Sunday, February 8, 2015

We Need To Talk....Goodreads, Reviewers, & BingoGate

I'm usually a day late on everything, I have no problem admitting that either. It is what it is. Yesterday I got on Goodreads to read a new review of my book. Thinking back now, ironically, the review of my book could have been taken negatively. I was so tickled to have an honest review that I didn't even think to let it hurt my feelings. As a matter of fact, I sent the reviewer a heartfelt "thank you" message because I truly appreciated the fact that she took time out of her busy life to read my book that may or not be crap. 

While on Goodreads, I noticed a review for a book on my To-Read list had gotten a lot of attention. And thus was my introduction into BingoGate. If you are behind like I was, let me break it down for you. 

  • Author wrote a book 
  • Author allowed people to review the book
  • Reviewer posted review on Goodreads 
  • Author didn't like review on Goodreads
  • Instead of taking the criticism and turning it into something positive or ignoring it all together, Author acted like a 5 year old and created a "Bingo" card for other YA authors who are also part-time kindergartners. 
  • Reviewer(S) saw said Bingo card and felt insulted
  • Author tried to backtrack and say that it was all out of fun and that she wasn't intending to insult anyone (although she did post on a question on Twitter asking what pissed you off the most in Goodreads reviews of YA novels right before the posting of the Bingo card and then posted about how it took an hour for anyone to get mad at her about the Bingo card which let me know that pissing people off was exactly what she intended) 

I've seen several authors saying that it was funny (kudos to you if you thought it was) and that sometimes authors just need to blow off some steam and that is probably what she was doing. I'm sorry, I call bullshit on that excuse. There was a lot of thought put into this Bingo card, which means she had time to think about what she was doing before she posted it. If she wanted to feel some sense of validation for her feelings and shared it with other authors where reviewers couldn't see it, I don't necessarily think that would have been a bad thing. Instead, she knowingly put something out there that would hurt feelings and cause drama. 

The biggest problem I have with BingoGate and the issue between authors and bloggers is that SOME authors treat book bloggers like they're beneath them or that they should be falling all over themselves because an author gave them the opportunity to review their book.


In the world that we live in today where most people are connected to the internet, book bloggers are of vital importance to your book. Not the other way around. Book bloggers do not NEED your book on their blog to keep going. They can pick up several other books and keep right on moving without it even affecting them. Authors, on the other hand, need that promotion to keep people interested in their book so that people will buy it. Before I became a book blogger I checked Goodreads quite frequently when I was thinking about buying a book in order to see the reviews. I don't want to waste my hard-earned money on something that really wasn't worth it. 

As an author, I am THANKFUL for any review that I get. Even if a review says that it sucked and they send me a video of themselves setting my book on fire, I am still thankful and appreciative that they took the time to read my book. Yes, I will probably have the Ugly Kardashian Cries for a little bit BUT that comes with the territory of being a WRITER. As much as you want EVERYONE to love your book as much as you do, it's just not going to happen. Someone somewhere is going to find something wrong with your book even if you've had God himself edit it twice. 

Instead of throwing a fit all over social media, take all of the criticism, good and bad, and use it to make your writing BETTER. No matter how long you've been writing, you can always improve. Use the reviews as a way to evaluate your work with an outside eye. Or say lots of cuss words and scream into pillows. Cry. Do whatever you have to do to deal with it personally but do not act a fool in public. It makes you look very unprofessional and very ungrateful. Most of these book bloggers aren't professional book critics. They are READERS who share a love of books and want to take an active role in the book world. They are the people who are going out and buying your other books or telling their friends to go out and buy your books. If you piss them off or piss all over them, you run the risk of losing your readership. As it stands now, I've seen several people state that they're not reading the Bingo book simply because of the author's behavior. And yes, I am one of those people. 

I feel like I just wrote about this a few days back. Snobs in the Bookish Community

Don't treat people like crap just because you didn't like something that they said. And don't be mistaken and think that book bloggers owe you a positive review because you gave them a free book. They owe you nothing other than an HONEST review, which you agreed to when you offered them a free copy of your book. 

To sum it all up: 

Don't put your book out into the world if you aren't ready for the reviews. Don't criticize others if you cannot take criticism yourself. Be grateful that people are taking the time to review your book. Treat your readers with respect. Stop being a cry baby. Be a professional. 

Or stop writing. 

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