Bye bye baby bye bye
It’s your turn to cry
That’s why we have to say goodbye
So say goodbye
Madonna ~ Bye Bye Baby

What the hell is going on over at Goodreads?

Do the authors think Goodreads is their private fan club or something? I mean wow! Do they think if I review a book there they somehow own it? Can they demand that I have to read the whole fucking thing to leave a review now?

Anyway, if you have not seen I did a quick for me Grade F review of R.J. Scott ~ The Heart Of Texas. Which I was never going to post over here on the website since frankly it sucked ass and there was not much about the bad writing found in it I have not gone over before in other reviews here.

Nothing out of character for me really. The damn thing was like 400 pages and I got through the first 200 and had enough bad editing and rambling writing and characters I could have given a rat’s ass about. So flush this book went.

Well, how dare I! First R.J. Scott says to me…

Thank you for reading and your review.

I wonder if maybe you kind of missed the point that this IS a soap opera story???

I am however very pleased that it inspired passion in you to comment. Rj x

Remember folks the first two rules of writing. 1) Do not respond to a negative review and 2) Do not respond to a negative review. So I was like whateverz chicky poo.

Then surprise two wandering authors from Dreamspinner Press Julie Lynn Hayes who felt my review had poor punctuation and was unprofessionally edited or something and Diane Adams who wanted to argue with me about what I define as Gay Romance got involved.

Now honestly, two random writers from Dreamspinner Press out of nowhere feel my review of The Heart Of Texas is unfair at the same time. Yeah, I’ll buy that for a dollar.

Then some Goodreads user who seems to have joined in January of this year suddenly starts accusing me of not even reading the book. Then goes on to basically refute my review in a distinctly sock puppet way by pointing out I misrepresented the motives of some straight couple I happened to mention in the review of a Gay Romance.

Well R.J. Scott suddenly barges in like this is her review or something and demands…

TP – you clearly did not read the book otherwise you would have seen the exchange of vows, the love that the two men shared, the willingness to take secrets to their grave for each other, and you would have seen exactly how the other *minor* characters served to build a love that will last an eternity. You are entitled to your opinion, I just wish you wouldn’t use this book to draw in such hatred for a cause about some nebulous non-gay-romance – where I am not sure you even know what you mean.

Cole, you loved my other writing, my other books – why would you believe that the romance in this book is any different? Again, you have your opinion and I am sure when you post your review you will have read the entire book and be fair as you have been with all of my books so far :-)

Lastly, Yvonne, thank you so much for trying to get potential people to see that TP didn’t actually finish the book. I appreciate so much when one of my readers takes the time to become emotionally involved with me and my books and i hug you hard for it, as it means my job as a writer has been done. Step away from TP now, his comments are starting to deteriorate and I don’t want a war. Email me privately if you would like a chat rj@rjscott.co.uk.

Thanks guys

*written whilst ill with flu so please excuse random spelling mistakes*

Listen bitches, how about the answer is no and get the fuck out of my face on Goodreads and find somewhere else to act like a group of high school idiots.

It is not your review. It is not your comment section. It is not your fan website. Not yours! I frankly could care the fuck less if you think my review was fair or not and no I will not read all 400 pages of your crap just to review your ass and give you a fucking F. There was and continues to be absolutely no reason you ever have needed to start interacting with me on Goodreads those are pretty much my reviews and my opinion not your free advertising.

I really wish you had shown me some professional restraint and shut the hell up!

So R.J. Scott no I would not buy another book from you.
Julie Lynn Hayes same thing to you dear bad punctuation and all.
Diane Adams you don’t even know what Romance is so why would I bother buying your books?

I have finally found a good use for Goodreads. Trolling for fucktard authors.

A PDF of the entire event. Goodreads_TheHeartofTexas

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"Using Goodreads To Wash Out The Strange" by TeddyPig was published on February 23rd, 2011 and is listed in eBook Commentary.

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Comments on "Using Goodreads To Wash Out The Strange": 43 Comments

  1. Alaina wrote,

    WTF? Do these authors not realize what a small community m/m is? We’ve had so many discussions in the GR m/m reading group about this kind of bad behavior and how it turns readers off.

