Yes, that’s right – another badly behaving author. Before I go further, if you want the gory details, hop off and read this post at the Cabin Goddess. Just don’t follow links forever and forget to come back. For the tl;dr crowd, the twitter version is: reviewer writes one star review, author goes ballistic and threatens a lawsuit.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. It won’t be the last. I could regurgitate the normal talking points (author never comes out looking good, a review is only one person’s opinion, raising a stink only draws more attention, this isn’t just indies), but you’ve heard it all before and most (hopefully all) of you know better than to react this way to a bad review. However, in reading through the account linked above a couple things jumped out at me that were unique, at least in my experience. I thought they might be worth discussing for the potential lessons to be learned.
I’ll start with a disclaimer that I don’t know either party. The blogger, Kriss Morton aka Cabin Goddess, is someone I was aware of previously. I’ve visited her blog a few times and might have exchanged an email or two with her in connection with her book publicity business. The author of the book in question isn’t someone I’d heard of before now. I’ve talked to neither, basing my thoughts and opinions on what each have written on their respective websites. Also, I’m not a lawyer and my legal opinions are just that, opinions from a layperson who likes to pretend he knows what he’s talking about on the Internet.
One of the things that jumped out at me when reading Kriss’ account as well as the post the author wrote on her own site is that sharing on social media magnified the effects. In this instance Kriss is in a Triberr tribe that retweeted her tweet. (For those who don’t understand Triberrr, here’s an excellent primer from Carol Wyer.) Triberr worked as designed, Kriss got the word out about this review, just as it could and I assume does happen with all her posts. The author saw these retweets and felt like she was being ganged up on and had been singled out. She even spins a nice conspiracy theory on her site.
I see two or three potential lessons here. The first is that Triberr has a lot of potential to get more eyeballs on your tweets. But there might also be a lesson to be learned about the downside. It’s seems obvious that you wouldn’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’re auto-tweeting or sharing anything else automatically unless you’re confident that you won’t be pointing your followers to content you’d have a problem with. However, even then there is a potential to get drug unwillingly into someone else’s drama as those in Kriss’ tribe discovered. Last, if you’re upset (can I say “pissed off” at IU?), take time to cool off before doing anything. If you feel you’ve been wronged, lashing out in anger (my interpretation of the author’s reaction) is almost never going to get the optimal results no matter who is in the right.
The other thing I found interesting was the issue of copyright violation. From what Kriss says in her post and what the author says in hers, it appears the author’s threat of a lawsuit was premised on the claim that displaying her book cover and an author photo as part of the review was a copyright violation. If you look at some of Kriss’ other reviews you’ll see that they’re visually pleasing with plenty of visual context rather than a wall of text. They always feature the book cover and an author picture. Some of them also feature an excerpt from the book being reviewed. It appears those with excerpts (and some without) are from blog tour stops. Blog tour operators usually provide book covers, author photos, and sometimes excerpts for the blogger to use as they please. Implicit in that is permission to use these on your blog.
However, it appears Kriss purchased this book herself and as far as I can tell had no connection or communication with the book’s author prior to publishing the review. Even so, I think where the book’s cover is concerned, the author would have a hard time making her case of copyright infringement. I don’t know, but suspect, Amazon’s terms of service for KDP gives Amazon and its affiliates permission to use the book cover. Even if they don’t explicitly do so, I’d be amazed if using the cover in a review didn’t fall under the fair use exceptions to copyright. Use of the author photo is another matter. That is conceivably a copyright violation. Had the author submitted the book to Kriss for review there might be an argument (albeit, a shaky one) that permission to use the picture was implied (if every other review uses an author picture, why would an author think they’d be different), but even that doesn’t seem to be the case in this situation.
The lesson to be learned here is twofold. First, whenever using content that didn’t originate with you, consider issues of copyright. Is it public domain or otherwise open for use by anyone? If not, do you have permission to use it, either explicit or implied? Last, if you’re starting a blog with plans to have a consistent look and feel to each post, will what you’re planning work for every situation as it pertains to copyrighted materials?
In these situations I’m almost always going to be biased towards the reviewer’s point of view. I’m curious if any of you, especially authors, think I’m missing anything.
141 thoughts on “Another Badly Behaving Author”
Oh yawn, yawn, yawn! Hate to sound cliched, but authors, please. If you can’t stand the heat…
I’m fed up with the arrogance of some authors, who expect their books to be liked by everyone. In fact, some think they SHOULD be liked by everyone and beware anyone who doesn’t. I’ve been at the wrong end of the shotgun before now, and it’s tedious. It’s childish. It’s foolish. Respect isn’t automatic, it’s earned. So, please, authors, hope that a lot of people will adore your book and just pay a little attention to those who don’t.
As always, Al, excellent post.
Thanks, Cathy. It seems like I’ll go a long time without hearing about one of these and then there will be several. I think it is a learning process for new authors.
It’s so true not everyone will like a book. It’s understandable. One other thing to take in account is that not many people can read. Some don’t understand what they read either. I was one of those children with a learning disability that kept me from understanding things. I know how that feels. It takes a long time to learn how to read and understand sentences. Some people criticize when people make mistakes and right away degrade them for their mistake. Life is not fair, but trying to live it with dignity is difficult in this day in age when everything has to be perfect. This is why I don’t listen to any reviews anymore. It doesn’t enhance my life and I don’t need it to enhance my career or else I wouldn’t get a job due to bad reviews. I use the internet as entertainment purposes only. I write for the joy of it not to become the most famous writer there is. Any comments about my work don’t mean anything to me. People enjoy my work and that’s great. That’s all that matters.
I side with Cathy. In a review I’ve been accused to spread a new religion and promoting so to find followers. Really?
Reviews online are OPINIONS, not critiques from a panelists of accredited judges at a writing contest (and even those…)
When something obnoxious, foolish, ridicule, and even totally wrong is written by anyone about your novel SMILE, FORGET, and MOVE ON. You are the writer, not the book (which, some readers forget…)
Thanks for the comment, Massimo. You’re right, reviews are opinions. When your book has any content or themes that are potentially controversial (religion and politics are the two obvious ones) then some people are going to misinterpret your intent while others might understand, but will vehemently disagree. Backlash can be expected. In fact, I’d say that if you intend to make a point in these areas and don’t ruffle any feathers that the point wasn’t made. 🙂
Bi Al: Here is an odd duck. A reviewer on one of my titles wrote: I hate southerners. One star! So funny. I am a Southerner born and bred. I write books filled with Southerners. I have always thought I write romance novels. I put my novels on Amazon in romance–pure romance readers do not like my books. I moved them to LitFic Humor and those readers are writing the four and five star reviews. Go figure. I agree that reviews belong to the reviewer. I occasionally meet an author with an incredibly inflated sense of of self. One recently complained that a reviewer wasn’t ‘worthy’. Huh? I shot the sucker with my snake gun and he still kept on yakking. So I’ve added another weapon to my arsenal: A big ol’ bucket of Texas Liquid Fertilizer. It disintegrates tongues like you would not believe. IMO, We need to support a universal Reviewer Appreciation Day.
