The legacy you leave: A few thoughts on literary hate packs

What is a literary hate pack, you may ask? A group of people who roam Goodreads, Amazon and other review sites and intentionally target and abuse authors. Why do they do this? My opinion-

Fame whore syndrome

They can’t do anything constructive or artistic enough to gain followers and interest, so they use negativity to piggy back off the author and the followers of the author. This is a sad state of affairs for someone who has worked so hard to write and publish their book. It is not just indie authors going through this. A few so called “reviewers” have even admitted to intentionally picking books they know they will hate and then tearing them apart just for fun, or to relieve boredom. Poor authors.

But this post is not about who they are or why they do what they do. This is an opinion post. Believe it or not I can be opinionated. No, no all of that has been done before. This post is a simple reminder that we are all our own person. We have the right to make decisions as individuals. Following and becoming part of any sort of “pack mentality” means that you no longer have an individual personality. Do you really want to allow someone else to be the representation of what you believe, who you are and only gain infamy from being part of something someone else decided was a good idea?

 

How can this be put to a stop?

These people are searching for something, fame, being remembered for something–there is always a motive of personal gain in some form when people act like this. I, for one, would rather gain fame from promoting the works of others, writing my own and doing honest reviews of the books I read. I don’t care if a book has over a hundred one star reviews from a group of people who had a beef of some kind with the author. Reviews are about the book, not the author.

My belief is that no matter how hard an author works, they will always be at the mercy of the fates. If you are lucky, you will never encounter one of these groups. There will never be a way to stop all idiots from going out into the light of day, but joining forces with them and assisting them in promoting their filth will only come back to bite you in the arse.

Arguing with a hate packer is like expecting a mime to explain the mysteries of life.

The best approach is to counter these people with weapons they do not possess: Intelligence, honesty and tact.

 

Advertisements

128 thoughts on “The legacy you leave: A few thoughts on literary hate packs

  1. Great post. Some people really do mix up fame and infamy, so it’s best not to give them either. The ‘hate reading’ is what confused me. Why would anyone waste their time on a book they know they’ll hate unless it was part of their job (professional reviewer)?

    Like

  2. You are so right on this, even if you dislike a book there are ways to express it without trashing the author. People should have a little more respect for the effort, writing is a difficult and personal thing. Great post. 🙂

    Like

  3. I was reading about this on another blog the other day. Just makes me so sad that people go around doing this, I just don’t get it. Sure they get a few minutes of fame but for being jerks? *sigh* Ban them all! Vigilante and bullying should be against terms of service.

    Like

  4. Can’t Goodreads do anything to protect authors from obvious trolls? I agree with Pamela – ignore them. Giving them the attention they’re looking for is just encouraging them.

    Like

  5. The “pack mentality” is shameful. A couple weeks ago I was reading both good and bad reviews of many books on Amazon and Goodreads. With so many, it was obvious that the reviewers had not read the book, they were feeding off the previous ones. Another thing I noticed, many times the bad reviews were posted on the same day. I was thinking, “What do these people do? Text each other…’Let’s go trash this author/book!'”

    Like

  6. They are the bullies of the school playground, all growed up (to some extent). Frustrated, dissatisfied, bitter. I hope I never run into one because it is hard to behave with dignity and class if you think someone is destroying a piece of work that took five years to complete in the space of 30 seconds. Keep away from me, you trolls! Go back under your bridge and peer out as the world passes you by!

    Like

  7. Pingback: Building Credibility as an Author | chrismcmullen

  8. It’s got to be some hardwired malfunction to be able to just tear someone down for other people’s amusement. Star rating, honest reviews and anything that likens the reviewer as intelligent is the best way to go. It makes me think of growing up in school and people getting teased for being a geek or a nerd when it is obviously jealousy that drives them. I see this happening and all I can think about it the true definition of a gobshite!

    Like

  9. Twitted and shared with a Facebook group I’m in that gives a shoulder to cry on for those attacked. Excellent article. I agree, the best defense is a wall of silence. They tire after awhile and leave. It is all about the sport of seeing their prey squirm. You, of course, describe it better!

