Can’t Argue With Ignorance!
My Daddy used to say it all the time.
For the record, I have picked the Red Sox to win the World Series this year. This has absolutely nothing to do with writing or reviews. It has to do with the fact I love the Red Sox. After enduring the last two years, I have been able to watch and enjoy the Red Sox again instead of cringing when they played. My pick, also, has nothing to do with logic. I picked them because I love their spirit and will defend them to the end because they are once more playing with heart.
So I betca wondering why I mentioned the Red Sox…or maybe not…but anyhow I was thinking about when I first began not exactly writing but participating in social media. I’m not what one would say a social butterfly. I never have been. I had the misconception that being behind the computer I would be able to participate in the cyber world around me and not feel so much like a wallflower. Hasn’t worked out that way.
When I started my first blog, it was more like a journal for me. I enjoyed writing about my family activities, my nephew’s ‘first’ book and his interview, my dogs, my adjustment living in the North after being raised in the deep South… I stopped. Not because I wanted to stop, but because of the reality of the internet. I would have loved to have shared different milestones in my life—for my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary renewing my vows in Dingle, Ireland, stories about my dogs, my mother’s health issues and her ignore it and it will go away attitude that seems to be working for her, my husband’s mother Alzheimer’s, where I get my ideas for my books, my other job…
I know…I know that not every one is interested in my life…okay…most people aren’t interested in my life. It was mainly for me, but I stopped because I started seeing what I wrote on my blog being used against me in reviews. For some reason, my personal life became fair game in reviews about my book.
If anyone has been following my blogs (Jerri Hines and Carrie James Haynes) other than my stalker and myself, you will remember when I first got attacked. To me it came out of no where… the viciousness startled me. The intensity of hatred aimed at me shocked me. I mean usually when I get that kind of reaction they have at least met me.
I’m kinda used to the bad reviews now. I expect them. The only trouble I’m having is deciphering whether they are real bad reviews or troll bad reviews. I shouldn’t say that. I can. Most the time the tone of the review will be the telling sign. I do pick up on things. I am not as dense as I may seem. Reviews like
Could any one who writes so poorly expect anyone to pay to suffer through another insult to the reader ‘s intelligence?
I did read the entire short “book” and even shared some of the funniest mistakes with my husband for a good laugh!
Or is it the reviewer’s only review? Or is it one of many bad reviews with on a few good reviews littered amongst the tattered ruins of one and two star reviews? There was one reviewer that left a one star review that reviewed four to five books a day with one to two star three to four times a week. Someone really needs to recommend a good book for the poor thing.
Yesterday, a friend called my attention to a blog written by Nathan Bransford. It was about Goodreads Bullies. After reading the blog, I felt obligated to lend credence to the blog by telling some of my story. For the first time (besides on my blogs) I came out and talked about my situation.
I took a deep breath…debated whether or not I should…walked away and then came back and wrote. After I hit the send button, I wondered if I should have commented or not. I watched and waited to see if it got any response…nope, none. No one even noticed what I said…they were too busy writing their own comments. Oh, my comment that I lamented on is just a whisper in the wind. The only ones that noticed, I’m certain, was my panicked heart and my stalker. Oh…I’m certain I will pay for my misdeed and pay I will. It was a difficult decision because no matter how bad I think it is now, it can get worse and probably will.
When I left my comment, the blog had 103 comments. I believe it now went over 200…talk about intense… it called to mind a saying my daddy used to tell me—
You can’t argue with ignorance!
Of course, he, also, said “You may be right, but I ain’t wrong.” (If you don’t understand that one, you’ve never met anyone in my family.)
But all kidding aside. Bullying is an issue that needs to be addressed. Like most issues, most of us turn our heads because it hasn’t happened to us. I would really like to understand why some people feel it’s necessary to be so mean, belittling, and malicious. There is no need. They feel it is their right. I disagree. Poor Lauren Howard. How can anyone leave a review on a book they haven’t read or for that matter has even been released? What about Lauren’s rights? What about common sense?
Now, while I’m on a rant and before I crawl back into my cave…I do have a book to finish…I want to say that I believe that reviews have been tainted long before it because fashionable to be an Indie writer. Long before readers’ reviews were so important.
Right after my first book was published, I read this book…released by a major publisher. I wrote about it on my blog years ago. I never mentioned the name of the author, but wondered where all the 5 star reviews were coming from…I mean at the time I was getting rejected right and left for some of the same errors I saw in the book…so I know errors when I see them… Really, it was a historical written like a contemporary. I came to the realization that these blogs and websites that were giving the glowing 5 star reviews were also accepting advertising from these same publishers…large ads. I may not be a rocket scientist (For shame! I only I work in a lowly Chemistry lab), I believe that it is obvious that there may have been a conflict of interest…maybe. Do you think? Yet, it was and is an accepted practice…
Now, mind you, I have faith in my ability to chose my own books. Yes, I read reviews, but I also read the blurb and the free sample that is given. Usually does the trick for me. Donald Maass said once at a conference, he knows within the first 5 pages whether its a good book or not. But don’t we all know most of the time whether the book is going to interest us or not very quickly?
I will say I strongly believe in a person’s right to their opinion. Strongly. But there is a line that has been crossed.
But once more I have veered off the straight and narrow path of my intended thought. It was the Red Sox. Right? What did I want to say? That’s right—Red Sox’s all the way! Go Sox!