Thanks, Jackie. That’s an interesting story. Are you talking about all your novels or just some of them? (The one I read was short on Southerners, so it would seem to apply to it.) This just goes to show that sometimes reaching the best readers for your book isn’t by taking the obvious route. 🙂
Yep, the book was short on Southerners.
But the guy had been stationed in Pensacola–that was as far South as I could get him. But hey! I was in the South when I wrote the thing. LOL.
Hey, Southern girl! I need to get me one of those snake guns so I can shoot those ignorant people who make those ignorant remarks. I once got a bad review based partly on the reader not liking the pizza parlor I mentioned. Yep…I know just how you feel. LOL.
I feel badly for you guys who are reviewers. I am pretty sure you’re subjected to more bad author behavior than you ever let on.
C’mon, authors — it’s a *review*. It’s one person’s opinion. If you don’t like what people who aren’t your friends are saying about your book, don’t go postal on ’em — channel your rage into writing a better book.
Thanks, Lynne. Yes, the vast majority of this kind of behavior doesn’t become public at all or is contained to a small group of people. Actually, my next post will be one of those.
Al, I read the piece you referred to a week or so ago.
As much as it stings, a review is an opinion. I believe most reviewers mean well, and I have learned from the critical reviews left on Amazon. I wrote a post about it here https://indiesunlimited.com/2013/11/14/thriving-after-a-poor-review/.
Thank you for the time you and other reviewers spend reading our books. 🙂
Thanks, Lois. I agree.
I want you to know, Al, that I read your WHOLE article BEFORE clicking the links, which I think should show what a good, sincere person I am.
As far as my own reviews go, I usually only review something if I loved it. I don’t have the heart to rip into some poor wilted flower, throw a single star on top of the remains, and then snort and paw like a victorious bull. Unless it’s a successful author, then I don’t mind, or a piece of garbage with loads of five star reviews.
I have a book where I say all the money goes to a child abuse center. It is 99 cents. One reviewer left one star, said she didn’t read it because it was only 22 pages, crowed about getting her refund, and THEN claimed I was using the donations “claim” to get extra sales.
I found her book. It looked lame. It had one five star review. I was seized with one-star review lust, but I just couldn’t force myself to do anything mean. I felt sorry for her.
Sorry this is so long! One thing I do sometimes, which is a great tip for writers, I think, is this: I find awesome, classic books, or just excellent books that I loved, and read the one star reviews. If you get such a review, you will realize how misguided the person is, and that it’s THEM, and not YOU.
Here you go, Ken: https://indiesunlimited.com/2012/07/06/one-star-reviews-of-the-hundred-greatest-novel-100-76/
What a brilliant idea! Arg, that could have been a great blog post. Thanks Kat. That’s my reading sorted for when I crack open a beer today!
HAHAHAHA The Three Musketeers: “Don’t bother reading it. Watch the Disney movie instead…”
This is awesome!
Those are hysterical! Thank you.
My favorite one-star got on my case for a character taking the Lord’s name in vain. (I was just so relieved she never got to the part where the priest had adulterous sex!)
Sandra, It’s not as if you don’t warn them in advance. 🙂
I know! Hell, the next book will have a BED on the cover. I’m trying!
Thanks for the comment, Ken. I like to point authors upset over a bad review to some of those on classics. As you say, a review often says more about the reviewer than it does the book.
Well, I went to the review and left a comment: “That review was too long. I quit reading.”
Al, I think you’ve covered the bases well. For me the bottom line is caution. We can be cautious even when what we say is negative. I think that often is is not so much our opinion that causes reactions, but how we express that opinion. We need to keep emotions out of our reviews and remain analytical.
And, yes, I agree with everyone that authors need to refrain from reacting to negative reviews. It will backfire.
Thanks, Yvonne. I agree.
I followed your link, and then went on to Amazon since the reviewer had removed the post from her site, because of the cover and author’s photo being a source the author felt she could sue for copyright infringement. (to me, since these are openly posted on a site like Amazon, which gives readers the ability to make a copy of said cover of any book listed there…for whatever purpose, fussing about copyright infringement is being overly picky.)
Yes, the reviewer gave a very lengthy opinion on the cons of the book she purchased and read. One thing she ranted about was ‘needing an editor’ someone not yourself, ideally a professional. OK, looking at the Amazon sample which was two and a half chapters
offered, right at the start, an editor and link to that person’s site is offered; I didn’t bother to venture there, but I do wonder at that person’s ability as an editor, because they left so much behind that should have been removed. (If they paid this editor, now that’s the shame.)
What did I spot in my quick view of that sample?
Things like this: “!?
and yes, plenty of excess commas and far too many semi-colons.
I’ve heard that more than three exclamation points in an entire novel is over-use; and my teacher, when I took a Horror Novel writing course with Writer’s Digest School a few years ago, told me “It’s better to not use an exclamation mark at all, than to use them in excess.” It was one of the few critical remarks she gave me. And I had used only two in five chapters.
Was a one star review deserved in that particular case? Well, we can’t win them all; look at all the famous classics with one star reviews; we know the books are not just good, but great, but to some readers ‘they are dull, boring, etc.’ Just let it go… move on with an ‘okay, so what…’…and yes, it’s not a bad idea to take another look, and fix those grammatical errors.
To conclude…thank you, Big Al for this post…it is a topic that needs to be addressed. We authors have a reputation to uphold. We need to remember when we choose to publish, we are stepping into the limelight and being a public figure and what we do and say does matter, and we should always remain as professional as possible. It is a given.
Thanks for your comment, Wayahowl. Your last paragraph says it all. When you release your book to the world readers are going to react to it. You can’t control those reactions. But you can control how you react to them. If you read your reviews take what you can from them for future projects and move on.
Al, when I read your post, I winced with embarrassment–for the author. Still, I think that the overly long review was a bit harsh. If I dislike a book that much–find that much fault with a book, I don’t leave a review. Or, if the author insists, I’ll leave a short review and scant stars. I will gladly send the author a personal email detailing some of the more glaring errors, if she/he requests one. If I’m the recipient of a terrible review, I never question the reviewer or respond in any way. I see what I can take away from the negative review, try to improve my writing, and move on. A lawsuit? Well, that’s nuts.
