I’ve been thinking about this post for a few days now. Then today I woke up and realized the necessity of it.
Right now the world sits with uncertainty and in turmoil. Fear runs free swallowing good natured people in it’s wake. The result of that has been anger and consistent lashing out.
Why am I talking about this?
Over the past few months more and more authors are just getting up and walking away. Taking with them beautifully scripted novels, and imagination that the world needs right now. Their hearts shattered and broken by the very people who drive this industry. Readers.
I believe that JR Ward said it best when she spoke of reviews, “They aren’t for me, they are for the readers.” I repeat this mantra often. But I’ve not at the level of success of JR Ward. I have hope that maybe one day I’ll write that novel that blows people away and they demand more. I have hope.
When I first started writing and publishing it was often repeated that that first one star review was a right of passage. That the fifth another, the tenth yet one more. I was told that I needed to have thick skin and but on my business face and leave emotion in a little locked box inside of my mind. Though sometimes I can’t help but taste adrenaline as it seeps into my mouth when a new review pops up. I can’t help the rush of butterflies that pierce me from the inside out.
Bottom line? Words hurts.
I’m not saying don’t leave an honest review. Those are the gems of the industry. We hoard those like a starving dragon. I am saying don’t drive good authors away with abusive words.
But Elle? People don’t do that!
Yes. They do. There is a distinct line between a good review and an abusive one. Most groups tell you they won’t even discuss reviews. And for good reason. Many authors want that outlet to complain about it to find a platform in which they can say or question the reader. But it’s a taboo subject. For all intents I am taking about abusive reviews. Those that hound the author into pulling all of their books and walking away. Those that stalk authors and demand they explain why they wrote a person a certain way.
Another lesson told to me was that before I publish to go to my favorite authors profile. Click on my favorite book and then click the one star reviews. My heart sank when I saw the death threats.
We can do better. Please do better. It hurts knowing that amazing people are walking away because of this. While I doubt that the indie scene will ever fade I can’t help but wonder at the stress it leaves upon the author. The world sits in a crisis demanding for kindness and yet our culture, our community suffers because of anger of the self.
It’s okay to not like a book. It’s okay to not finish a book. And it is okay to leave a critique.
But the abuse is not okay.
Maybe I’m crossing a line by posting this. Because surely many advise against ever posting about reviews. Yet my heart hurts. I miss the authors and their books I devoured. I miss the light and the reprieve of life they lent me.
If you are an author. Hugs. It’s okay.
Keep Writing and Stay away from Goodreads.