Monday, June 25, 2007

Author Writes Perfect Books; No Advice Necessary

This showed up over on another (successful) author's board...

Fledgling Author:
"Goggling my name...was a mistake.

The most interesting part of it all was reading a list of mistakes that I made, followed by a statement of how much they'd like to read the next book....Oweeeee....As if I'd have any confidence to attmept it!!! LOL...

Housework is sounding quite right today!! I believe I'll tackle that bathroom!

Here's a sampling of some of the responses she received:
"...I wouldn't listen to them. I for one and know many others who happen to love your books. If all someone can do while reading is pick apart a book then they have no need to be reading. I read to enjoy, I don't read and make a list of mistakes...unless asked to that is. *hugs* you'd better write more books lol"

"I want your next book, especially if it's the sequel... I've been hounding you about. You give me that little sniveling sneak's name and I'll bug the ever-living crap out of 'em. It's something I truly excel at. Let me at 'em. Jackass. No, not you, the sniveling sneak who dares to bash you."

"And I'll help! Cuz I love your books, which means those other freaks just got put on my "time to get ugly" list!!"

Fledgling Author:
"Ah no...I found it rather enlightening. Bloging has taken flight, I see. There are a couple that I do believe, I'd pray never buy another one of my's clear I'm not up to their high standards!

I do hate to disappoint, you understand.

Going to do the second shower now...since I'm in the mood to attack!

More responses to her:
"Well okay .... if you don't want them hurt, I'll refrain.

But if you change your mind, you let me know, okay? Cuz I can take 'em!! "

"Pay no attention to the idiots! I've read everyone of your books and loved them all!"

"How can they pick it apart with one hand and be waiting for the next one desperately?


What do they read that they enjoyed (and want to buy the sequel)? Or do they HAVE to find fault?

I love to pull apart a review."

Hmmm... the description of that review sounds VERY familiar. Let me google her name and see how far up in the results it is. Why, yes, it DOES appear that she just might be referring to MY review of her book. The one where I also mention the other (successful) author's board (that fledgling author only posts on when she has something to pimp) and she could reasonably assume I would see her comments AND THE RESPONSES they provoked. And the way she worded her posts, together with the fact that she did not point anyone specifically to the review, suggests to me the possibility that she KNEW it and posted deliberately to provoke me and/or to attempt to polarize the board.

Frankly, I believe the fairness of my review is beyond reproach and she needs to accept the fact that she just is NOT going to always get glowing reviews. Hell, EVERY author worth their salt says they can accept bad reviews if they are constructive, and I made sure mine was- I even read the damn book TWICE to be fair! In fact, I'd say she's lucky the review was done by someone like me rather than the nasty snark-for-snark's-sake reviewers whose opinions carry much more weight than mine does.

I bent over backwards to give a fair, constructive critique of that book, dammit! I listed the three things that did NOT work for me and WHY they didn't work (and therefore prevented me from fully enjoying the book) and said I felt that her beta/writer's group/editor should have caught those inconsistencies. I also listed what DID work for me and why AND I mentioned the glowing recommendations from the members of the other author's board AND the high ratings from a couple of review sites. How much fairer could I POSSIBLY have been? Should I have said "OH WOW! This is the BEST BOOK EVAH!" even though it wasn't?

So will those that responded to her post feel they've been duped into turning on one of their own (me)? Or will they feel she was justified in her anger at me (I suspect this will be the case)? Does she need to pull up her big girl panties and accept that not everyone will EVER love everything she writes? Was she justified in her nastiness towards me? Could there have been some OTHER way to write that review and still be honest? Even if by some odd coincidence it WASN'T my review she's snarking about, what is that woman girl going to do if/when she ever gets a TRULY negative review?

I did not respond to her on the other author's board because, first of all, I don't feel it's the place for it, and secondly, because I KNOW the other author does not want any smack downs between the board members. I DID email two members of the board whose opinions I trusted (and who had responded to the fledgling author) and asked them whether they thought I should post and try to clear the air or just let it go. They both basically said that I had a right to my honest opinion, but that, since fledgling author does not actually identify the reviewer and it might not be me, it might be best to let it go.

So, I'm taking their advice. I even took the authors' names out of this post. But her behavior still pisses me off. I can only hope that, once fledgling author gets over her snit, she might re-read my review and wonder if it has any merit. In the meantime, I guess I really am the bad guy in this and should probably assume I'm no longer welcome on that board or at the get together weekend in September. Fuck it. That's what I get for trying to be honest AND fair AND sensitive to the author's feelings. Maybe I should just stick with honest in the future, then I won't have to read books like that twice.

It turns out that fledgling author has her very own little message board. Seems to me that, if she only posted her snit on successful author's board to get support for her hurt feelings and had no ulterior motives, wouldn't her OWN board be the best place for it? But then the sniveling sneak, odd freak jackass who wrote the review might never have got her message.


Jade said...