    Like

  10. I think it is really interesting to juxtapose this post with the one you wrote in November, 2012 called “what’s an honest reviewer to do.” When you write a negative review, it’s honest and fair, but when other people write negative reviews, they are part of a literary hate pack? Is that what you are saying?

    Like

  11. What I find interesting is that you don’t mention why readers are giving such negative reviews of so many Indie books. It’s because they, as well as me, are tired of purchasing books that are not ready to be published. We’re asked to spend money on these books and we are getting an unfinished product. It’s aggravating and not fair to the reader. So yes, these books deserve a negative review and so does the author for putting the product out there to begin with. So many books are filled with typos, incomplete sentences and sometimes I wonder if the author’s native language is even English. Then, when a reader writes a negative review (not an attack, as these authors love to call it), he or she receives backlash from the author and/or the author’s friends. It’s absolutely ridiculous. This blog is so one-sided it’s laughable. It seems to me you wrote this for your own amusement and not from an informed standpoint. Because if you were informed, you would understand that the situation is not so black and white. Also, you claim that these ‘trolls’ are inferior to you and have no intelligence. That makes me wonder at YOUR intelligence because I’ve been in contact with these so-called trolls and they are highly intelligent and, wonder of wonders, they know how to write complete sentences and some aren’t even native to the English language. Last but not least, these ‘trolls’ are individuals that think for themselves and make their own decisions. They don’t travel the internet in ‘packs’ attacking innocent authors and their sub-par books.

    Like

    • “Last but not least, these ‘trolls’ are individuals that think for themselves and make their own decisions. They don’t travel the internet in ‘packs’ attacking innocent authors and their sub-par books.”

      Why don’t you just be honest? I can show you all kinds of evidence to the contrary. By the way, when you don’t actually read a book (whether it’s sub-par or not) and give it a one-star rating, that is not the act of an discerning reader. When that rating is accompanied by a slew of ratings from the same group of people over and over and over, those are not honest ratings. Those are literary hate packs.

      Like

      • Whether I or someone else has read the book, we can “discern” if we want to read it or not. And why don’t you be honest and actually post under your name and not anonymous. It’s people like you that will make sure nothing changes for the better. You’re all too busy pointing fingers instead of demanding that authors create work that is worthy of our hard-earned cash. The rest of this comment is aimed towards Christine. How do you figure that the author of this blog is being attacked? Because I’m standing up for what I believe and actually giving an equal side to this hate blog? Wow, you wouldn’t last long in a public debate. And do you really, actually, still believe the things posted at STGRB? Seriously? That site is filled with hate and trust me, they are stalking everyone’s blogs as well. How do you think they get material and then chop it up and only show parts of posts to forward their agenda? Please do research before believing everything you read. I know I did. I like to make informed decisions and I wish everyone felt the same way.

        Like

      • Amaranth, calm down it’s an opinion post. You don’t agree with it fine. You like to review books based on the samples, okay. You think Authors deserve to be brought to task, because you don’t like their writing for whatever reason, so what. Go about your business. In the long run, your opinion will only matter to you and those of like mentality. Same for me. That’s why I say what I need to say and move on. Life is way to short to care about petty crap, and I have way to many book contracts to finish and many more readers who like me and my writing just fine. BTW Great post Ionia.

        Like

      • “You think Authors deserve to be brought to task, because you don’t like their writing for whatever reason, so what.”

        That’s not what she said at all. No one ‘brings writers to task’ for not liking their writing, and I’d like you to show us all where this happened. As you have the right to defend yourself, so does everyone else. But it seems more and more that writers want to be the only ones exercising after they go off attacking readers.

        Like

    • This is quoted from a hater’s blog, in a post directed at one of the bullied authors: “The very worst thing we did was to give your books low ratings because we either didn’t like the books, or we didn’t like you. Did we also sometimes give low ratings to people who associated with and/or supported you? Yes, we did. Maybe because we didn’t like their books either. Or we didn’t like them.”
      http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/760914/-and-the-horse-you-rode-in-on

      There you have it. The “worst they did” was rate-hate books because they simply “didn’t like the authors” themselves, not just because of “sub-par indie books”. Linda Hilton has admitted this. I give her credit for honesty at least, unlike most of the haters.