Thanks for the comment, Linda. Every reviewer, whether they review on a blog or write reader reviews for posting on Amazon and/or Goodreads, et al, has to make a decision as to whether to review books they felt were bad. I understand why some reviewers choose not to post negative reviews. Many who do so communicate their issues directly to the author. Depending on the reviewer’s situation, this can make sense. I’ve chosen to write the negative reviews and find that they’re often much longer than the positive ones. This is because I want to justify the reasons using specific examples when possible. This not only gives readers who might be drawn to the story a better idea of my rationale, but also more for them to be able to judge whether the things that bothered me would be a problem for them. A side effect of that could potentially help the author as well. It seems to me that since making a point of including specific examples I’ve had much less backlash from authors.
I understand your perspective, Al. In my case, I never disparage an author’s work in public, no matter how poorly written the book might be. When I write a review, the stars generally “tell the story.” I will point out the good along with the bad, but not go into excruciating detail. However, I’m not a professional reviewer–nor would I wish to be. Just curious: Is there such a thing as “review etiquette”? That would be an interesting topic for another IU post! Thanks, Linda
Obviously I agree that authors should shut up and put up. I did read the 1st para of the novel, and I’d have stopped right there. But the reviewer has every right to read to the end–some form of masochism, maybe?
Regarding copyright, though, Al, that’s an interesting question. The novel’s standard copyright section permits quotes, but the personal image is unusual. I tried to find Amazon’s terms and conditions for it’s author central site (the author has an account) but couldn’t find them. I suspect, though, that the author has given away copyright protection on her cover and personal image by virtue of having them appear on the Amazon site, because otherwise Amazon wouldn’t have published the images.
Regardless of the legalities, this is a public battle that can have only one winner, and it isn’t Ms. Le Donne.
I’ve read a few to the end where doing so might indicate I’m a masochist, Pete. 🙂
I did some more investigation on the copyright issue for my next post which has some of the same issues. I was hoping that doing so would give me enough to venture a more specific opinion. I found a paragraph in the terms of service for KDP and suspect, but don’t know, that something similar would be in Amazon’s contracts with publishers, small and large. This paragraph was fairly broad, allowing Amazon to do almost anything to market your book. I’m sure it gives Amazon the right to allow its affiliates to use your book cover. However, I didn’t find anything discussing use of book covers or product images in the terms of service for Amazon affiliates, even though they have specific tools that are used to retrieve those images available to affiliates. Regardless, I think there is a good chance that fair use exceptions to copyright law likely cover this.
As for the battle, you’re right. I can’t imagine an author ever coming out looking better for engaging in something like this than they by venting in private to friends and moving on.
Giving Amazon permission to use the author image, and even to allow affiliates to use the image in conjunction with a purchase link, does NOT “give away” the copyright of the image.
And nothing in Amazon’s or anyone else’s terms licenses derivative works, like turning the book into goat fodder to promote your own blog. Big no-no.
Absolutely, Tech Dude. Nothing is being given away, just permission granted in whatever way it is. And based on what you said about derivative works, I’m sure that isn’t going to be covered short of getting specific permission from the copyright holder.
Doesn’t go far enough. I’m thinking of suing readers for not BUYING my books.
Seriously this is nuts. The author has nothing to stand on… you can’t tell people not to carry a published cover in a review.
I’m sorry he took the review down. It would be good to see this go to court and the author nailed for court costs as a nuisance suit.
I understand about his expenses, of course. Personally I would just walk into court without counsel, tell them my story and ask that they penalize the author for trying to use courts as a weapon for her ego. A shame some writers organization hasn’t offered support to him.
I’d love to see a campaign to spread this author’s name around and let people know what she’s done.
Even just going to court representing herself would have major expenses, Lin, as the blogger in question lives in Alaska. I suspect if she’d responded with “then sue me,” that would have been the end of it, but one never knows.
As for a campaign against the author, having been on the blogger’s side of a similar situation that went viral, I wouldn’t wish being on the author’s side of that on anyone, not even my worst enemy.
Thanks for the comment.
My husband is the one who said, “Take it down, and give me the laptop.. by the way you may lose readers and friends.” As an indie musician he has watched this for three years as I reviewed, blogged and gotten feedback both good and bad. I had a LOT of flack for pulling said review down. The reason we choose to is “let her win” was for two reasons. ONE if she decided to take it to court //eyeroll// I would have stated her threat to take it up with her copyright attorney and sue me for use of copyright material (which btw she has edited in her blog post to say she just gave me notice) and also.. ummm I could not afford to not show up at court. The other reason was (at least for me) she was attacking anyone who shared my blog post, via Triberr/Twitter, from my blog or retweeting my own tweets promoting my post. She seriously went and wrote one author over 15 times in one day (not counting the seven straight days of harassing her) because she was a big time person in the Indie world and how DARE she join my smear campaign. Not to mention she was posting libel claims about me. Again it was a choice to just evict this from my life. My stand up for myself moment was leaving it on Amazon and posting my own statement where the review was.
You made a wise choice just to walk away from it. In my experience, you have nothing to gain from engaging in battle with screeching trolls. They will fight to the death regardless of whether they’re right or wrong. If that is the way she chooses to conduct herself, she will dig her own grave. Not everyone will respond to her attacks the way you did.
I thought spurious lawsuits were the American Way.
IMAGINE a bad review for a breathless high school novel written in first person present tense.
I said it on Twitter and I will say it here.. I do believe I love you, Linton!
BTW, that’s LeDonne’s only book. The one on amazon with the ebook priced higher than the paperback.
But that doesn’t stop her from having a blog telling people how to self-publish. With hot advice like buying a big block of ISBN’s and using them for ebooks.
I could envision a reality show about self-defeating nitwits.
The Darwin Awards of indie publishing!
Oh, we NEED those!
Holy hand grenade. Yes. One person’s opinion. Pout in private if you need to, but that authors continue to take this fight public? Stop it. Stop. It. It makes us all look bad. Great article, Al. On the copyright issues: When I participated in blog tours, I handed the tour operators my entire media kit. The implication being they had permission to use my author photo and my covers. WHY else do we make these things available on the interwebs? WHY else do we issue press releases and put them on our website media kits? So the fact she’s not allowing use of her cover and likeness in the promotion or review of her book…? I don’t understand that one.
PS: I’m suing Lin for not buying my books. 😉
Thanks for the comment, Laurie. If you sue Lin and he sues you and you both win, won’t that mean that the author with the most books will come out ahead?
