The very idea of pondering this question feels wrong.
I didn’t mean to take part of this— and I don’t think I am by simply stating where I’m standing in regard of this clusterfuck— but I just wanted to say a few words about what happened on Goodreads this past week end.
What the reviewer reports in her review is simply mind boggling. It gaves me the chills. (And I read all the comments, I read all about the amazon reviews, the twitter multiple accounts, the pen names…)
If you are a reviewer on Goodreads, you probably heard of this… If you avoid Goodreads, this will sound like old news to you. It was hard to miss it anyway, and I tend to stay away from this kind of drama, you all heard about the Hale gate a few months back, even that I put aside… My focus purely intent on reading and sometimes reviewing. (And ogling men on Pinterest, but what’s new?)
The Author wrote an open letter, trying to explain her takes on all this.
So I guess I needed my own open letter as well.
“If you are an author, that you went so far as to publish your work for all to see, you must be prepared for some persons to not like it. You are very proud of your “baby”, you worked hard for it and maybe even think it’s worth all prizes. That’s okay. That is your opinion. You value your work, and that’s your right.
But what would you do if I was to say your work is not to my taste? Or that your work is not good as “X”. Or simply that I don’t like your work? Don’t care for it?
Because, that is my right as well, don’t you agree?
You probably don’t like certain things I’m sure I love. But I won’t take offense. To each their own.
I realize reading and hearing your work isn’t good enough for some must be hard. It must be even harder not to strike back. Keep in mind that some readers are not ALL readers.
But that is not how you act. You act as if me not liking your work is an insult. You act as if the idea me being offended by your work is not my right. More over, you say that me not liking the idea of your work is an infringement of your freedom of expression.
You’re going so far as to say that not liking the very idea of your work is an act of CENSORSHIP.
You’re even daring to compare the result of your mishap to the tragedy that took place in January to the guys of Charlie Hebdo.
But you say you are hurt and that you are working on your behavior in regard to people’s acceptance of your work.
And I want to believe you.
But then you also say that by rejecting your book because of its theme/blurb, I’m not worth anymore than those who went against the “JeSuisCharlie” support campain. You say I’m in the same team as terrorism and censorship supporters.
You accuse people reviewing books under a certain amount of stars of being bullies.
I do rate the books accordingly to what I felt, I guess that makes me a bully. When I feel a lot I rate high, when I feel nothing I rate low.
You take every word against your work as a personal attack to your person.
Why would you be so intent to shovel it down everyone’s throat but not wanting any bad feedback about it? And why would you force a specific someone to read it when you OBVIOUSLY know of this person tastes, and that most likely your work won’t receive a glowing review?
You went so far as to create a new pen name to propose your work to someone you knew didn’t like it.
You accuse this person of bullying your work. But how could this person was bullying YOU when it wasn’t YOU that submitted that specific work?
I don’t particularly care for either side, you author, or you, reviewer. I’m reacting to this as a reader. It makes me uncomfortable and maybe even a bit scared to attempt a read of your work, Author. What if I don’t like it? What if I give it a bad review? What if I say something you don’t like? Would you write a book about it? Will that make me a bully?
I hope not. But I won’t risk it. I like my reading time too much to spent half of my time wondering if you’ll try to get back at me because I didn’t like it. Do you really think a bad review will do that much damage to your work reputation? What about your behavior?
Before choosing my next read, I am systematically checking the good and the bad reviews. That is exactly what helps me narrowing down my choice. As a reader, I need the good AND the bad to help me pick my next read.
It has been discussed many times, but I do believe we can review everything, the good and the bad experiences. It applies to any form of businesses, really.
I am a reader/reviewer/customer, it should be my right to say what I liked, or what I didn’t and why. Don’t you think?”
I am most certainly not taking any side. I am staking a claim on behalf of reviewers and readers. We can read what we want, we can like it or not, and we certainly can have our say about it.
Monday drama, that’d be all!