      Next question?

      Like

    • That’s an easy one. Does the review attack the author? Does the reviewer have an obvious negative bias toward the author? Is the review mean-spirited? Did the reviewer even read the book at all? Or is she/he just going by what someone else said, and in particular, what that someone said about the author? If your answer is yes to any one of those questions, then it’s a hate review.

      Like

      • Does the blogger attack reviews? Does the blogger have an obvious negative bias towards reviewers? Is the blog post mean spirited? Did the blogger talk to any reviewers at all? Or are they just going by what someone else said, and in particular, what that someone said about reviewers and negative reviews? If the answer is yes to any one of those questions, then it’s a hate blog post.

        See how easy that is?

        Like

      • Considering this blogger is a reviewer herself, I doubt she would hate reviewers. There is no hatred in this blog post. She does not call anyone out by name oar does she slander anyone, unlike several blogs owned by members of the literary gang. If you read what Ionia wrote, she expressed her honest opinion about a phenomenon that is happening across the literary community. She is not talking about anyone who honestly reads and reviews books, and I think you know that.

        Like

      • No, I don’t. I’m both a blogger and reviewer and I have exactly the opposite view on this. All I saw here were a lot of vague accusations and generic disparaging of a group of people whom she disagrees with for unverified reasons. Not a shred of proof anywhere. And especially in light of the Lauren Howard fiasco I’d think people would stop crying wolf.

        Like

      • There is plenty of proof and more links have been posted. All one has to do is scroll down on the book pages, click “filter’, then 1 star, and you can see it is the same people participating each time. You can’t claim that they all read those same books and felt the exact same way about them at the exact same time.

        These are not honest reviewers. They are obviously organized in their behavior.

        Like

      • Here’s your proof, John Green: http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/760914/-and-the-horse-you-rode-in-on
        Linda Hilton admits she and her group gave bad reviews to books, not necessarily because of sub-par writing, but because she and her group dislike the >>>authors themselves, including the author’s FRIENDS and acquaintances, whom they also gave bad reviews too, because they were friends with the so called BBA author.

        FYI John Green is “DarkWriter67”, he is one of the literary haters who hangs out on Amazon.
        Now why don’t YOU, John Green, provide proof that you and your gang aren’t just a pack of trolls? I’m waiting.

        Like

      • Thank you, Torres! Yes, infamous Linda Hilton is one of the ‘authors’ who is also a ringleader of many of these attacks. One of her most recent activities got my attention when an author new to Goodreads posted there in an author forum about a one star review on his/her book and why someone would leave one star ratings with no review. It wasn’t long before Ms. Hilton warned that bad things happen when authors complain about this issue. The very same day and over the course of a few days, Ms. Hilton herself and the usual gang added their one stars to this author’s book.

        Any author worth her mettle, and who seeks to support her fellow authors, would instead have privately messaged the new author and advised to not engage with or openly discuss one star ratings. Or they would simply not get involved at all. This seems a foreign concept to Ms. Hilton and the other ‘authors’ who actively take part in this behavior and recruit others to their cause.

        Yes, I have screenshots.

        Like

    • I would say those who collectively harass authors and leave one-star ratings on books they haven’t read, but claim they are honest reviewers are hypocrites.

      Like

  12. Ioniamartin, I love your post! You hit the nail right on the head when you speak of literary hate packs on Goodreads. Unfortunately, it appears that one of those hate packs has found your blog because a link to this post was left on the anti-bullying website Stop the GR Bullies:
    http://www.stopthegrbullies.com/2013/12/03/a-final-note-to-our-readers/#comment-40393
    The hate packers stalk that blog every single day. This is why you are being verbally attacked. My recommendation? Either just ignore them or delete their comments, because as you say so appropriately:
    “Arguing with a hate packer is like expecting a mime to explain the mysteries of life.”

