Saturday, January 7, 2012
Saturday Discussion: Author/Blogger Relationships
If you've been around at all this week, especially on Twitter, you should have been noticing tweets from bloggers saying that it's our right to type up a bad review. It's our right to have an opinion, even a negative or mean one, because that's what an opinion is. It isn't a fact but rather what a person thought about something.
Then, you've seen authors talking, thanking bloggers for the hard work they put into reviewing or saying everyone has a right to an opinion or equally kind things.
It's because of several authors acting badly as of late. It goes directly back to what I was talking about last week with author's commenting on posts. I've said here that I don't mind when author's comment on my posts but commenting on a negative review can be awkward for both the reviewer and the author if they choose to comment on it. Last week, I even stated that I felt it was inappropriate for an author to comment on a negative review publicly. Some people felt that was a double standard or questioned me on this and I understand why. Their points were valid and made a lot of sense. I would absolutely stand by what I said in any review but I still feel it causes unnecessary awkwardness when an author comments on a negative review.
And then boom, this week sort of proves my point. Several authors have let bad reviews get to them. They've gone as far as to attack these reviewers personally and publicly for their negative reviews. And that is a problem, not only for the reviewer who is getting publicly slammed for being honest but for the author whose career it is damaging. Perhaps when I was stating that I didn't think it appropriate for an author to comment on a negative review, I was looking to my own future and expressing how I would react for my career. I wear both hats here so I understand what both sides are like.
This whole debacle has me worried and no one wins. I want authors and their readers to communicate openly with each other as both a reader and a future author (I swear I'm not being presumptuous here, I just don't plan on ever giving up until I'm published).
But what I hate more than the way we are treating each other is what it is doing to the community. I've already seen comments saying "this is why I don't read YA" and I'm thinking "what?". Don't let one or two bad representatives give the entire genre a bad name. Because the YA genre is filled with the most humble, excited, alive authors I've ever come across. And likewise, it has some of the most loyal and loving readers out there. I don't want our community to get a bad name because several people decided to type some words that they will probably come to regret.
Because these mean spirited reviews and these angry author rebuttals are not my YA.
My YA saves. My YA bands together in the face of untruth and stands up for what they believe. My YA is filled with authors who look their readers in the eye and thank them over and over again for coming out to see them. My YA is filled with people that write posts dedicated to their favorite characters and shove their favorite books into any pair of open hands.
Yes, a few authors screwed up this week. Yes, I feel like a few bloggers did too. But let's not forget what all brings us here. It is love, it is dedication and it is a passion so bright that it can't be put out. It's the countless nights spent under the covers with a good book, the missed bed times, the shared discussions and hours of staring at a keyboard typing (for writers and bloggers alike).
This week has made each of us consider what we believe in. I think we should believe in each other. Because without that, this community wouldn't exist.
Power to the writers.
Power to the readers.
And power to every one of us that are in between.