On the copyright issues, there are many things an author might do that would imply consent to use the cover image and potentially more. Participating in the blog tour or submitting your book to the blog for review consideration are two. In this specific instance, it isn’t clear to me whether either of these apply. Most of Kriss’ reviews appear to be as part of a blog tour. I saw somewhere that she mentioned that she buys the blog tour books (I think maybe in paper) so that she bought this book (mentioned in the post, IIRC) doesn’t mean it wasn’t a tour, but I’m not sure that it was either. :/
I’m suing Lin for not buying my books, too. 😉
Class action lawsuit? 😉
I am busting a gut! I am suing for… people not liking goats (ok stretching here)
Will whoever wins the lawsuit please treat me to a vacation in Cabo San Lucas? I’m dying for a ‘beach’ experience.
You misunderstand, Laurie. Promotional pictures should only be used on positive reviews. Using them for a one-star review should be grounds for a lawsuit. While we’re splitting hairs, let me also point out that in the case of a middle-of the road review, like say a three-star, only one picture should be used. That could be the cover, the author’s photo, or a split image using only half of each. I prefer that reviewers only use the mouth and nose portion of my photo so everyone can see me pouting.
You misunderstand, Mandy. Promotional or other pictures should only be used with permission. Using them without permission, or creating unauthorized derivative works, is copyright infringement.
I could not find anywhere that the author grants unrestricted use rights for any of her images. Did you?
You misunderstand sarcasm, Tech Guy.
My point was that I bet the author wouldn’t have complained if it had been a 5 star review.
No, I understood the sarcasm. As I commented elsewhere in this thread, “I’ll bet it’s a lot easier to get permission to use images BEFORE publishing a nasty review than after.” Of course that still wouldn’t authorize derivative works, which were the main issue in the dispute between this author & blogger.
Choosing to whom to give permission ex post facto is the copyright holder’s prerogative. Granting permission and licensing use here, and withholding permission and issuing a takedown there, after copyright has already been violated, is just good business. The nature of the violation tells you if you’re dealing with a partner or an adversary, and you act accordingly.
That’s why a reviewer wanting to use an author’s or publisher’s images should make sure that they have permission BEFORE they post. Frankly it’s not just good etiquette – it’s the law.
(Even if you have permission, if you misuse the images by creating derivative works, you should expect that permission to be revoked.)
The author mentions having at least one online book tour, and a search shows that for that tour, she did allow participating bloggers to use certain images. It’s also clear that CabinGoddess was not part of that tour, and did not have permission to use the images.
I’ll bet it’s a lot easier to get permission to use images BEFORE publishing a nasty review than after.
At least with respect to the use of images without permission (and as I commented earlier-in-time & later-in-thread, unauthorized derivative works), this was a case of a Badly Behaving Book Blogger.
And I still have never seen where the author ever objected to the content of the review or threatened a lawsuit.
I’ve wasted too much time replying to this train wreck. I have work to do.
As authors, people really have to remain calm when they get bad reviews. The retweeting is irksome, when it’s a bad review, so I certainly understand the author’s irritation. Nobody wants bad reviews tweeted over and over again.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done about it. You just have to put on your big girl pants and deal. Silently. Perhaps with a voodoo doll. 🙂 But not on the internet. Perhaps at a bar with your real life friends. But not on the internet. Perhaps with your spouse. But not on the internet.
For authors, the online world is like our workplace. Even though there are people we disagree with, it’s not OK to get in a loud public grudge match. People should treat people online the way they’d treat them offline and things would generally work out better (though I must admit there was a guy at a previous workplace who actually punched someone, so the real life behavior thing doesn’t work for everyone).
That’s it exactly, RJ. Even on the internet if it is private (a ‘secret’ Facebook group of author friends, for example) is okay. But once you take it public or start involving people who aren’t friends, either person or professional, it has a high chance of backfiring.
Thanks for the comment.
I always find this one so bizarre, authors have the right (freedom of speak and artistic freedom) to write whatever they want. But then don’t think readers of their books should have the same rights to comment on that book? If people are burning the Koran and desecrating the Bible, why does anyone think a 99 cent e-book should be sacred?
I do have a solution though, I hereby suggest we create and launch Always a Five Star, or AFS for short.
AFS will only carry five star books. Reviewers will also have to be qualified. AFS will verify reviewers and ask for the following; notarized copies of identification, access to all financial accounts, medical history, completed astrological charts, and conduct an in home interview.
In order to make it easier to review books, all reviews will also use a template that allows the reviewer to fully express their opinion. To be fair though, before a review will be posted it must be approved by the author and can also be edited by the author to ensure it is accurate.
I (Name of reviewer) think (name of book) is the (best, most incredible) book ever written. (Author name) is a (God, genius, higher being) whose talent far surpasses (Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Plato). Thus I give (name of book) (5,5,5,5) stars. I will tell all my (pets, enemies, imaginary friends) about (name of book).
The creation of AFS will provide an alternative option for those authors and readers with different needs. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen an opportunity with the market potential like AFS. Reminds me of another post I saw here recently.
Well if it’s as good as a Bob Hammond idea, Marc, how could it not be a wild success. And to think, some people think the only good things coming out of Idaho are potatoes. 🙂
Thanks for the comment.
Lol. Great literary Mad Lib.
Buwahahah you know the said author above posted on her blog an article on how to write good reviews that authors will “love, love love!!!” (yes she used that many exclamation points). I believe she deleted it (I will not give her any more traffic).
I must admit I get irritated – but not to the point of filing a lawsuit – with one type of one-star reviews. It’s when the reviewer obviously never read the description, never realized the book was a cozy, and probably got it because it was free. So you macho guys out there – please don’t ever consider getting one of my cozies. They’re not for you!
Thanks for the comment, Helen.
Those irritate me, too, and fall under the saying more about the reviewer than the book category. I’m reminded of an author friend who has a series that is definitely for adults. Her description has a warning in bold letters saying this book is not for kids and uses lots of bad words. Yet she constantly gets negative reviews from parents whose kids read it.
However, as a verified Devil’s Advocate, I can argue that even those reviews can be helpful to a potential reader. Maybe a cozy hater skims past the description and doesn’t pick up on that, but when scanning the reviews, they do. Any review that helps convince your target audience to buy the book or helps warn off those who aren’t in that audience is good for all concerned, IMO. I also think negative reviews can help sell a book. As a reader, If I’m looking at reviews and don’t see any negative reviews, it concerns me. If I see negative reviews that complain about something that isn’t a problem for me (maybe I like cozies) then I’ll be more likely to click that buy-it button.
“Any review that helps convince your target audience to buy the book or helps warn off those who aren’t in that audience is good for all concerned, IMO.”
That’s what I was just coming here to say, but now I guess I don’t have to. 🙂
Great post, Al.
