Today, I’m going to rant about generalizations and I’m going to use generalizations to do it. So, there! If you’re not in the mood for ranting, kindly click the x at the top right of your screen.
There’s a hot topic in the book blogging world that irks me as much as the sound of a female cat in heat. (This sound is more persuasive of a reason to have a cat spayed than the sight of a half dozen kittens destroying your house.) Anyway, I’m talking about the WAR BETWEEN BLOGGERS AND AUTHORS. It’s rumored to be rampant on Goodreads, but really it’s just about everywhere in cyberspace where readers and authors connect.
It is my opinion that the majority of the arguments stem from unneeded generalizations. The problem with generalizations is that they lead to more generalizations.
If I get attacked by one author and blame authors in general, then my statement offends authors that the offense was not directed at. If one of these authors goes off on bloggers in general being rude and attacking authors, that author’s statement will offend all bloggers. Then the original blogger, whose generalization blamed all authors, now has additional reason to blame authors. And the circle continues.
My point is that both bloggers and authors need to not generalize their accusations. Name specific people so you only offend the people you WANT to offend.
If you don’t have the balls to say a specific person’s name, then keep your ranting off the internet.
What you say:
Some authors are angry bitches.
Who is offended:
Anyone who has ever written a book, considered written a book, or has a friend that has written a book.
What you should say:
Author Jane Poopypants is an angry bitch.
Who is offended:
Author Jane Poopypants.
Newsflash! There isn’t a war. Most of the authors and bloggers are not involved in the drama. Many of us go months or even years blogging without drama. And vice versa with authors writing and publishing without issues from their readers.
It reminds me of my husband getting all paranoid about the outbreak of killer albino spiders in Florida’s public toilets. First, we don’t live in Florida. Second, just because someone says on Facebook that there are killer albino spiders in Florida, doesn’t mean there are. He tried convincing me about the Giant Killer Wasps in Asia last week. There was even a news broadcast. /facepalm.
So, just because there is an article on Huffington Post, Salon, or one of your friends says that some author went psycho on her, does not mean that there is a full-fledge war between bloggers and authors. It’s the generalization that makes the problem seem way more widespread than it is.
There is no war between bloggers and authors.
It is X, Y, and Z Bloggers vs A, B, C Authors.
I love all authors, except one. You can find out why I don’t like him HERE. All other authors have not given me one damn reason to dislike them.
My name is Lizzy and I’m not part of the author vs blogger battle. I wish that other bloggers and authors would not use my negative incident with the author as fuel for this battle either. There’s a chance that this particular author has had otherwise fantastic relationships with other bloggers and readers.
**My reluctance to name the author is only because I don’t want Google to think that this is a negative article about this particular author. You can find out the author’s name and everyone that transpired between us by clicking on this link.**Read More
Feature and Follow #11
For this meme, you can follow me however you’d like. Whatever makes you come back a second time! Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to follow you back.
Share something you’ve learned about book blogging or just blogging in general in the last month.
Don’t get too attached.
- to the authors whose books you review
- to the reviews you write
- to social media and blogging communities
- to your blog
- to the drama on Goodreads/Amazon
To the authors whose books your review: The more friendly you are with authors, the harder it will be to remain non-bias in your reviews. Are you really saying that the book was the best thing since Harry Potter or do you just not want to hurt that nice author’s feelings? Don’t jeopardize your integrity because you’re afraid of feelings getting hurt. If you think you’re too close to an author to write a review of a book objectively, then don’t do it. If you read a book by an author you like, but you don’t like it, there are ONLY two good options. 1) Don’t write the review. 2) Write the damn one-star review.
There are times where I read a book that someone else recommends and I’m like “WTF kind of medication was she on when reading this? IS THIS EVEN ENGLISH?” Firstly, if there are grammar issues…there’s no way you can rate the book 5 stars. I don’t care if it’s your sister. If people can’t trust your reviews to be accurate, then no one will want to read your reviews.