    Like

    • This from a man who openly clocks people’s IP addresses so he can harangue them for not liking his books. This is the type of person who agrees with this viewpoint, and that should tell you something.

      Like

      • Where’s your proof, John Green? You’re so good at screaming “PROOF!” at everyone else, so where the hell is YOUR proof that Lloyd Lofthouse did what you are accusing him of? I’m waiting. 1–2–3…
        One more time: DarkWriter67 is John Green, one of the literary hate trolls who hangs out on the Amazon forum. IIRC he has a goodreads account too.

        Why are you so threatened by this post, John?

        Like

  13. I think it’s obvious to -almost- everyone here why I choose to stay anonymous. Anyone who speaks out openly against the literary gang’s activities is immediately harassed. I’m tempted to do so, but you would quickly prove my point.

    Discerning readers who are looking for a book can download a free preview on Amazon or click “look inside” to tell whether they like it or not without spending their hard-earned money on it. If you don’t like a book, then don’t buy it. If you have no intentions of reading a book, then don’t rate it. Following your friends around to rate books you haven’t read does nothing to help other readers.

    Read books you’re interested in. Rate and review them honestly. Personally, I don’t know any authors who have ever attacked a reviewer for a negative review. Every author I know is happy to have their work read, period. Yes, there are some authors who have not been nice. But, you can’t assume that every author is attacking readers just because they express opinions and concerns against the constant harassment they face on Goodreads and elsewhere. Authors deserve to be shown the same common courtesy as anyone else. Readers and authors who are tired of the ongoing issues will keep speaking out about it. Bullying in all its forms should not be tolerated.

    Like

    • By the way, I have done my own research and do not depend on any website to tell me the truth. I’ve collected several screenshots and read many accounts from those who have been affected. These attacks are organized and committed by the same individuals repeatedly. We who are speaking out are much more intelligent than you think we are.

      PS: I think everyone can see the rancorous attitude presented here by those on the opposite side.

      Like

      • “PS: I think everyone can see the rancorous attitude presented here by those on the opposite side.”
        No, this is a fed up attitude. I’m finally speaking up against the constant hypocrisy by blogs like this and STGRB. I’ve been silent for too long and this blog is an insult to intelligent reviewers who, like me, are also fed up with authors releasing incomplete works and expecting us to pay for it. Then they get upset and attack the reviewer when they give a negative review. And I don’t think a reader has to finish a book to know it’s unreadable. You mentioned the samples on Amazon. I love those. I usually know whether or not I will like a book just by reading the first few pages. If those first few pages are full of typos, incomplete sentences or just not literate whatsoever, I think a reader should be able to leave a review stating why they would never buy it and shelve it however they wish. If the author is truly concerned about how their work is received, then maybe they should make sure it’s ready before attempting to sell it to the public. On that note, I find it very interesting that out of everything I have commented on, no one has yet to address that fact. Is it because you’re authors and you know I’m right?

        Like

      • If you’ve seen 1 starring of books by authors commenting on this site, then you also see I have not been one of them, nor will I be. I don’t have a ‘pack mentality’ and neither do a lot of reviewers I am ‘associated’ with. Btw, how do you know I associate with any of them? Have you been perusing my accounts? Should I be getting creeped out right about now? *side eyes*

        Like

      • In one of your early posts here, you said you had been ‘in contact with these so-called trolls’. Is that not the case? If it is, then do you agree with their behavior? Do you think it’s justified to gather en masse to rate an author’s books with one-star ratings – not for attacking a reviewer, but for expressing an opinion on a forum thread or a blog like this one, for example? Do you think they deserve to be the subject of slanderous hate blogs? This is the kind of behavior we are most concerned with. Authors are human beings – and readers – and have rights to express their thoughts in community forums without their work being falsely reviewed.