    Yeah, not bothering with any of those authors…

  2. Holly wrote,

    Listen bitches, how about the answer is no and get the fuck out of my face on Goodreads and find somewhere else to act like a group of high school idiots.

    I heart you. That is all.

  3. Mandi wrote,

    Gee… condescending much? How about this is YOUR GR page, YOUR review, YOUR thoughts. The end.

    Will never buy from this author.

  4. Tweets that mention Using Goodreads To Wash Out The Strange | The Naughty Bits -- Topsy.com wrote,

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by bookbinge and Has, Sarah Louise. Sarah Louise said: RT @bookbinge: Oh look, more author asshat behavior. This time on @Goodreads. I guess it's the month for it. http://bit.ly/eLsJgi [...]

  5. Tori [Book Faery] wrote,

    I know you’re venting, but the sheer stupidity (of the authors involved) makes me laugh. Amazing how ballsy some authors from smaller presses are… and not in a good way.

  6. Tiffany wrote,

    These authors are a joke in the gay community, stupid hags writing gay romance because they cant have some gay man they are in love with.

    Trust me, I know some people who are involved in gay fiction publication. They laugh at these women….

  7. kel wrote,

    I just joined Goodreads because I thought I might find people interested in the genres I like, as well as interesting new books that I had missed or not seen on the publisher websites. After seeing the behavior following your review, I’m not sure 1) I’ll be interacting there and, 2) I’ll be able to trust reviews there since they try to pressure folks into altering them.

    That said, I loved your responses. I heart you also.

  8. Ferishia wrote,

    Yah! What Holly said!

  9. Ridley wrote,

    For what it’s worth, this has prompted me to create the “brat authors to avoid” shelf I’ve been meaning to make for eons. So, thanks!

  10. TeddyPig wrote,

    Tori I am venting here because it’s my blog and my thing and I felt over there it was too easy for people to remove or change words or whatever. I am a little taken back by how authors feel entitled to show their ass over there.

  11. lilgrogan wrote,

    Coming out of lurkdom to say: I like you, I like you a lot. ;)

  12. Sylvia Sybil wrote,

    You know, that first comment doesn’t bother me. I think it’s perfectly professional to thank someone for their time. I also think it’s acceptable to privately correct a fundamental error, so if the author thought you had misread the genre, it’s a bit rude to take it public but the review is public so, okay.

    The second comment is just WTF, though. If I wanted the reviewer’s reaction to a book I’d post on their review, and if I wanted the author’s reaction I’d post on their site. Goodreads has pages to talk with authors, fan clubs or whatever (I don’t utilize that feature but I know it’s available for others).

    Reviews are for readers and it’s unnerving to have the author join in the conversation. I mean, how could I give my honest opinion that, frex, the heroine was a wet dishrag if the author’s right there telling me that no, actually sitting around waiting to be rescued is a show of strength because she’s strong to trust in true love or whatever BS?

  13. Erastes wrote,

    I have to say that I agree, one should never respond to a negative review–in fact my advice and something I bang on about a lot is that you should never respond to ANY review. Good or bad. Perhaps–and I mean PERHAPS–consider sending a personal note for a good review, but I wouldn’t even do that. It comes over as stalkerish behaviour,that the author is scouring the net finding reviews of their stuff–and as Sylvia rightly says, reviews are for readers and it is a little creepy having the author suddenly jump in, whether he or she has sold one book or 20 million.

    However, Tiffany, I have to stick up for my genre here, or for myself, perhaps. I’m certainly not writing gay fiction/romance because I’m in love with any gay guys. Well, ok, perhaps The T-Pig, but he knows I have a shrine to him. :)

  14. TeddyPig wrote,

    Sylvia,

    I figured the first response was the “news at eleven” author disagrees with negative review. It was further along I realized that they did not understand the review was not for the writer.

    Erastes,

    It’s not my day for it. I was just staying out of any “authenticity” discussions. You know that’s not my thing.