To the reviews you write: There will come times where people will think your opinion is crap. It may be the author. It might be other reviewers. It might be some random hobo who just happened to be browsing Amazon. Your review will be criticised and dissected. You could potentially look and/or feel like an idiot when you read the comments on your review. The best thing for you to do is DISTANCE yourself from responding until you can answer without being emotionally estranged.
- Figure out if there are errors in your review or if some moron is trolling you.
- If you’re not wrong, find evidence in the book to support your review.
- If you’re wrong, fix it!
If you approach the situation logically and not emotionally, then you will come off as the better person. Crying on twitter or accusing the other person of harassment only makes you look like you’re attention-seeking and looking for drama. Let SOMEONE ELSE point out the obvious.
To the events unfolding on social media: Don’t try to answer every tweet or like every Facebook status that pops up in your feed. It’s okay to have a life outside of the internet. I used to always feel guilty that I wasn’t participating enough in the community. But, it’s okay to miss out on #authorevents on Twitter. It’s okay to not respond to that email within five minutes. It’s okay if you don’t retweet every single post on Tribbr. It’s okay to have a life outside of blogging.
To your blog: You have my permission to not post every day. You know what? How about tomorrow we both take the day off from blogging and go yard-sailing. We can go hunt for some bargain books and bookshelves. Sound good? Don’t worry, there is no blogging police that will email publishers and say, “Don’t give so-and-so this ARC because she didn’t post on last Thursday. There were exactly 26 hours between posts.”
To the drama on Goodreads and Amazon: There is a war between authors/reviewers. And you know what? I don’t give a flying fuck. It’s a handful of people on both sides who can’t separate the internet from real life. It doesn’t really matter if someone did call you a wet diaper on Goodreads. If they do it to your face, well, then I have a fresh, wet, stinky diaper you can slug them with.
So, why is it so important not to get too attached?
Because the reason YOU started a book review blog was because you love BOOKS. Don’t let the hobby ruin your passion for books.Read More
Today is release day for J.L. Bryan’s Nomad! Don’t forget to pick up your copy after reading his hilarious take on Time Travel. Also, you can check out my reviews of his Jenny Pox series HERE.
Time Travel, Paradoxes, and Kim Kardashian
by J. L. Bryan
How does time travel work? This is the question a writer must consider before creating a time-travel story—not so much in the sense of how an actual time machine would operate, but how cause and effect can (or can’t) be altered through time travel. Philosophers, physicists, and science-fiction writers have put forth a number of ideas, from the idea that history cannot be changed to the idea that time travel can create a paradox that destroys the universe.
We’ll explore a few of the major ideas using a fictional character we’ll call Maggie. Maggie is a somewhat unstable young woman with a time machine, and she can’t stand Kim Kardashian. She’s so sick of hearing about Kim Kardashian that she decides to travel back in time and murder Kim at a young age, so that Kim Kardashian never becomes famous and never appears on television or in the tabloids. This, Maggie hopes, will create a blissful, Kim-Kardashian-free world.
Maggie’s mission could have a number of different results, based on different theories of time travel:
1.Novikov self-consistency principle. This is a fun term because it sounds so serious and Russian. This idea states that the timeline can never be changed. If time travelers from the future are going to travel into the past, then their actions have already been incorporated into the history we know. The film 12 Monkeys follows this idea—Bruce Willis can travel into the past and gather information, but he can’t change a thing, because all his actions as a time traveler (including his own death) have already been incorporated into existing history.
In this case, our murderous friend Maggie would travel into the past, but she could not change anything. Nothing will stop the relentless rise of the Kardashians, because every event in history is set in stone forever.
2. “Many-worlds” Hypothesis. Drawing on quantum physics, this idea is that a huge, perhaps infinite, number of alternate universes already exist. In another universe, you might work a different job, live in a different town, have a different spouse or different children, etc. In this case, changing history through time travel is basically ineffective, because it simply leads to another alternate universe, while your own original timeline is not altered.
Maggie could travel back and complete her mission, but it would merely spawn one more alternate universe among countless universes. Upon returning to her own time and place, Maggie would discover, to her great frustration, that nothing had changed, unless she can also travel into the alternate universe that resulted from her actions.
