Articles & Discussions

Respect the Reviewer 3: What Happens When A Reviewer Tries to Get Respect

I was toying with the idea of calling this post Respect the Reviewer 3: The Aftermath but I didn’t!  This is the third, and hopefully last,  instalment of my  Respect the Reviewer series which will fully explain to those of you who don’t know, what happened after I posted ‘Respect the Reviewer 2’ and will explain what happened to me on facebook.   As I said I hope this is the last of the series.  I have a conclusion statement at the bottom of the post so please take the time to read up to the end :).  And please remember to keep comments kind and civil, this post is far more personal than my previous one. 

respect cat

A few weeks ago I attempted to create better relations between authors and reviewers by writing this post ‘Respect the Reviewer 2: How to Contact and Stay on the Good Side of Reviewers’. This post came about after I suffered some bad experiences with a few authors who didn’t treat me very well as a reviewer. Rather than go on about the bad treatment of some authors the post was written as a how-to guide to contacting and getting along with reviewers.

Initial reaction to the post was overwhelmingly positive. The post got rebloged from my own website a number of times. I then decided to show it to a few other people and tweeted is as part of #SundayBlogShare. The result was more than I could have dreamed. Everyone wanted to share my post. It was tweeted so many times I’ve lost count, shared on facebook a number of times and the post was given special place on two different blogs as guest posts: A Writer’s Path and Dan Alatorre-Author, which themselves were reblogged and shared around the net. Authors found value in the post as it gave tips on how to contact book reviewers and even some info on amazon’s top, and book reviewers praised the post for pointing out the bad things that they themselves had experienced with some authors. The post was a complete success and I was happy to share whatever knowledge I had with the writing world. But then something happened.

I had joined a facebook group for book lovers and authors. The first time I posted anything in that group I decided to share ‘Respect the Reviewer 2’. The comments that came from those that took the time to read it were wonderful, praising the post, saying that it contained some interesting and valuable information. Almost a week passed and my post had lost its interest in the group and so I expected no more comments. I was happy, the post had done what I had intended it to do and I expected everyone to move on. But then someone else chose to comment.

One author took an instant dislike to the blog post. I didn’t mind someone disagreeing, it was only my opinion on how to do things but this author didn’t choose to stay silent, they chose to voice their opinions on what I had written. The initial comment was rather sarcastic, citing that readers get all the respect and not the authors (the opposite of what my post had explained). This then descended quickly into an argument between a couple of people who were against my post with the rest of the group trying to deflate the anger.

I saw the comments coming in on my post on my phone, but I couldn’t deal with it. Such a sudden attack on what was supposed to be a helpful piece of writing was something I didn’t want to deal with. The more the argument/discussion went on the worse the negative comments got. At the end it wasn’t just my post but my entire ‘credo’ that was seen as ‘offensive’ and needed amending. Certain issues were brought up, particularly that reviewers should contribute to the cost of a book they are reviewing and what stung was the comment that stating that writers were better than readers or reviewers, that authors were the most important people in the industry and that no reviewer would ever be as good a writer as an author.

These comments were all said in the heat of the moment which is why I decided to stay quiet. I waited for the storm to end and then would comment a few hours later when everybody had a chance to calm down.  But that never happened. I couldn’t go back to my post and comment to everyone in turn as I had intended to. Hours after my blog post had been so vehemently attacked, my entire facebook account had become disabled. I blame no individual for this but it left me in shock and I’ll be honest I had a wobble about ever being honest online again. I had only ever intended for my blog post to help others, I didn’t for one minute expect others to slam it so hard. Maybe I’m naïve, I have always been keen on debating something but I never enjoy people hurling hatful comments my way.

A while after that happened and I’m now in a better place. I’ve opened a new facebook account and page for my blog and am feeling much better.  However it sparked some interesting questions which I asked in this blog post ‘Book Reviewers/Book Bloggers – I need you help’. The three main questions were: Should book reviewers pay for the books they are reviewing? Should authors hand over review copies straight away? And who are the most important people in the industry? I posed similar questions to other top reviewers of book on amazon too. Though the results were a bit mixed it was agreed that the review is a form of ‘payment’ for the author (and in fact some review sites will charge the author to review!), most agreed that you hand over the book right away and although many cited authors as the most important some were happy to recognise it as a collaborative effort between publishers, authors, readers and reviewers.

The whole event was very unpleasant and left a negative air on what was supposed to be a positive thing.  Since March I’ve been treated badly by some authors and I wanted to put an end to it and this was the result of just trying to help.  However I won’t end on a negative note as my outlook over this is now rather positive.