  15. Emilie wrote,

    Wow. Cannot believe the author argued with you about the review and a couple of other authors stepped in to argue, too. And seriously, correcting your grammar? A review is for readers, not authors, as several people have said.

    The other strange thing is how many people seem to be arguing with you about what a romance is. How about “I know it when I see it.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it Or, you know it when you don’t see it. Does it need to get that much more elaborate?

  16. Ally Blue wrote,

    o_O
    Okay, you know what, the “you shoulda kept reading, then you’d understand” argument doesn’t really hold water. As authors, if we haven’t written something interesting by the time the book’s half over then we fail. Period.

  17. TeddyPig wrote,

    Ally

    Do you have a book with 4 hundred pages? I mean, I was really trying to understand that position and I was trying to think of one talented author I really love out there who has even broken a 3 hundred page story recently.

    I just can’t figure one out. I mean I basically read what most authors would consider a whole book.

  18. Mikou wrote,

    No matter how many times it happens, there’s always going to be someone new (or who acts new) who’s oblivious to how bad attacking a reviewer looks. If the book was failing for you at the halfway mark, it would be ridiculous to think that slogging through the rest was going to turn things around drastically. I’ve been there, done that and felt resentful that I wasted my time on something that was so disappointing.

    As for the implication that you didn’t get it or, in the words of Anne Rice, you interrogated the text from the wrong perspective, the author really should be looking at where she failed, not blaming or accusing the reader/reviewer.

  19. Ally Blue wrote,

    Mr. Pig, so far I haven’t managed to write a book that long, nope. One day, maybe :) I’m with Mikou here. Regardless of how long or short a book is, if the author hasn’t captured the reader’s attention well before the halfway mark, then the author needs to be saying “what have I done wrong here?” not blaming the reader for somehow reading it the wrong way.

  20. TeddyPig wrote,

    Listen Ally just smack two of your books together and I will read the whole thing. At least I know I will get two HEAs for the price of one.

    That’s just smart shopping.

  21. wren wrote,

    This columnist makes an excellent point (http://www.levenger.com/pagetemplates/wellreadlife/wellreadlife.asp?params=category=541|level=2|pageid=3221&filename=column#):

    “To help them know when to give up, many professional readers apply the 50-page rule. If the book hasn’t grabbed them by then, they give it the heave-ho….Most of us give up on people faster than books. Imagine you’re at a cocktail party and the first person you chat with turns out to be a stupendous bore. Do you keep talking to him for the next hour because you started with him? To the contrary, you suddenly develop a passionate interest in the spinach dip across the room and excuse yourself.”

    There’s no way an author can satisfy every reader. I second the advice Erastes gave – an author should not respond to negative reviews. The internet has given us all these wonderful communities but sometimes they get to be like the kitchen during the family get-together when everyone’s had a little too much hard cider!

  22. TeddyPig wrote,

    If I spend good money on a book I will do my best to at least give it a shot to some halfway point if not a little more. Some authors take a while to get cooking and some books are simply better in the second half.

    This was a case where I was still wondering where the writer was going and if the editor was even awake.

  23. Kelly S. Bishop wrote,

    I give you credit for sticking with it that long. If I don’t like a book I’m reading I usually bail around the 50 page mark. Sooner, if I find the hero/heroine is seriously stupid or annoying.

    Somebody needs to remind these writers that no one ever has or ever will write a book that EVERYBODY loves.

  24. Jadette Paige wrote,

    Kudos to you, TP, for standing up for your right to have an opinion! Ditto on the never respond to a negative review, too!

  25. KB/KT Grant wrote,

    What is wrong with authors? Never, EVER comment on a negative review! It doesn’t give you any brownie points and you’ll lose readers.

    I also hate it as I’m reading and post my process on Goodreads, an author may comment there. It makes me so uncomfortable knowing they’re watching my comments. What if I say something they don’t like? They’ll leave another comment, thus making my very uncomfortable.

  26. TeddyPig wrote,

    I don’t know KT I was amazed that I found even three authors were treating Goodreads like that. I would think they would know better but obviously not.

