Monday, March 26, 2012

Is this stuff contagious?

Something awful is spreading around the internet. It's not a zombie virus, but it also seems to attack the brain. I'm talking about the way authors are treated.

It seems that people are supposed to be able to say anything they like and never have an author respond. Reviewers are getting nastier by the second. And I'm not just talking about how they treat me. This is an epidemic.

Everywhere you go (where books are reviewed) someone is getting flamed. Whatever happened to professionalism? Or even just courtesy for someone else's feelings?

I am sick to death of people saying that an author should have a thick skin. Don't give me that crap! People behave horribly and I'm supposed to just ignore it?

Sure, if someone doesn't like an element of the book, I can brush that off. One random person will always feel differently than the majority. That is normal.

I don't know what's up with people attacking authors these days. I wrote to a reviewer (for the first time EVER in my life) to say that I found her words hurtful. I was polite and professional. I pointed out why I felt that way and I did this PRIVATELY not on her blog. I felt I had the right to express my opinion.

I got back the most horrible flaming email. Apparently, having an opinion these days is interpreted as starting a fight.

It's enough to make me want to get out of the business. This is sickening. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Some reviewers feel slighted if the author doesn't respond to their review. Others are upset to know the author read it, even if the review was great.

No matter who you are or what you write, someone will always hate it. To make matters worse, anyone with internet access can say and do any damn thing they want. There is also an entire generation out there that manners do not apply to, or so it seems. I don't even think they've heard the word.

It's very discouraging to someone who tries to take the feelings of others into consideration.

Sure, this is my dream ... but I wonder more and more if this overly drama queen inhabited industry is one I want to stay in.

I'm a writer, so I write. It's who I am. What the hell am I supposed to do? I sometimes want to quit, but I don't know how.

6 comments:

Alexx Momcat said...

I am so sorry you were treated so badly. I know as a reviewer I would never treat an author badly. Even if I do not like the book. Not all of us are like that.

MOM CAT

Tracey H. Kitts said...

Thank you, Alexx. Out of the dozens of reviewers I've met, only a handful are nice. They know how to express something they didn't enjoy without being rude. THAT is a true professional.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this sucks terribly. And, unfortunately, the internet has opened a wide door to a new kind of backstabbing where people who do it feel like they have the right to say things they would never normally say to someone else in person as they will never come face to face to the ones they flame. As an author, this is the reason why I very seldom (I would say never, but I'm human) read any reviews about my books. Maybe this is not the right way to go about it, but it is my coping mechanism, my "thick skin." And why do we have to have a "thick skin?" Are writers any different from other living, breathing human beings? We have feelings as well, and do not deserve to be ripped a new one merely for the fact that we are authors. Good luck. Hope things get better for you, but people who say things like this are really not worth your time and energy.

Tracey H. Kitts said...

You're right. They aren't worth the effort. But as you said, I'm human. I understand what you're saying completely. Not reading reviews is also how I cope.

I found this review by accident looking for something else. Normally, unless the reviewer (or someone else) sends me a link, I don't read it.

This is difficult too when I go to Amazon to check my sales ranking. I can't help but see those. Ugh. It's depressing.

You are absolutely right about the "thick skin." Why should we have to take more crap than anyone else in any other industry?

That's like an actress getting called fat and people saying, "Well, that's what you get for being fat in public. That was your choice."

That's horrible!

Jaidis said...

I am both an author and a reviewer. As a reviewer, I go out of my way to be nice to authors even if I don't like the book because even though there may be something I disliked about it, someone else might enjoy it.

As an author, I am noticing a growing trend of authors treating other authors badly. Just yesterday I watched an event unfold where authors criticized another author because their book had 'to many good reviews' and said they would refuse to read it because all of the reviews just had to be from family. In this case I know all of the reviews aren't from family because I was one of the reviewers and I've never met the author.

As writers we should support each other because we are all trying to achieve the same goal: to create a story that is enjoyed by readers.

As reviewers, we should support authors even if we dislike something about their work because it takes time and effort to not only write a story but get it ready for purchase.

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with a reviewer. Try to keep your chin up and remember the positive things about why you enjoy being an author and don't let the bad eggs spoil it for you :)

David said...

Too often reviewers don't review the book but review the author. It's a terrible trend that needs to stop. It's also true that there has been a lot of author against author bashing as of late. I don't get it. Perhaps, as another commenter suggests, it's a case of the reviewer feeling "safe" behind his/her computer. Too often what is written in a review are things the reviewer would never say to an author's face. It's become a case not of "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" but one of "if you won't say it to my face don't write it."