Thanks, Melinda. Glad I could save you some time. Now you’ll get your next book out that much quicker. 🙂
If only! 😉
Thanks for your thoughts on my cozy reviews, Big Al. New ideas for me. And I’m suspicious, too, when a book gets no bad reviews at all.
I personally think that a few bad reviews lend authenticity to the reviews. Not everyone is going to like what we write.
I’m with Lynne on this. I feel very sorry for those of you who are kind enough to review books for authors. I’ve recently given up reviewing since it only results in people being at best, unappreciative and at worst – rude.
Opinions are opinions and authors should learn to accept that. I have had some terrible reviews for some of my books but I accept I can’t please everyone and what somebody finds amusing another may find puerile drivel!
Thanks, Carol, both for the comment and the empathy. 🙂
Recently I got a review on one of my books that was entitled ‘Awful, just Awful’.One star of course. I read the review and thought that the reviewer was a bit confused b/c I know the scenes he/she was talking about but his/her interpretation doesn’t seem correct. But that’s fine, it is the way that reader understood it. I comment on reviews – thanking people for taking the time etc. All I said was ‘I’m sorry you didn’t like the book’ and left it at that. I have too many things to do to waste the energy fighting with those who are unhappy with my writing. We all get bad reviews,live with it.
Exactly, Karen. If reviews are one person’s opinion, which I think we all agree is true, who is the expert on that person’s opinion? They may be the only person in the world that thinks that, but they’re also the world’s foremost expert on what it is. 🙂
Thanks for the comment.
I read the review, and although I didn’t read the book, I do know Kriss (Cabin Goddess.) She uses the same formula for all the reviews she writes. She’s reviewed my books and always writes thorough (long) reviews. She gave me 5 stars and still used my cover as virtual goat fodder (though, with my book it was definitely appropriate.) That’s just her personality, and it works for her. It’s sad to see someone bullied into removing a bad review just because the author couldn’t handle it. I cry in a dark closet when I get a bad review. Then I tell my husband how, clearly, insane that reviewer must have been to miss the subtle nuances of my storytelling. But engage publicly? That’s like the kiss of death. A bad review will fade away, a temper tantrum on the World Wide Web is forever.
” A bad review will fade away, a temper tantrum on the World Wide Web is forever.”
That says it all, Erica. And you’re right, of course. Goat fodder for your book (at least one of them) makes perfect sense. 🙂
Thanks for the comment.
That is so true…and something all authors should keep in mind before they open their big mouths or drip venom from their pens!
Goats make everything …better!
Before I finish reading all the comments I do want to state the reason why the book came onto my radar was the author was asking for reviews on twitter. She really wanted honest reviews, I had just been suggested (by twitter) to follow her and saw so out of curiosity (and perhaps a glass of wine) I felt bad and read it. Yes I rant at times and my posts and reviews are prolific, from five stars to one the one thing I am is honest about how I feel about a book. Why do a review on a book I did not like? Well most of the time I do not bother to finish a book which is just not doing it for me and therefor it is not on the radar with a review, but if I finish a book, if I pay 6 bucks for said book, damn right I am going to review it. Her author image is all over and from what I gather from my lawyer (aka Dad) is since it is the same author image on Amazon I was in the clear. The issue was not just Triberr but my blog readers, Triberr only accounted for 30% of my tweets. And auto-tweeting is only used for those people who share your stuff, you have to go and manually approve each post.
If we only choose to write reviews that are 4 and 5 stars how is this even helpful? I no longer take review requests because of this behavior and will not review a friends work unless I already have tried it out before and I know they are good author. Also there are many I have not reviewed because they are good friends and I just don’t think it is, as Kenyon mentioned, it would be nicer just to let them know my problems with the book. But when I pay for it, and the author was whining all over twitter about not having any reviews (which she was) and I had a moment of stupidity and felt bad … well next time I am turning the computer off. No more giving into my nice side.
One other thing, Big Al, thanks for such a well said, short and concise take.
Here again I am rambling. The author in question also took down two of her posts and changed up her initial one. The things wrong with this book were expediently worse than what I wrote. I wish I had put in the real big issues with it instead of just skimming. It was an irresponsible book for child abuse and sexual abuse victims. I believe this is what really got my goat and why I decided to write a review. I failed in stating it more definitively. Again thanks and sorry for another “rant”.
Thanks for your take, Kriss, and also the detail on Triberr and retweets. It shows how quickly something can spread through social media in general. It sounds like Triberr just gooses it, but as you said, that wasn’t the whole story of the retweets.
Also to be noted I use a book review plugin called Ultimate Book Blogger and it actually gathers the info from Amazon and Google and puts in the book cover image if the info is there. It works for 50% of the books.
Also from a copyright attorney (Big Al you may find this useful for your next article):
There’s actually a copyright exception that could be useful here — the “useful article” provision at 17 USC 113(c) which states:
In the case of a work lawfully reproduced in useful articles that have been offered for sale or other distribution to the public, copyright does not include any right to prevent the making, distribution, or display of pictures or photographs of such articles in connection with advertisements or commentaries related to the distribution or display of such articles, or in connection with news reports.
and 17 USC 101 defines “useful article” as:
A “useful article” is an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. An article that is normally a part of a useful article is considered a “useful article”
Assuming the books are “useful articles” it seems that Sect. 113 is more helpful than Fair Use. It seems that a strong argument can be made that with today’s enhanced online catalogs that include book reviews, the commentary criteria is met.
I think you’re right, Kriss, at least as I parse the legalese.
When I review books on my blog, I always post a copy of the cover art and will continue to do so.
As for the two parties involved in this dispute, I will say that I do not know the author in question, but it sounds to me like she needs her booty spanked like the 4-year-old she’s acting like. I do know the blogger in question and I am wearing my halo so will keep my opinions of her to myself. Regardless, the blogger/reviewer was in the right, IMO.
Thanks for the comment, Nicole. I agree, the blogger was in the right. It isn’t even a close call.
I still complain occasionally, even though it’s been a while, about two one-star reviews I got from folks who weren’t able to download my book successfully. I went back and forth with Amazon for a while, trying to get them to delete those reviews, but without success. They told me they “want people to give their opinion about products they receive.” I pointed out that these two never received my “product,” but that didn’t move the behemoth.
Amazon is infuriating in that regard. I once left a scathing one-star review that they took down. I complained and they put it back up. Then I felt bad and took it down.
I know Amazon can be infuriating, Helen and Ken. Their stated rules are broad enough to justify anything and they’re inconsistent in how some things like this are handled. However, my my observation and a bit of guess work I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re more consistent in which reviews they’ll take down and what they won’t than it appears at first glance. One of the questionable (to me) things they’ll let stand are reviews that aren’t about the product. I went the rounds with them once complaining that reviews taking exception to the high price of an item should be taken down. At least at the time this was clearly not within their guidelines, but it also fit their corporate goals, so my complaints fell on deaf ears.
