reviews out of context. Of the examples I saw listed in the comments of your post, only one was truly wrong and that one had been written years ago.

Some of the snark gets out of hand, but for the most part it's just meant to be funny. If you look at Bam's reviews, even her A+++ reviews have snark to them. Books she absolutely adored were made fun of. That's just how she is. Same with Karen or the Ja(y)nes'.

Even our reviews here. How many times have we trashed a book, because it was full of cliches or TSTL heroins or dumb plots?

It's all just a matter of opinion. And my opinion may not be the same as yours. But we're all entitled, right?

April 7, 2007 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

Yes, I'm definitely with you on that, we are all entitled to our opinions. The only problems I had with the reviews was that they seemed to be so harsh. But then people who commented said what you said, they're so angry about having wasted time and money on the book that they find it hard to be anything but bitchy.
It was a great discussion. But then things got way out of hand, personal. I just can't understand how one opinion could cause so much malarky.

April 8, 2007 at 1:44 PM  

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