Through all the bad stuff of the last few months I have managed to get through it and even though I was looking for others to give me more respect I actually have more respect for myself.  I no longer let the bad comments get to me and have grown a thicker skin, which is necessary for reviewers, authors and even bloggers I think.  I have met lots of wonderful new people who I can call friends and by going through the bad I have found support and know who my true friends are.  Rather than turn me away from reviewing and being online, it’s made me more sure of how important it is for me to continue providing honest reviews while at the same time it has made me realise how important it is I look after myself and follow my own path of creativity too.  So I really hope this bad chapter is truly over and that this is the very last Respect the Reviewer post I ever have to write.  I want to move on to a new chapter of life and my blog and I hope everyone else will respect that and be happy with that too :).  I also hope that if anyone ever disagrees with anything I write I hope we can discuss our differences in a civil and adult manner and not resort to being mean.  Life’s too short to get upset and angry :).

Any thoughts on what happened?  Do you disagree with the points raised?  Let me know in the comments :).

If you want to follow my new page on facebook click: Happymeerkatreviews

Or Twitter click: happymeerkatreviews

To read: Respect the Reviewer part 1

To read Respect the Reviewer part 2

A copy of this post can be seen on My Trending Stories

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Respect the Reviewer 3: What Happens When A Reviewer Tries to Get Respect

  1. When I was on my space I went through a lot of bad times and lots of very good times too but the haters I encountered through FB are astonishing. I am very sorry that you got targeted on what was a post intended for adults. Sorry to insult the intelligence of children here, lets just call the haters muggles. I don`t agree that the reviewer should pay the author, that just doesn`t make sense. The reviewer is doing the author a favour not the other way around. The most important thing is that we treat each other as professionals and give respect to one another. Well done for a fantastic post. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and thank you so much for the rebog :). It is amazing how so many people act like that. I wanted to call the behaviour childish too but you’re right, some children know how to act better than theses adults! lol. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post and the others too, thank you again 🙂

      Like

  2. Hi C

    Could I reblog your Respect the Reviewer 2 post? It’s so informative, I want to put it on the Taipei Writers’ Group page. https://taipeiwritersgroup.wordpress.com/

    Best wishes,

    Jenny

    On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 2:20 AM, happymeerkatreviews wrote:

    > C thehappymeerkat posted: “I was toying with the idea of calling this post > Respect the Reviewer 3: The Aftermath but I didn’t! This is the third, and > hopefully last, instalment of my Respect the Reviewer series which will > fully explain to those of you who don’t know, what happen” >

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Kat,
    I’m really sorry you had to go through that. It really wasn’t deserved. I think it was just one individual who had a bee in their bonnet and as usual, they take it out on the wrong person. Reviewers should not have to pay for books. They are paying the author in their time by taking the time to read the book and review it (and the review is a commercially exploitable commodity). Besides, these authors come to you, not the other way around. The model promoted by the author you quarrelled with would be completely unworkable. Reviewers would not be able to pay for books they review, and those who make a business of it, actually CHARGE for giving reviews. I’m glad you managed to get over the initial shock of what happened and continue. Writers who act like that most likely act like that in any life situation. Put in perspective, this and the other incident are a small percentage of your interactions with authors, which are in the majority, positive. Like most things, it’s about balance. Without writers, there’s nothing to read, but without readers there’s no point in writing. People should treat others with respect no matter what the situation, book review, buying a sandwich, or boarding an air-plane. If you don’t respect others, it’s likely not many people will respect you. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Kat,
    I’m really sorry you had to go through that. It really wasn’t deserved. I think it was just one individual who had a bee in their bonnet and as usual, they take it out on the wrong person. Reviewers should not have to pay for books. They are paying the author in their time by taking the time to read the book and review it (and the review is a commercially exploitable commodity). Besides, these authors come to you, not the other way around. The model promoted by the author you quarrelled with would be completely unworkable. Reviewers would not be able to pay for books they review, and those who make a business of it, actually CHARGE for giving reviews. I’m glad you managed to get over the initial shock of what happened and continue. Writers who act like that most likely act like that in any life situation. Put in perspective, this and the other incident are a small percentage of your interactions with authors, which are in the majority, positive. Like most things, it’s about balance. Without writers, there’s nothing to read, but without readers there’s no point in writing. People should treat others with respect no matter what the situation, book review, buying a sandwich, or boarding an air-plane. If you don’t respect others, it’s likely not many people will respect you. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You’ve basically summed up everything that I believe is true about how the review process and reviewers should be approached. There are those review sites that charge for reviews, I’ve even seen one here on wordpress that charge $50 a review so I would think authors would be happy that so many reviewers are willing to do them for free.
      I know it’s not easy for authors to send their work out for review, considering it could come back with a negative one, but I’ve personally always done my best to sound positive even if I mention criticisms and I do contact the authors personally if I find their book overall negative. What I like to do is condemn someone personally or their work in the way that other author did.
      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and it is a small percentage. I’ve had wonderful support from so many people and the countless shares of my post means I must have written something good :). This certainly hasn’t dented my view of authors and reviewing.
      btw, you’ve posted twice as Dean Baker and wistysboy? Is that you too? 🙂

