chibi neko's 'bad literature bingo' review of 'fifty shades of grey;' mybookgoggles.blogspot.com
The world of books, specifically the world of “women’s” books, is roiling with scandal and outrage.
First, there was a book-review site called “ChickLitGirls.” It sent emails to small and self-publishers who wanted their boks reviewed on the site. It claimed it had become overwhelmed by such requests; but that publishers could ensure not only a review but a positive one for one small payment of $95.
The site quickly disappeared once authors and bloggers started complaining about its practices, only to get emails from the site’s operators describing the criticism as “harassment and threat” and threatening to sue.
Along with the scandal concerning positive reviews, there’s also one concerning negative reviews.
Specifically, about reader-submitted reviews posted to the influential social media site Goodreads.
Some people love to post nasty, snarky reviews. (And, let’s face it, the explosion in self-published ebooks means lots of easy pickings for any would-be online insult comic.)
But some of these posts cross or at least stretch the line between critiquing the work and defaming the author.
And, as you might expect, a lot of self-e-published authors are sensitive souls, unused to having their work dissected and pilloried on the public stage.
Thus, there’s now a site called Stop the GR Bullies. Its express purpose: to expose and vilify Goodreads contributors who get too nasty.
Of course, “too nasty” is a matter of personal judgment.
At least one book blogger, using the name “Robin Reader,” believes Stop the GR Bullies is itself bullying toward Goodreads users who’d simply posted negative but not “bullying” reviews:
Something is very wrong with us, and by “us” I mean the online community of (largely) women authors and readers. What is wrong is the “outing,” threatening, shaming, and silencing of readers who are perceived to be too critical of or hostile to authors. And for those in this online community who believe that this is not their concern or their harm, I would ask them to think again.
Fellow book-blogger Foz Meadows similarly asserts:
…Simply disliking a book, no matter how publicly or how snarkily, is not the same as bullying. To say that getting a handful of mean reviews is even in the same ballpark as dealing with an ongoing campaign of personal abuse is insulting to everyone involved.
In completely non-related book news:
- Two industry groups now call e-books “the dominant single format” in adult fiction sales.
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is just soooo last year. Now, the hip shtick is to rewrite classic novels by, er, inserting explicit sex scenes.