3.Apocalyptic Paradox. This is the idea, frequently referenced in the Back to the Future movies, that a paradox can unravel the space-time continuum, destroying the entire universe. At the very least, Marty McFly interfering with his parents in high school causes Marty and his siblings to be slowly erased from the world.
In this example, Maggie might go back and kill Kim Kardashian before she ever becomes famous. However, this removes Maggie’s entire motive for traveling in time. In the new version of history, Maggie has never heard of Kim Kardashian, and therefore has no motive for traveling back in time to kill her. As a result, Maggie never makes that time-travel journey. As a result, Kim Kardashian lives and becomes famous, which motivates Maggie to get into a time machine and kill her…an impossible loop of contradictory events is created that causes a system-wide crash across the universe. As all of existence goes up in smoke, Maggie thinks, at least I finally got rid of those annoying Kardashians.
These are the three major approaches to how time travel works. For my new time-travel dystopian novel Nomad, I used none of them.
Many thanks to Liz for hosting me on her blog for Nomad’s release today! You can enter to win an ebook of Nomad from Liz! The ebook is just $2.99 for the launch, but its regular price will be $3.99 (Retailer links at my website).
They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.
By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in the metro Atlanta sprawl with his wife Christina, where he spends most of his day serving the toddler and animal community inside his house. He is the author of the Paranormals series and the Songs of Magic series. His book Jenny Pox is currently free on Kindle, Nook, Apple, Sony, Kobo, and Smashwords!
I’ve been fascinated by a list on Goodreads called Badly Behaving Authors, ever since discovering it after my own trouble with an author. It currently has 610 books shelved on it and warns readers to avoid other books by these authors. But what did these authors do to deserve their place on the list. Sometimes it’s hard to find out. I’ve picked a couple authors off the list at random and tried to dig up exactly what their crime was and post the evidence for it.
Do they deserve the BBA title? Does the evidence convince to you not to read their books? Let me know in the comments!
#2 The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy, #1) by M. R. Mathis
74 people voted him as a BBA
Crime: M. R. Mathis got upset at Fantasy Fiction for moving his posts into small press/self published section of their forum.
#92 Grounding Quinn (Grounding Quinn, #1) by Steph Campbell
5 people voted her as a BBA
Crime: Supported a BBA (Jaime McGuire) on Twitter.
Evidence: Screenshot of a tweet on March 13, 2012
#604 Fables of the Reconstruction by Hunter Jones
1 person voted her as a BBA
Crime: I’m not sure if the person is upset the author used a REM song for the title or if the person is accusing the author of abusing Goodreads listopias.
Evidence: Goodreads DNR shelf on January 22, 2013
#208 Wings (Wings, #1) by Aprilynne Pike
2 people voted her as a BBA.
Crime: Tweeted her dislike about snarky reviews.
#116 Choices-The Darker Years by Eve Thomas
4 people voted her as a BBA
Crime: This one I witnessed unfold (the start at least). Eve Thomas spammed several GR groups and then spammed an apology through blogs and comments. And then more things happened.
Out of these five, Eve Thomas and M. R. Mathis were the only two where I could find a lot of links to explain what happened. Due to account deletions and/or links being out of date, it was difficult to find the source for the others. Also, if there are any authors on the list that you want to know what they did to “earn” a spot on the BBA list, please comment below and I’ll try to figure it out.
Personally, I think based on cover (let’s face it – most of these look self-published) and genre alone, I’d only consider reading Aprilynne Pike’s book. I’m planning on meeting her and several other authors on July 29th for a book signing…so I probably will end up buying a book of hers. The others, well, even without the controversy, I’m not interested in the books.Read More
I have written and rewritten this post countless times. I’m still not completely happy with this post, but I can’t grant my conscience any peace until I’ve said something on this situation. Goodreads is a war zone. I’ve been watching the drama on Goodreads rather intimately since my incident with that author nearly two months ago.
It was not a fun experience for me. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to piss on this author’s book today because I need some more fucking page views.” The truth was there were only 14 reviews in a 60 stop tour. Forgive me for saying 1 or 2. I didn’t LITERALLY mean one or two. But, it was my mistake for accompany that information with the review. It didn’t pertain to the book itself. I really feel guilty that it was my mistake that prompted the author to attack me. Theoretically, if I didn’t make a mistake, the whole incident never would have happened.