You’ve had to be up all day long on this one, bud!
A woman had difficulty with my book Missing Flowers and she gave it a negative review b/c the file was corrupted or something. I found her on Facebook and gifted her a free kindle copy as well as sending her an autographed print version. She is now one of my biggest fans and was one of my beta readers for the sequel. She also changed her review.
Thank so much for this post! Now I’ll have nightmares all weekend. I do everything this reviewer did. All social media, book covers, author photos and all. Ok, I admit I don’t go out of my way to promote a negative review. I don’t post one star reviews on FB etc. I don’t blog them either I just post the review on AZ and GR and leave it at that. But, that’s just me. Still, I have been bullied, cried to, called names and stalked by authors because of a lower rating than they thought the book should get, which includes 3 star reviews. (That’s another story) Sooooo….. I’m a little shaken by this story. I promise I’m a nice person, and I work hard for authors free of charge, at 4-6 hours a day. But, I will be honest with my review. Should I change my social media habits? Should I avoid using book cover images on my blog? Tours host do that all the time, so what’s the difference? I’ve already been stalked, bullied, called names, and cried to about reviews in the past… never have been threatened with a lawsuit but I’m wondering if death threats are next….. pours strong alcoholic beverage with shaking hands. LOL
LOL, Julie. I know one ex-reviewer (now a publisher) who, if I remember the story correctly, got a threat from an author over a four star review. So far I haven’t heard of any of them actually following through. 🙂
I’ve also seen one and two star reviews where the person said, “I’m trying to give this book five stars, but the thing only lets me give two stars.” So they give a good review and one star anyway.
You can take a photo of a book cover & use that (“useful article” provision cited by CabinGoddess ). You can probably take a photo of the cover on your e-reader and use that photo. You may or may not be able to download the cover image and use it as-is without permission; that’s quite possibly not allowable under the DMCA as digital content is NOT the same as a physical “useful article”. You definitely CANNOT download author photos and use them without permission. They are not excerpts, nor are they photos of a “useful article”; in fact they have copyright SEPARATE from the book.
But what CabinGoddess does goes further. She mashes up the book cover and author image into new images on her site (literally every review). She takes the digital cover image and manipulates it into a “book” shape, rather than take a photo of a book. In the case of the review discussed here, she took the cover image and superimposed it with some goats. That’s called “derivative works”. And that is absolutely copyright infringement.
You can never, ever modify, mash-up, or transform copyrighted images for your own public redistribution, promotion or profit without a license or permission from the rights-holder.
As a side note, I saw that the author declared the issue “over and done with” as soon as the derivative works were taken down.
Thanks, Tech Dude. You sound like you know what you’re talking about and what you say about derivative works makes a lot of sense. I’m convinced that *if* a blogger is an Amazon affiliate and has a purchase link to Amazon where they obtained the book image that they must be covered, I’m just not positive how. I think I mentioned above that I’m fairly sure where Amazon would point to justify them giving a blogger permission to use a cover image, just not sure where/how Amazon passes on permission to the affiliate.
I’ve been told (many times – by fellow authors, readers, and reviewers) that if your book doesn’t have bad reviews, along with the good reviews, that it would be suspicious… because there is no way to write something that appeals to every single reader. In fact, the 1 & 2 stars can sell a book just as well as those 4 & 5 star reviews.
The sentence “I don’t like instant love.” in an unfavorable review can make another reader think, “Well, I love stories with an instant connection. So, I’m buying this one for sure.”
Or as the saying (almost) goes… One reader’s trash is another reader’s treasure.
You can’t have the good without the bad. And that’s true in all aspects of life. Roll with it!
All true, S.L. Thanks for the comment.
That is so true. As a reader, I admit I always gravitate toward the negative reviews first when deciding whether to buy a book. The negative reviews usually tell me more about a book than the positive ones, because I know they weren’t planted there by the author’s friends and family. I often buy books based solely on negative reviews because I like things other readers don’t. For example, I enjoy graphic, gritty horror. A negative review from a reader who was offended by such things would make me want to buy the book.
That’s a big part of why I think negative reviews are often more helpful for a potential reader to make a decision, Mandy. Many things a reader might complain about are a matter of taste. I’ll often use the example of language and sexual content, but there are numerous things that some readers like, or at least have no problem with, while others don’t.
Also, although I might be an exception, I find that it is easier to get more specific in identifying why a book didn’t work for me than it is explaining why it did. There are exceptions. I’ll sometimes quote an especially evocative or humorous line as an example of why I liked a book. But more often you’re left with the same things to mention (great characters, a story that was fun, intense, touching, or whatever) that you’ve used in a thousand past reviews and every other reviewer also mentions.
I think that many negative reviews is due to the envy that some feel, because one author is getting more attention for their work. Having five stars can hurt many that don’t have one. I don’t listen to reviews, but know the intentions behind them. Abuse is never a good review. It’s personal. When people degrade other people’s work that says something about a person. It always shows what type of person they really are. Advertising on about other people on a review that is meant for someone is very low class as well.
Norma, there are so many ways to be helpful without being hurtful. I believe in honesty tempered with kindness. When I write a review, I try to get my point across without being derogatory. In essence, I treat other writers the way I’d like to be treated–with respect.
Wow. Just wow. I like to think that 5 years from now this author will look back on this mess and feel ashamed of her behavior, but that’s a pretty lofty expectation given her reaction to what is only her FIRST negative review. At least this came from an experienced reviewer. She has yet to learn just how cruel readers can be.
On the other hand, I felt that the reviewer’s focus on grammar was a bit excessive, especially where she rook it upon herself to rewrite a sentence from the book. The review was twice as long as it needed to be and I really didn’t get much out of it, other than a couple of Indiana natives taking offense at the way their state was portrayed and going into writing the review with their defenses up. I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to so there’s not much more I can say but it seems both parties could have handled this situation with a little more decorum.
My Mom used to have a saying (the exact words she’d use are slipping my mind), but the point of it was that in any disagreement neither side was going to be completely correct. Thanks for the comment, Mandy.
I’d like to add that I based that comment on my first impression after reading just the blog post and the review. I don’t know either of the parties involved.
Interesting article about coping with “digital cruelty” in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/sunday-review/dealing-with-digital-cruelty.html?emc=edit_th_20140824&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=61453309
Bad grammar there. Interesting article in the Times, not digital cruelty in the Times. (They moderate!)
Very good article, Sandra. I think the suggestion that those comments that rile someone up the most (excluding the obvious trolls) as possibly having a nugget of truth that bothers us is a good point to consider.