  27. Mahlet wrote,

    In the age of Twitter and romance blogs, my “do not buy” author and publisher list is growling at an alarming rates. What a bunch of idiots!

  28. Josephine Myles wrote,

    I’m guessing some of the authors must have realised what their comments looked like so they’ve gone back in there and deleted them. The whole comment thread is really disjointed now, and that long message from RJ you’ve posted above no longer appears.

    I’ve always thought it was good manners to say thanks for reviews on review blogs, but I’m going to steer well clear of commenting on any Goodreads reviews in future unless I happen to know the reviewer positively enjoys chatting to the author. I know Kassa says she does.

    200 pages is a helluva long time to stick with a book you’re not into. It sounds like you gave it your best shot.

  29. TeddyPig wrote,

    I am more than happy to talk to authors and my email box is loaded to prove that.

    I fully support authors and I spend good money reading their books. If the book does not work for me and I review it then I try and give the author the respect of saying why while not being personal about it and not just throwing out there some type of “hated it” with no reason given.

    I mean, at least I see that as respect for the effort they made and if it is something interesting I can share and maybe it might help someone the next time around then great but I try and keep it all as honest as possible.

    This was a mess because I really felt their reaction had no place in that comment section.

    Oh and I have a printout of that whole comment section I am not stupid. They might as well left those comments right there where they were.

    The printout PDF file from the night of my final comment is now posted on the main post at the bottom.

  30. Sylvia Sybil wrote,

    Having now read the PDF, I must retract my earlier comment about how it’s acceptable to comment with a factual clarification. Based on RJ’s later comments, she(?) wasn’t trying to resolve a misunderstanding but instead undermine your interpretation of the book.

    I’m not sure who’s the biggest idiot here, but I have a soft spot for Diane’s “Everyone should read reviews before they buy so they know what to expect, and it’s your own fault if you believe the cover copy! But nobody should actually write those reviews if they’re going to be all honest about it.”

    Reviews are for readers. Authors, you got to say your piece in the text. Now it’s our turn to react and discuss with one another.

  31. Catriana wrote,

    Being a new author to the fray(my first release being in June), I’m surprised by the reaction in the comments. I definitely can understand not responding to a bad review, but feeling creeped out because the author may read your review? Huh? I mean, reviews are usually public so anyone could read them. Just because someone writes a story doesn’t mean they’re above reading what you had to say about it, regardless of whether or not they respond.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I find value in reviews. Granted, I started with writing fanfiction, but the reviews there helped me with a lot of things. Grammar errors, some characterization issues, repetitiveness, etc. In addition sometimes if you’re having a crappy day, a glowing review can be uplifting.

    I didn’t respond to my reviewers normally unless they asked me a specific question and wanted me to reply, but if someone took the time to sit down and leave a well thought out review, I had felt it at least kind enough to thank them for taking time out of their lives to do so.

    But seeing this makes me not want to respond to anything at all, it’s fairly intimidating to see readers go “Authors, stay in your corner! We don’t want you, good or bad!” I always felt that responding to certain reviews made an author look more human, but I guess not? *shrug* I suppose you learn something new everyday.

  32. Jacqueline George wrote,

    As an author, here are my personal rules:

    1) any reviewer who has made an effort to do a sensible review, deserves a quick, no-comment ‘thank you’ from me. Where would we all be without sensible reviewers?

    2) it is a fact of life that reviews I consider stupid or trollish SHOULD NOT be replied to. You can’t argue with idiots and come out ahead.

  33. My Blog Even Refused To Post Your Comment | The Naughty Bits wrote,

    [...] This came in over on the Using Goodreads To Wash Out The Strange [...]

  34. TeddyPig wrote,

    Catrina,

    I think it is because authors just generally take criticism of their baby… in this case the book in question personally.

    I think most reviewers don’t mind an author popping in and commenting HEY THANKS for reviewing this or that and leaving promptly.