        Like

    • You said, “But, you can’t assume that every author is attacking readers just because they express opinions and concerns against the constant harassment they face on Goodreads and elsewhere.”
      I appreciate you automatically assuming I’m going to harass you if you use your own name. How open minded of you. I have never and will never harass anyone for speaking their mind. And just because you, personally, don’t know any authors who have attacked a reviewer for a negative review doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It’s very arrogant of you to assume otherwise. I have seen pm’s left on Goodreads to reviewers by authors calling them foul names for leaving a negative review. One author insisted the reviewer read their book a second time because they obviously didn’t understand it the first time. I’ve seen comments from authors making fun of what the reviewer looks like, then follow them to other websites and do the same thing. Also, I want to thank you for assuming that I follow my friends around and rate books negatively just because they do. I like to think I have a mind of my own and can make decisions for myself. I’ve been doing it for a long time now and have no intentions of stopping any time soon.

      Like

      • I really hope you do think for yourself. However, it seems those you are connecting with do not. Do you think it’s just coincidence that they have left one-star ratings in the last 24 hours on authors who have commented here? This proves my earlier point–those who speak out against this very kind of behavior are subjected to it. It doesn’t matter if these authors have never spoken an unkind word to a reviewer. They are being punished for simply expressing their opinions by those you are connected with.

        Like

      • I saw that, too, anonymous. All the usual culprits are carpet bombing these authors’ books and shelving them with derogatory names. This just proves that Ioniamartin’s post here on hate packs is true. They are showing their true colors while at the same time trying to deny that they are a hate pack. How ironic!

        Like

    • Yes. In particular I have instances of authors having left non-offensive comments in Goodreads forum threads, and the literary gang disagreed with what they had to say. One of these authors was even warned quite expressly that she would be subject to harassment for her post and then that person (and the literary gang) followed up on the threat that same day with their one-star ratings, adding them to bad Listopia lists, and so forth.

      This same pattern has repeated itself time and time again with authors who have never spoken badly to a reviewer. They were punished for expressing an opinion. This behavior is not funny, it is not valiant, and it in no way, shape, or form contributes anything but childish bullying to the literary community.

      No, I will not share personal information here. These authors have been hurt enough already. I forward relevant information to those in charge of moderation.

      Like

      • It’s also unsubstantiated without proof. No one asked for personal info, only to see the evidence of your claim; as it happened in a public forum nothing is being exposed that isn’t already available.

        No one’s saying that there aren’t fools and knuckleheads out there, but accusing everyone of operating under the same aegis and lumping them all together is equally irresponsible and something you don’t seem too concerned about.

        Like

      • But it’s interesting, isn’t it, John, that Ionia named no one in her post and yet you all showed up here to harass her for her point of view? No one named you, or Amanda Welling (who stalks STGRB and linked to this post on the BBA thread), or any of the other Amazon Fora Trolls/GR Bullies, and yet you all showed up here to fight against Ionia’s post on hate packs. That’s very telling.

        Guilty conscience, anyone?

        Like

      • Oh, this is rich. You’re quite the spaceship snoflake, aren’t you? Lessee now…

        1- that was a complete avoidance of the question.
        2- I’m already subscribed to this blog, same as lots of other people.
        3- so comments are only permissible when it supports your argument. Opposing views are tantamount to trolling in your learned opinion.

        Ok.

        Like

      • The patterns speak for themselves for the people taking part in the behavior. As for as lumping together, the literary gangs do that with authors when they harass them for commenting on a thread, or for supporting other authors who are affected. In some instances, they even harass those who are on the friends lists of the harassed authors. These authors, in most cases, have never treated a reviewer badly in any way. It takes only a few clicks on Goodreads to discover this for oneself.

        However, I will only share information collected with those who are in control of the websites. History would show that posting anything connected to a specific author will only draw more fire. The purpose of this article and the comments of those in support of the ideas expressed here are not to complain about honest reviews from honest reviewers, whether they are critical or not. This is what the literary gangs want everyone to believe. The purpose of Ionia’s article is to speak out against those who choose to collectively harass authors whose books they’ve never read.

        Authors are not out of line for expecting their work to be judged fairly – love it or hate it – by honest readers.

        Like

      • It still blows me away that they can’t see their behavior for what it really is, even when it’s staring them right in the face.