Thanks for sharing the article, Sandra. I believe that people can be honest without being cruel and that kindness is a far better teacher.
I went over and read the NYT piece by Stephanie Rosenbloom. It was on target. I have noticed that readers who write one and two star reviews get annoyed that there are four and five star reviews on the book. Not just my books, but hundreds of others. I seldom write a review, but when a book annoys me, I pick up on the things I know about–which often may speak more about my narrow life and knowledge than the author’s! There is a book right this minute on Amazon with above 7000 reviews. I just read a one star review on the book in which the reviewer is asking: “if those readers read the same book she did?” To the reviewer, it was impossible, because she found so many flaws. She took a 1000+ words to say, too. So! The book is by an indie author, was optioned for a movie and now the movie is in production. That reviewer will never accept that others found merit in the book. That’s the way the mop flops. I luuuv indie authorship!
I don’t even have to go looking for the review to guess with more than 90% certainty that the book you’re talking about is Wool, Jackie. 🙂 Of the books I’ve read in the last three or four years this is also the one that the people I’ve talked to about it liked the book. I can’t think of even one exception. And that shows the profile of the reviews, a ton of reviews, almost all of them praising the book. But even the best books loved by the majority of people who read it are going to have people who really don’t like it. Why they didn’t like it is of value to potential readers. (I’m sure Hugh isn’t losing any sleep over a one star review either.)
Jackie, you truly do have “a way with words.” Always enjoy your perspective!
Let’s go with that 10%. The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle. But since lawsuit came up in this thread, I’d to share this. Recently I opened an email by a promoter telling me they could get me reviews and a bunch of other stuff. I looked at the site. There was Martin Crosbie’s book. Mmmm. Martin told he he never heard of those people. What the site owners were doing is pulling books by big named authors and posting the covers on their site, giving the impression those authors are in their ‘stable’ and they helped the author to success and stardom. I called the owners of the site on that. They don’t think they are doing anything wrong. However, there is a court case in Florida right now–the state is suing a site owner for doing that very thing because it misleads a writer into believing the best selling authors hired those folks. In Texas we call that bait and switch. I also think Tech Dude has a point. In my contract with my cover artists, I have to give them credit for cover design on the copyright page. I think they would be very unhappy if anyone, as a joke or otherwise, did a mash up and created a derivative on their artistic designs as part of a critique on the interior of a book. I learned something in this thread.
I’ve continued studying the topic – when it comes to copyright, book covers are a minefield. Particularly, as you allude to, Jackie, with respect to included art which is separately copyrighted.
I suspect that when a cover includes a licensed image or original artwork, not even the publisher or author can authorize derivative works, without the explicit permission of the copyright holder(s) of the incorporated work.
You know what? Here’s a simple remedy. I and all my fellow reviewers will just stop reviewing. There, job done. So all those pouty, throw-my-toys-out-the-pram, spoilt-brat, I-think-I’m-the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread, attitude-overloaded authors will have nothing to get their knickers in a knot about. Their precious books can stand angelically on their own on the virtual book shelves. And no one will know anything about them. And all those painstaking hours I take to polish my review can usefully be employed with some extra cycling further toning up my gorgeous pins. Sorted.
Oh my! (grin)
Sounds like a perfect solution. Why should reviewers take the time to read books and then write well-thought-out reviews in response to authors’ requests for HONEST reviews? What do they get out of it? It seems like a lot of these authors only want honesty if it’s positive..
I’m really hoping you are being sarcastic, really! Book review bloggers quitting would be the same thing for the literary world if the police decide not to show up for work. Granted the big publishers and some would find this ideal, as their marketing and promotion would no longer be derailed.
Think about it for a moment, the six months or year of careful planning a publisher puts into a book can currently be destroyed when the crazy cat lady living in the trailer park in Arkansas clicks submit on her review of a book. An honest opinion (not right or wrong) but honest opinion is kryptonite to those with an agenda.
We need tens of thousands more book review bloggers than we currently have if we are going to see a society that is literate and where books are valued. It’s not readers who are lacking, it’s a combination of discovering quality books and then having trusted people introduce readers to these books. The opinions of authors and mass media will always be suspect when it comes to literature, the only party with credibility are book review bloggers.
Hey! Marc–Watch your mouth! I’m a crazy cat lady living in a trailer park. Seven feral cats! Over 600 reviews on my indie books–stranger reviews except for the 3 from Big Al’s site. As far as Arkansas, I had family there for 50 years. Had a house with two bathrooms–one inside! Woot! I’ve also lived in a tent, a van, a horse trailer, a thatched roof hut and on a 29′ sloop–none of which makes me trailer trash. Geez. I ain’t coming back here.
Jackie, you are–beyond a doubt–the classiest “trailer trash” I’ve ever known. And I don’t care where you’re from, where you live, or how many cats you have. You know how to write, to connect with readers, and to sell books. I’m amazed at how much you’ve accomplished in such a short time. Maybe I should move in next door to you? Nah, I wouldn’t want to bring down the neighborhood!
I knew you were dangerous. Still you are 123 cats short of being lethal. As for myself I live in a third world country located between Canada and Mexico called Idaho. I’ll probably get in trouble for adding this link but I think it shows the danger, it all starts with one cat or one book review and can end like this.
Your tl;dr summary implies that the unconfirmed lawsuit threat had something to do with the 1-star review, even though your text makes it clear that the author’s issue was with the use of and creation of derivative works from the author’s copyrighted images and NOT with the review. It seems a bit misleading & sensationalistic.
Tech Dude, 140 character summaries aren’t going to include any of the subtle detail on any subject that involves any complexity at all.
The threat of a lawsuit was how The Cabin Goddess characterized it. The author in the blog blog post she wrote about it clearly threatens legal action. At some point, if Kriss had refused to take down the images and the author continued pursuing the issue without success, that is what would have happened although odds of it making that far are slim. I also have no idea whether there was other communication directly to Kriss that threatened a suit.
As for the derivative works, the author in her post doesn’t complain about it in those terms. She says “my images are copyrighted, and you will take them down or you will pay attorney’s fees to my local copyright attorney.” She also added a note right after that emphasizing that she wasn’t demanding that the review be taken down.
FWIW, I think the question to be asked here isn’t whether derivative works are copyright infringement (I’m no lawyer, but I’m inclined to think you’re correct on this), because neither party has mentioned that twist, only you. I think the pertinent question should be, *IF* the author had seen the exact same graphics with a glowing review, would she have reacted the same. If not, she’s in the wrong. Period. That doesn’t preclude both parties from being in the wrong for different reasons. In this situation, for a reason that neither party even raised as a concern, but you have.