    But turning a review’s comment section into a whole conversation around a book with the author defending the work if the review is critical in any way can just NO NO NO it will get ugly and personal especially when I like many reviewers are trying their damnedest to come up with interesting things to say in any review without repeating ourselves on end about the same type of problems which are constantly repeated in what we read etc etc etc but also NOT TO GET personal in approaching the review AT ANY POINT.

    It’s just better to say do not respond and hey offer to do an interview where maybe that type of conversation can be interesting but kept in a good light without the immediacy of a comment section and the possibility of bad feelings.

  35. Darlene wrote,

    No offence, but reviews are like assholes everyone has one and most amount to nothing. Even a bad review can sell a book. Whether reviewer or author, both should be able to say whatever they feel and if neither can take the heat, they shouldn’t be passing comments to begin with. A review on the New York best seller list is worth reading, a review on some obscure blog…**yawns**
    Goodreads is only meant to be fun. It’s also meant to give authors the chance to share their work and the readers some insight/information as to what they’re reading and who wrote it. So to get all wound up because some author defends him/herself or because some reviewer has shot a smart ass comment in… Why waste the time.

  36. TeddyPig wrote,

    Darlene,

    You are so right Goodreads should be fun it is meant for readers to post and share their fun reviews on the books they own and read.

    And most likely there will be negative reviews and those can be fun too for readers because not every book works for us and that is something we as readers all share and understand.

    Authors are not supposed to start telling readers how they should be reviewing their books on fun time happy Goodreads right?

    So that’s what I was talking about. Maybe readers might get a bit upset if over zealous self promoting authors suddenly started being the main purpose of Goodreads and not the readers stating their honest opinions which might conflict with the author’s opinion of their own books.

  37. Ike Rose wrote,

    As a fairly new writer of m/m romance, no one had to tell me not to respond to reviewers. My first release was one of two m/m stories in a Valentine’s Day anthology of four stories. I had a strong reaction to our first review, which actually was very positive of my story, but sounded surprise that a gay man could be so romantic. I was silent, deciding it was poor wording.

    Two major reviews, who both loved “the book”, totally ignored my story and Michael Mandrake’s. They reviewed the first and last story, and just pretended the gay stuff wasn’t there. At least one of them mentioned our names. Oddly enough, it was the authors of the straight stories who were the angriest. As a former actor I know that any generally good review of a show brings in an audience, who can then make up their own mind about your individually panned performance.

    When I review a book I couldn’t finish, I say simply “I couldn’t finish this book. I didn’t like the part of it I read.” This goes back to my college acting days, when the school paper ran theater reviews by an anonymous reviewer. She insisted that it was necessary due to the smallness of the Theater Department.

    Someone found out who it was, and we discovered she was writing reviews based on attending rehearsals. She had been seen leaving at the end of the first act of a five act play, then commented on the last two acts about things that had been changed. Let’s just say she stopped being the reviewer – and had no more friends. She escaped a lynching.

    Personally, if I hate what I wrote by 1/4 in, I put it in my WIP file to be revisited in the future..The last story I submitted I had three writers read and critique before submission.

    I do take exception to your reader who insulted the women who write m/m romances. They do it for a lot of reasons, but all of the ones who I am close two are happily married, mostly mothers of small kids. Why is it that straight men can drool over the idea of lesbian sex, but when straight women admit that the idea of gay men getting it on revs their engines, they have to be poor fag-hags with no sex life?

    Can we spell DOUBLE STANDARD? Man are allowed lurid sexual fantasies, while women, it seems, must still live in Victorian times.

    … .

  38. TeddyPig wrote,

    Hey Ike,

    I don’t know what to tell you big guy.

    I am still trying to figure out why I as a gay man reading gay romance am constantly told my opinion on if a gay romance works for me or not is meaningless because it was written for straight women.

    A gay man can have no valid opinion of gay romance because the author used some “straights only” mojo on it.

    As you can probably tell I have had some fascinating discussions about all this over the years.

    But I am still here in my corner of the Internet on my little blog reading my forbidden texts. And opening my big mouth despite what some mavens of m/m may think.