        Like

      • I see many topics which are destined to have opposing views, as in politics. However, I am not sure why this particular topic – expressing an opinion against cyber-bullies – is being so strongly opposed. Most people would agree that harassing anyone for whatever reason is wrong. In this case, we are speaking about authors, who have garnered a culture of hatred in recent years. Even if the authors affected on Goodreads have behaved badly, and the majority of them have not, is it right to collectively give their books one-star ratings when you haven’t read their books? Or to write slanderous articles about them on hate blogs? Or to send them ugly messages?

        Like Papi said, if an author – or reviewer – is doing something wrong, do the mature thing and report them. Don’t resort to harassment or you will be labeled a bully.

        Like

      • First- as has been pointed out, no one simply decides out of the blue to “attack” people they’ve never heard of before for no reason unless they’re insane. Much as you love to think that’s the case, it’s simply not true. Second- as has been pointed out, no one spouting this nonsense seems to be able to say what would simply constitute a a negative review opposed to an attack. Third- GR shelves simply reflect your interest in reading a book; it’s not a review of it. And I’ve always maintained that they should separate the two because it makes absolutely no sense to lump them together, which causes a lot of problems. So unless your position is that no one’s allowed to say they don’t want to read a book for whatever their reasons- and it certainly appears that way- you’ve still not made a valid argument yet. Fourth- the major complaint here is that a group of online friends shares info. So what? If you can spread the word about things you like- which no one gripes about- why can’t you do it with things you don’t? No one forces them to do anything and if the “hate group” is as widespread and influential as purported, there’d be a lot more 1-star shelving and reviewing going on. And as you’ll see below, there ain’t.

        Looking at the links provided the newest ratings of any type on the first book is dated three days before this blog was even posted, and most recent one before that was Dec 29. Nothing that occurred on Jan 10 and still no flood of one-stars. 55% liked it.

        Second link: Newest ratings of any type from Jan 5 and 7; again prior to the blog being written. 92% liked it.

        Regarding the first two books, any negative activity is decidedly a result of the authors’ behavior. See for yourselves. http://booklikes.com/tag/Amber+House%3A+Neverwas

        Third link: Dec 4 and OCTOBER 27!!! 72% liked it.

        Fourth link: Jan 4 and December 18. 83% liked it. Ms. Parker actually offers some good advice on marketing yourself, advice that’s kinda contradictory to the victim mentality bandied about here.

        http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/2014/01/dont-let-things-get-ugly-etiquette-for.html

        Though in all fairness, any 1-star shelving she’s received was probably in response to her supporting an almost unbelievable pity party this author held for herself. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I found this whole thing pretty fanciful.

        https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5499167-brave-new-bullying-goodreads-gangs-amazon-attacks-what-are-writers-to

        Fifth link: Jan 4, 5, 8, 9. 60% liked it.

        Sixth link: Just to break up the tedium, the latest 1-star rating was Dec 21. 68% liked it. Anything resembling “carpet bombing” was probably prompted by these two blogposts: http://karensbell.com/blog1/2013/11/18/amazon-reviewer-susanmx-abuses-the-process/

        http://karensbell.com/blog1/2013/12/10/reflections/

        Thus, in her own words, you’re not allowed to say you don’t like her book. I’m sensing a pattern here.

        And you fail to note how many similar people also rated them 5-stars as well how any authors posting comments here have been “targeted”, because as shown via the links none of them were. So you’re not only a liar and misrepresenting things, but badly as well.

        This is precisely what I mean about due diligence. In an internet you really do need to ask for proof, as the Lauren Howard incident unfortunately demonstrated. Always ask for the links/screens and go see for yourself. Then see how often (the same) people will keep attempting this sort of thing.

        Like

    • http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/760914/-and-the-horse-you-rode-in-on Linda Hilton admits she and her group give bad ratings to authors they dislike, and also give bad ratings to those who “support” the author in any way. Read it carefully. I have screenshots too.