Well, the author has mentioned the goat image; I think that qualifies as calling out the derivative works. You may disagree. I doubt that Cabin Goddess had permission to use ANY of the images.
I also disagree with your assertion that the author should react exactly the same to all copyright violations. As I commented in another comment thread:
“Choosing to whom to give permission ex post facto is the copyright holder’s prerogative. Granting permission and licensing use here, and withholding permission and issuing a takedown there, after copyright has already been violated, is just good business. The nature of the violation tells you if you’re dealing with a partner or an adversary, and you act accordingly.”
CabinGoddess, in the post in place of the review, says, ” I use my goats to promote EVERY review I do. …. Graphics are all hand done by me”. So she acknowledges that she took the images and created derivative works (what else could “hand done by me” possibly mean?), whether she sees it that way or not. The fact that others have let it go and implicitly granted that permission ex post facto does not mean that anyone else should.
“I also disagree with your assertion that the author should react exactly the same to all copyright violations.”
Apparently you saw the graphics in the original review. I didn’t. All I have to go on is what I see in the other reviews.
I think you missed my point.Maybe it wasn’t clear. If the author would not have reacted the same way to the same thing being done on a five star review, then that would put a lie to any contention that the reason for the reaction is due to the copyright infringement, not the negative review.
Legally, she has a case or she doesn’t. She can pursue it, or not. But again, that wasn’t the point I intended to make. My point is that if she was reacting differently because it is a negative review, in my mind that is wrong for ethical or moral reasons, even if it is legally okay.
But there’s the conundrum. You refer to “the same thing being done on a five star review”. But that’s impossible. How would a 5-star (or 4-star or 3-star or even 2-star) reviewer be violating copyright in a disparaging context, or creating a disparaging derivative work? (Based on the author’s commentary, I suspect that a disparaging derivative work even on a five star review would have received the same take down request, but maybe I’m reading into them.) If the copyright holder’s rule of thumb for addressing existing blatant copyright violations is:
disparage => takedown
neutral/refer/promote => offer license
how is that morally or ethically wrong? That is what copyright fundamentally is: the right to decide who gets to use & reproduce your work and under what circumstances.
If you are saying that applying that rule of thumb is morally wrong, the unescapable implication is that enforcing copyright is somehow morally wrong, because they are in fact one and the same.
You can’t prevent someone from using quotes from your book while disparaging your work, even cruelly – that’s fair use. You can prevent them from using your photo or book cover or any derived work to do so. That’s where the line is drawn. And there’s nothing legally, ethically, or morally wrong with that.
Can someone please explain to me what tl;dr means?
Too long; didn’t read. 😉
Helen, one of the acronyms the kids are using on the internet these days. 🙂
It stands for too long; didn’t read.
Thanks, Big Al!
Sure! That’s an abbreviation for:
“too long; didn’t read”
“[It] seems obvious that you wouldn’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’re auto-tweeting or sharing anything else automatically unless you’re confident that you won’t be pointing your followers to content you’d have a problem with.”
Here’s the thing about auto-tweeting vs. retweeting. Retweeting is sometimes purely informational. Lots of people even mention in their profiles that retweets do not imply endorsement. Auto-tweeting does imply endorsement: the tweets go out as though you had typed them yourself. You are allowing someone to put words in your mouth. So you probably shouldn’t auto-tweet anyone you wouldn’t be willing to have represent you at a press conference. IMO.
I looked to see if anyone has congratulated BigAl on the most active comment thread in IU history. Al, you rock!
I finally had a moment to read the link posted above. This statement stood out for me:
“One way to become proactive is to ask yourself if those barbs you can’t seem to shrug off have an element of truth. (Glaringly malicious posts can be dismissed.) If the answer is yes, Professor Suler has some advice:
Continue reading the main story
Let your critics be your gurus.
“You can treat them as an opportunity,” he said. Ask yourself why you’re ruminating on a comment. “Why does it bother you?” Professor Suler said. “What insecurities are being activated in you?”’
Is there something for the author to learn from the critique of their book by this well known book reviewer? Did the blogger point out areas of the book that were truly in need of work? Was the topic of abuse, an obvious point of contention for the book blogger, handled appropriately by the author?
This thread may go on indefinitely. Pragmatically, it is all water under the bridge. Let it go. When I received my first one-star I whined privately. It was a very thorough review, and after I licked my wounds I realized he was right. The book had some issues. I have spent a couple of months playing with the editing, tweaking it here and there. It is smoother. I was convalescing and medicated when I wrote it, and as I’ve said to the IU peeps, you’ll either like the story or hope I’m feeling better. There is no shame in taking a new look at a book and making it the best it can be. I think Melissa just wrote a post about that. 🙂
Thanks, Lois. If this is a record, cool. In retrospect, I guess I’m not surprised, but when I wrote the post I never would have predicted this much action. That paragraph jumped out at me, too.
Once again, Tech Guy, you obviously know more about the specifics than I do. I didn’t see the graphics. If they were truly disparaging, then I’d tend to agree with you. Those graphics I was able to see on other reviews, IMO, only an extremely sensitive and unreasonable person would see as disparaging, but maybe she gives negative reviews different treatment.
FYI on Triberr and the claim it was auto-tweeted. This came up ONLY because the author attacked one of my friends and another author on Twitter because it was shared. She does have me on auto-tweeting and this is how she explained it. Even though it was explained over and over again to the author by an an SEO and Social Media expert (another author) that Triberr is what it is and It is NOT auto-tweeting the author continued to be upset. I feel bad at this point because she totally blew it so out of proportion and it was not just the images, it was the whole thing. She was upset about tweets which contained NO IMAGES, so therefor her argument on it being more about the images and derivative work is a bit off. I sent everything I did to a lawyer after being threatened and they agreed at my perceived threat. At any rate.. over and done. This is ridiculous. I read it, I reviewed it and at this point because of this behavior from this being the fourth author who has attacked me in under 7 months because they did not like my review, I am going to do background research on their online behavior. It is getting WAY OLD!
Again, Triberr has to be approved by whomever is sharing the post. Also the RT’s on all the shares were far more than Triberr shared. AND the actual shares from the post (before it was blown sky-high) were actual tweets shared after reading it. This is gone on far to long. The images and tweets she was offended by were deleted. Just like she deleted the majority of her tweets attacking authors for sharing the post. AUTO-TWEETING did NOT HAPPEN except for 4 people since they have me on auto-tweet with Triberr. OTHERWISE no, people had to actually push a button.
Could be worse, Marc. I’ve lived in another third world country to the south (no, not Nevada). I much prefer Idaho.
And to be clear for anyone from that particular state, I’m kidding. Mostly. 🙂
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