Friday, March 21, 2014

Book World Bullies? Say it ain't so!

Reviewers and authors having a dog fight online?  Who suffers from this type of bullying?  The readers!  Throwing my two cents in on the latest travesty going on in the book world.  First what is a book review?  In my opinion (make sure you read the my opinion part) a book review is the readers thoughts about a book.  It's not the readers opinion about the way Sally Mae looks walking down the street, or how many beers Sally Mae had at the bar with the local pimp daddy, and it's definitely not a reflection of Sally Mae Authors personal life.  If I want to know about her life I should read about it anywhere else but in a book review.

Hence the words "Book Review".  I've heard the arguments, ie:  Sally Mae was a real butt hole to me and I think other readers need to know about it, Sally Mae belongs in a mental institution not on a bestseller list, or Sally Mae looks funny and people shouldn't buy her book.  Guess What?  Who freaking cares!

I'm not reading a book because I want to have a one on one relationship with the author.  She's (or he's) not going to be my local pal I hang out with at my next local cookout, and I dang sure ain't asking Sally Mae out on a date.  What she does in her personal life doesn't mean a thing to me. What she does in her professional life only matters in as far as when the next book hits the shelf.  At that point I can decide whether or not I want to buy it or bypass it.  (My old English teacher is shaking her head at my language today).  What I'm saying is as a reader (and yes I'm not an idiot I know I also write books) I don't give a flippity-flop about what's going on in her personal life and it doesn't belong in a book review.

 So let me turn my attention to authors.  Answering a one star review about your book is just about the most stupid thing you can possibly do.  It's not going to do anything other than tinkle in the reviewers cornflakes.  You don't think your book deserves that one star?  Suck it up baby,  not everyone is going to like your work.  Look at any bestselling book and you'll see someone hated it.  They thought it was the most disgusting thing since Limburger Cheese (let me apologize to those that love that cheese, but GAG).   Just like that stinky cheese, some people are going to love it, while others like me want to puke just thinking about it.  That's breaks!

Unless you're being personally attacked in a book review, the best idea is always to just deal with the fact that this reviewer didn't like your work.  I get it! It sucks worse than siphoning gas from a car, but opinions are like butt holes, we all got one and none of them look the same.

The point I'm trying to make is that just because we don't like a person or the results of a book review, that doesn't mean we need to revert to grade-school tactics and start calling names.  It goes both ways, meaning I've seen it on both sides of the fence.  Which brings me to another topic.  The recent poll going on about anonymous book reviews.   Here again you have to see both sides of the picture!  Some authors write under pen names, some reviewers post under a pseudonym.   The reasons for both are completely the same.  They don't want people in their everyday lives to know they wrote or reviewed a book.

I understand both reviewers and authors choosing to maintain this cover-up.  Sally Mae author has kids at home and writes sexy romance, well she wants to keep that part of her life separate from the Betty Crocker image she has in her community.  Cindy Lou reviews books but works for a legal firm and she doesn't want them looking at her funny for reading sexy romance.  Both have valid reasons for keeping their real life secret so why can we ask one to reveal their identity and not the other?  That doesn't seem very fair to me.  Why not instead let both of them keep their persona and remember we're 'hopefully' all adults.

This all goes back to the book review.  Writing a tasteful review about a book you hate, while still showing a little common courtesy to the author isn't a bad thing.  If you can't say something nice, at least have the decency to keep it about the book and not the person writing it.  If you want to rip the authors throat out and poop down her neck, maybe you've got worse problems than worrying about writing a book review?  It's just a book.  It's not going to get up, chase you around the room, and slap you in the face to pick it back up.  If it does call Ghost Hunters, cause man you got serious crap going on in your home!

That's my two cents about all the bullying going on in the book world.  You don't have to like it, you don't even have to read about it, and you certainly don't have to agree with me.  I still live in a great country where I have the right to Freedom of Speech.  Don't get me started on that topic or you'll be reading for the next five years!  I love readers, authors, and I love reviewers, all I'm asking is that we show a little class and stop trying to beat each other in the head and get back to doing what we love.  Enjoying books!

Michelle Hughes (Man does that chick need to get a new photo because that ones a little outdated) owner of this blog, so yeah management stands behind this post.  For the record this isn't a pen name, but as a Southern Woman I have no problem telling you who I really am and inviting you to come sit and talk on my porch to discuss this any day of the week.  Depending on how you act, I might even throw in some refreshments.  Ya'll have a nice day now!

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