      It’s right there in her post, John Green/aka DarkWriter67, as if you didn’t already know exactly how your literary hate group works – considering you’re part of it. Now where’s all your proof and screenshots that prove your group isn’t just a bunch of trolls? I’m waiting.

      Like

  14. Both Authors and Reviewers have important functions within the Literary world. Authors create the content, whether good or bad. Reviewers consume and rate the content, again, whether good or bad.

    Common courtesy does need to be the standard here. If Author “A” receives a negative review, that is honest and about the material, not a personal attack upon the Author or their family(I have seen this myself), then that Author should graciously accept the review, learn and grow from it. Assuming that Author behaves in a courteous manner, there should be no further repercussions other than a negative review of the created content.

    If the Author does not behave in a courteous manner, then said Author should be reported to the host site for terms of service violations. Not ganged up on by an angry torch and pitchfork carrying mob. Always lead by example, be the better person.

    If it is a review that consists solely of personal attacks, then such a review should be reported and removed by the host site, as it has nothing to do with the created content and is probably a violation of that host sites terms of service.

    There will always be a chosen few who decide that rules, courtesy, and decency do not apply to them, on both ends of the spectrum. Authors and Reviewers share a symbiotic relationship. Cannot have one without the other. Polite and courteous discourse should be encouraged in every way.

    Those are my 2 cents, take them for what they are worth.

    Like

    • Thank you, Papi. You said it well. Mutual respect is something we should be practicing on Goodreads and throughout society. I’m sorry to see so much finger-pointing and animosity here, though it is telling of the current attitude shown by the literary gang. Ionia didn’t mention any names, yet the people who are offended are taking it very personally. I don’t understand the offensive attitude unless they are taking part in the behavior we are speaking about.

      Sorry to the opposing parties, but I cannot share the personal information I have collected here, though I share it with moderators and staff as needed.

      Thank you Ionia for bringing more light to this situation. I hope this knowledge continues to manifest itself until these issues are rightfully addressed.

      Like

  15. Pingback: Ponder This… #13 | The Literary Syndicate

  16. Hi, Ionia,

    I understand your feelings and your frustration. It’s a pity that a few people misuse what should be an effective forum for discussion, assessment, and evaluation, but it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.

    I’m always torn on how to deal with these incidents of “carpet-bombing”. On the one hand, I have a right to stand up for myself, but I know that engaging with trolls only makes the situation worse. A well-versed, intelligent troll can deftly twist any comment into a new and inflammatory direction, creating a never-ending battle of words that only causes headaches and unnecessary stress. It’s unfortunate, but there it is.

    Reasonable individuals will look beyond the one-star ratings, realize the intent of the negative/abusive shelf-names, and pay attention to the written reviews that were composed with honesty and the intent to provide helpful feedback.

    Like

    • I thank you for that lovely comment. I think most people will look beyond the obvious misuse of these platforms. Perhaps these attacks may even be helpful I’m some way, gaining interest in the books of authors who have been targeted, if one must resort to searching for the silver lining.

      Like

    • Well said, Tori. I think the intent of Ionia’s article is to remind us that bad behavior is bad behavior is bad behavior. Readers and authors alike should handle things in a mature way. No one should be harassed. There is no justification for it.

      However, if it does happen, we must not resort to being bullies ourselves. We take whatever measures are available to us to report the incidents and advise others to do the same. We all need to stop and think before we react. Though they will publicly deny any wrongdoing and try to justify their behavior, bullies will keep being bullies unless we as honest readers and authors band together to find a solution.

      Like

  17. I see we have our fair share of trolls commenting. The article is well-written and fair. There is no doubt that these people are attacking authors. I was personally attacked although I have never responded to a negative review. My books received no less than 72 one star ratings over the course of a few days. Individual trolls had rated all the books on the same day. Many of the ratings could not even be flagged. Most of these trolls had a history of leaving only one star ratings – in one case nearly 3.000. Don’t tell me these ratings are honest or that the people leaving them are not ‘hunting in packs’. And I’m afraid I have to agree that the people who do this are demonstrating a mentality that suggests a very low intelligence level.
    We should all be trying to persuade Goodreads to remove these ratings and block the ‘reviewers’. This behaviour is iniquitous.