Hey don't stop visiting us! You have a right to your opinion. You paid for that book and put money in that author's pocket. You are absolutely allowed to have an opinion about it! I've actually seen this happen once before over there. An author came out of the woodwork after hearing a few small problems with her book aired in what I believe was overall, a fair opinion given about her book. The Lady was even still recommending the book, but said that she had some problems with the timeline. She was made to feel awful and ended up apologizing to the author. I could never understand why, I wouldn't have. I guess she is just too sweet a Lady not to.
God knows that forum is like a second home to me now, but their are so many authors lurking around that I have to be careful not to put my foot in my mouth. I feel like that is not the place for it, but you didn't take it over there. She did.
QB I don't know that author from dirt. I have never had a conversation with her, or read any of her books and very rarely have I seen her post over there. I wouldn't miss her if she didn't show up on the boards again. But I would miss you over there. I love getting the chance to banter with you, and you always give me a giggle. Plus you bring some pretty hot eye candy over there. And what would I have done if I didn't have Angus Hungwell to talk about? LOL.
I have read and come to count on your reviews. They are honest and to the point I find them very helpful. I like someone who is clear and not afraid to speak their mind. I have never seen you bash a book and I don't believe you ever would. You clearly state your reasons for any problems you have with a book. So all I can tell you is I don't think you did anything wrong. And I certainly hope you come back to play with us. I would be sad if you didn't come to the weekend bash because of this, plus I think it would be a little silly. I had no idea that you were being called out in that post, and I'm sure their are many others who have no idea what was going on either. So I hope this doesn't change your plans and you will still be there. I'm only going to be at the bash for the one day, but I hoped to meet my friends and Ha Ha whether you like it or not I've come to concider you one!

Ann Aguirre said...

Oooh, ooh! Email me who this is about, Bev!

--Ann, who should be writing

QB said...

Ah, Jade... that means so much more to me than I could ever express. Thank you. And you're right, I wouldn't give a gushing review just because she occasionally visits the same board I frequent, but I have never expressed my opinion of the book on that board. Nor have I joined anyone else in praising her books over there either.

But here's part of one of the emails I received:
"She has been a good friend of [succesful author] for a long time, and a member of their forum for years, so it has been a sanctuary full of friends for her. It is natural that she’d go there to look for support from her friends."

And another email:
"As for clear the air on the board or what not, I never think that works very well, because the people have taken positions and are likely to be polarized. My thought is that a fight is more likely than clearing the air."

So, it would seem to me that my appearance on the board would be treated as placing the other board members in the position of choosing sides between me and fledgling author (aka friend of successful author). And it will only confirm my status as the bad guy in this one- particularly in light of their strong opinions about the reviewer(me). You'd think someone would have at least asked her what was in the review or for a link to it. But, no... because, SHE is, after all, the wronged party and had every right to seek support from HER friends. The fact that she chose THAT board instead of her own board is inconsequential.

I have to be honest, whether they read the review or had any idea at the time who wrote the review, the things they said about me were nasty and do NOT make me feel like I would be welcome over there anymore. Even if that isn't the case, it's how I would feel and it would be awkward for me.

QB said...

LMAO! Annie, you are sooooo ebil!!

Jade said...

I understand Bev. I'm sorry that you feel alienated. I went back and read some of the posts and I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. They are nasty. I understand why you wouldn't feel comfortable going back. So I will continue to come over here and chat with you.

QB said...

Yeah, I'll never know if they would have responded differently if they'd known I was the reviewer.

But, Thanks {{{Jade}}}- my "door" is always open for you!

Ilona said...

The way to respond to a review: you say thank you. That's it.

Even if you think the reviewer was smocking crack and reading the book upside down, you smile and say thank you in public, and then maybe email your best friend, the one you trust not to spread things around and whine on her shoulder. Because honest criticism, and especially unfair criticism which does happen occasionally, hurts and we wouldn't be human if we didn't want to whine.

The problem is that as an author, you are at once a human being and a brand. When faced with a negative (as opposed to bad) review, the brand part of you has to kick in, but too often it's the human part that reacts instead. And I've seen some seriously tripped out responses coming from that human part of authors O_O

Don't let her get you down. You shouldn't compromise your honesty.
:shrug: It too shall pass, and it makes her look bad, not you.

Ilona Andrews

QB said...

Welcome Ilona! I have to admit I just gave a little fangirl squee when I saw your name. I just read Magic Bites- damn good stuff! I've drafted my initial comments and will be polishing it up and posting it soon.

Anyway, I can totally understand that after an author places her work out there, she's excited and hopes in her heart that everyone will love it. So it stands to reason that the first time someone finds fault with it would hurt. But it sounds like I can go ahead and add you to my "Class Acts" list.

And in this case, since the author occasionally visits the same board I was regularly on, I had to really wrestle with myself over whether to even post a review.

In the end, I remembered that I'm friendly with several authors and I needed to make a decision right then whether I would be honest or an "Eddie Haskell" in my commentaries. Although, I admit that I will pull out every ounce of tact I possess when writing them.