The tiffs between authors and reviewers is an everyday occurrence. But who is the bully in each situation isn’t as black and white as the participants want you to believe. It’s understandable if you stand up for your friends when one of them is attacked. That’s what friends are for. What’s not okay is for you and your friends to belittle and bully the other person until they never want to step foot on Goodreads again. Too many times what was originally said is blown out of proportion and what ends up happening is nothing short of childish.
It might be that many of these incidents occur because the reviewer does go slightly off topic and includes information that isn’t limited to the content of the book. It might not be a stretch to say that an author sucks at writing if several of their books have been sub-par, however, including what an author does outside of their books doesn’t have a place in a book review.
I wish that reviews would follow these two rules:
- Don’t post a review unless you read part or all of the book – Sample counts.
- Review the book and not the author – Tell me why the book sucks, not why the author sucks.
Shelving a book you’ve never read
I don’t use shelve books on my do-not-read list if the author behaves badly, but I’m not against it. I completely know why they do it. If I know that an author has gone after a reviewer previously I am much less likely to read/review the author’s books. I’m not on some moral mission to read only books by authors with good manners. Fact is that I don’t want to end up in the hot seat again because another author didn’t like what I wrote in a review. I’m not shifting the blame to the reviewer, but I really think that if WE were more proactive in not inciting drama that there would be less of it. Not only do some reviewers go outside of what should be in a book review, but some members on Goodreads actively LOOK for drama. (Screenshot taken from one of the comments on my review.)
There is an entire crew of people that search out and bait naive members of Goodreads. I don’t want to list people and I don’t need to. If you compare the comment logs of these incidents and you will see the same half dozen or so individuals making everything harder on the rest of us.
These people are trolls.
They have no purpose other than to make the rest of us fucking miserable. There will still be some drama between authors and reviewers without these trolls, but I DOUBT that it would be as severe as it is now. And it’s dangerous for bystanders too. Once you show any inclination that you think of one side favorably, you will be publicly called out and every post you make will be trolled. There is shady things going on with both sides, which is why I’ve tried to stay out of it. I’ve sent my <3 through PMs, but supporting someone that is on the current shitlist will only get YOU on the shitlist.
The Master List – Authors Behaving Badly
Something else that I’ve been pondering. How can authors that have behaved badly earn a second change? How can these people who we have blacklisted and humiliated clear their name? At the moment Goodreads works just like a sex offender list. Once an author is on that master list, there is no way for that author to step foot on that site without the label following their every post.
I think that there should be some path for retribution. Granted, there are some ‘special snowflakes’ that will be repeat offenders, but what about those that have learned from their mistakes. The reviewers shun these authors and then they’re surprised when these authors turn to the one place that offers them support and direction – STGRB. Whether or not they give rejected authors good advice, well…you can decide that for yourself.
I think people forget that authors are human beings too. We all make mistakes. What’s important is that it’s not repeated.
New Reviewers – They don’t understand that some authors care only about sales. Some authors will do ANYTHING to have only positive opinions of their book(s) available.
New Authors – They don’t understand that everything they say will be taken out of context and perceived in the worst way possible. They don’t realize that their Twitter and Facebook pages are opened to the public and therefore everything said on these sites will be screen-shot and forever associated with them.
Indie Writers – It’s implied that if an author did something wrong they were self-published. The well-known incident involving Wendy Darling and the author of The Selection was traditionally published. The author I had an incident with was from a small press publishing company. There are self-published authors that do behave badly, but avoiding books by self-published authors won’t guarantee that you will escape the drama. It’s like avoiding pregnancy. The only way to guarantee you won’t get pregnant is to not have sex. The only way to guarantee that you won’t get bullied over a review is to not write reviews.
I don’t know how to end this post anymore than I knew how to begin it. I apologize if it sounded like preaching. It’s something that I felt needed to be said. Feel free to disagree or agree with my opinions in the comments below.Read More