      Like

    1. Thank you, I want to put the negativity behind me. Better to focus on the positive. These two incidents were minor and it hasn’t taken anything away from me and authors still want me to review their books and I have people who want to read my reviews so in the end I see this as a loss on their part not mine…Writing that up certainly has helped put an end to it (hopefully) 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, all the parts of respect the reviewer have been very informative. 👍😀

    Can’t disagree on any points. Without the authors there wouldn’t be any books but without readers there perhaps wouldn’t be any authors. One of my favourite books from last year was published by a big publisher but as the book didn’t sell the author is having to independently publish the sequel. We as readers need the authors to write the books so we can read but authors also need the readers so there books are published, etc.

    I find the blogger contributing to the cost to be wrong, reading and reviewing take time, I’m not fast at writing reviews so say the review took an hour to write, minimum wage is say £8, surely the fact the author gets a free review is good enough. I also have to make the point that it seems unfair for an author to ask a blogger to pay to review their book when the author is the one who contacted the blogger first.

    That’s my humble opinion, I do think there should be respect but unfortunately sometimes we as reviewers won’t like a book and sadly will have to review it as such, it can’t be helped. 😀

    Great series of posts though.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you :). I agree in not paying for books. I’ve actually seen sites where authors are asked to pay for book reviews so they should be happy that we are willing to do them for free. Writing a review and even reading the book takes me time so I think an author should respect the time it takes and not expect me to pay – I think that was the most bizarre statement made at the time lol.
      I’m glad you liked the series. I wanted to finish it off on a happy note and move on to more book reviewing, poetry writing and possibly other writing too in the future, didn’t want this bad incident over my head anymore, useless worrying about it 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I had an issue with an author where they sent the book and I didn’t read that particular genre. I told her I didn’t have time or the interest in reading her book and she demanded I send her money for it. She sent me a PDF via email. I thought that was completely ridiculous since it cost nothing to produce or send. It’s not like I had given her my home address and she sent a physical book. If that were the case, then I would’ve reviewed the book. I just think some authors are so disrespectful and think we should be grateful that they chose us to review their book. I really enjoyed reading your posts about respecting the reviewer. It’s a shame there’s always that one person that has to clog up the comments with their negativity. And like Drew said, authors need readers or they wouldn’t have a job. Reading a book and writing the review takes more than enough time that it should be considered payment for receiving a copy of the book. Not to mention that for a big publishing company, paper ARCs are write-offs, so it’s not that big of a deal to send them out. An indie author could do the same thing by setting up an LLC and reporting a loss if their book didn’t do well. Personally, that’s the route I’d go either way. I’m a financial analyst, so I always see ARCs as an opportunity for publishers and authors to use it for tax advantages. But that’s just my two cents. Nice post! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Thank you :)! Hmmm, I wonder if the author who demanded money from you is the same one who I had issues with, she wasn’t a comedy writer by any chance? Lol, anyway I’ve definitely found a divide between authors and reviewers in that you either get the occasional overdemanding author, or other authors who simply have no idea what their fellow authors can be like. And for those reviewers who happen to chance upon the weird authors they really do act as if reviewers don’t matter which I think is a very wrong thing, we’re all human beings, just because I didn’t write a book (yet), doesn’t make my own writing of any lower value than theirs.
        I love the idea of using ARCs in that way! Excellent idea :). Thank you for taking the time to read through this and commenting :).

        Liked by 2 people

      3. The author I dealt with wrote MG. I only worked with one nice author and a few that were understanding of my need to push back their reviews. But I did have some who were unpleasant. It seems to be happening a lot lately with indie authors.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow, and it’s sad too that so many indie authors act that way. Like you a lot of my reviews come later than I’ve originally planned and many authors are understanding, but some treat reviewers like a thing rather than a person and one author friend put it well on facebook when she said that some authors forget who’s doing who the favour when it comes to reviews! Hope you don’t encounter anymore unpleasant authors, your reviews are really great and all reviewers are worth being treated properly for the time we take to write up our reviews.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s