    Like

  18. If John’s belief that all the repeated one star ratings are simply to express lack of interest in reading a book, then Goodreads needs to address this issue because when someone adds a one-star rating, it lowers the overall rating of the book itself. How is this fair to the author and any potential readers who see a low average rating on a book that is relatively well-received by its readers?

    A book’s rating average should be a reflection on what actual readers thought of the book upon reviewing it. The rating system should not be used to express a disinterest. The shelving system is perfect for this.

    You said: “Anything resembling “carpet bombing” was probably prompted by these two blogposts:”

    Now you’ve contradicted yourself by saying the one-star ratings on these books are actually not about an interest in reading the book, but to retaliate against the author for expressing opinions on blogs or elsewhere. That’s the whole problem in a nutshell. These reviewers are actively seeking out authors whose opinions do not match their own. How is this not wrong? Why should an author’s book be rated poorly because they say something in a public forum that another person doesn’t agree with?

    Also, none of the links presented previously were meant to prove a correlation with this particular blog article. They are simply evidence of a pattern repeated by the same individuals.

    Like

    • –If John’s belief that all the repeated one star ratings are simply to express lack of interest in reading a book, then Goodreads needs to address this issue because when someone adds a one-star rating, it lowers the overall rating of the book itself. How is this fair to the author and any potential readers who see a low average rating on a book that is relatively well-received by its readers?–

      I never said it was fair, and I already stated that it doesn’t make sense I agree it should be changed. I’ve always believed that’s been one of the root causes of these kinds of issues.

      –A book’s rating average should be a reflection on what actual readers thought of the book upon reviewing it. The rating system should not be used to express a disinterest. The shelving system is perfect for this.–

      Again, we agree on this.

      –You said: “Anything resembling “carpet bombing” was probably prompted by these two blogposts:”

      Now you’ve contradicted yourself by saying the one-star ratings on these books are actually not about an interest in reading the book, but to retaliate against the author for expressing opinions on blogs or elsewhere. That’s the whole problem in a nutshell. These reviewers are actively seeking out authors whose opinions do not match their own. How is this not wrong? Why should an author’s book be rated poorly because they say something in a public forum that another person doesn’t agree with?–

      How is it a contradiction? It’s an individual decision on whether or not to read any author’s works for any reason under the sun; how’s that not their- and your- right to do so? Is anyone obligated to buy Rush Limbaugh’s or Michelle Obama’s books simply because they exist? Or that Orson Scott Card is a notorious homophobe and Marion Zimmer Bradley had been long suspected of abetting her husband’s pedophilia- explain how I, you or anyone is obligated to support them in spite of this. Because if we’re not, what’s your point? And agreed with or not, at least reasons were provided with the links I gave.

      –Also, none of the links presented previously were meant to prove a correlation with this particular blog article. They are simply evidence of a pattern repeated by the same individuals.–

      That wasn’t the question. An accusation was made that several writers posting comments here were carpet-bombed with 1-star ratings that same day simply for supporting this blogpost. Proof was asked for and none provided.

      Like

  19. The right to read or not to read is absolutely the right of every individual. No one’s arguing that. The problem lies in accompanying the decision not to read with a low rating. Add to this an intention to punish or get back at an author for something, and the problem grows exponentially beyond anything book related.

    There is one author here I found to have had books rated with one stars that corresponded with this blog article. He/she may want to step forward here and confirm that, if they are comfortable doing so.

    Like

  20. It is a shame that this group of people finds no harm in what they do. The answer to ‘bullying’ is not to become a ‘bully’. Even if some of these authors were justified in receiving negative reviews from the people the author personally offended, these authors should not receive the backlash of 10…30…or up to a 100 people. The ‘punishment’ does not fit the ‘crime’.

    I hope that eventually this group of people do understand that they are causing more harm than good and disband. Thank you, Iionia, for not closing the comments of this post, even after certain people showed up protesting it.

    Like

  21. Pingback: Some tips for new authors | When I Became an Author

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s