  39. Jacqueline George wrote,

    Two issues here, really.
    1) what to do about’attack’ reviews? and 2) women writing m/m erotica.

    I don’t think you can do much about 1) – they go with the internet.

    2) is much more interesting to me. Fact is, large numbers of straight women like fantasising and reading about m/m sexual and romantic relations. Don’t know why, but I do know if they ever got the chance to join in the fun, their exit would be blink of the eye stuff. Shrug. Remember we are talking females’ fantasy here, not the real thing. I doubt if most gays would even start these books, let alone finish with a good opinion.

    What is interesting about this trend is that most women would NEVER attempt a lesbian book written by a man. Many (a majority?) would not read a lesbian story anyway, but they would be absolutely sure that whatever happens between two women, a man could never get to the truth of it.

    No-one ever said that humans are logical.

  40. TeddyPig wrote,

    Well I have only brought up one issue here and that is writers who respond to negative reviews. I think it has been pointed out that reviews are for readers not writers.

    That is that. As long as a review is about the book there is no “attack review”.

    In essence the reader/reviewer is the customer and the author is the seller.
    To turn your customers into the enemy is never a good thing no matter how much they did not like their last purchase.

  41. Jacqueline George wrote,

    TeddyPig,

    I think you are incorrect to say there no ‘attack’ reviews at all. I have read a couple that seemed to be more of a rant than a review. And then there are the people who go around sticking 1 star rating on books without letting anyone know who they are, why they have issued their star, or even if they have read the book. We have noticed a case recently of some-one who apparently does not like erotica and ran around doing just that.

    In my opinion, a sneaky way of doing damage. At least reviewers explain what they are doing.

    Reviews matter to me and to any author. Good ones sell books, bad ones can mean no sales to those readers. If one of those lands on your book’s Amazon page, believe me, that matters.

    Reviews and reviewers are part of an author’s life and, on the whole, reviewers are responsible. My experience has been just that, even if I grumble about a couple of them. You put something out for public consumption, people are going to have opinions about it. Of course, the same applies to reviewers. People have opinions on their work and if the reviewer can establish a reliable reputation, he/she will gain a significant following. The very small, abusive end of the review business doesn’t feature here, of course.

  42. TeddyPig wrote,

    People leaving nasty notes is just part of the internet. As you can see I collect them myself. It’s a hobby.

    I think it looks much worse as a reader if the only rating of a book on Goodreads is if the author gave their own book 5 stars.

    A one star rating could mean the person is using that star system to sort books with or maybe you are right they are messing around in Goodreads doing something strange maybe they just do not know how to put a book on their list without giving it a one star rating.

    I do not know, it is hard to attribute any motivation to it at all without them leaving any indication as to why. Maybe they think a one star rating is a good thing.

    I think it is only an issue if you are counting each one like it actually means anything.

    Maybe Goodreads is not the best tool for the author to do that with. Seems to me it would be better for the author to see “how many” people have even added the book to their read shelf. I myself count the number of written reviews as a sign the book is worth reading or not.

    If only five people ever indicated they read the book but each one left something in writing about what they liked or disliked then that is useful no matter what the average score might tend to look like. I have context as to what did and did not work for the readers so I can make an informed decision.

    If 500 people all indicated they had read a book and everyone gave it five stars but no one writes a single dang thing about the book that means equally nothing to me except maybe the writer has a ton of dedicated fans who press buttons but no one wants to admit the book was not all that great in relation to other books they might rave about. You can interpret those stars as meaning just about anything when there is no context.

    Goodreads has many issues with it’s interface and one of them is simply sorting and filtering and it does none of those things very well. The whole star system is so limited in scope and incredibly non-informative and way open to whatever interpretation you want to give it I would so not focus on that.

  43. Jacqueline George wrote,

    I agree with you, TeddyPig, about the star rating system. The person I mentioned above has left over 1000 single stars on erotica and especially m/m erotica. For some-one who doesn’t like the genre, he/she seems to read an awful lot of it! I would favour a system that only allows reviews or rating on a bookshop page if you actually bought the book.

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