Writer Wednesday—Dealing with the Idiocy

Yep, as a writer—or a human being—we’re all called upon at times to deal with the pettiness of daily life. Sometimes, that can seem ever present, ever constant, and PUBLIC. The truth is that it’s really none of those things.

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from that strange site, Goodreads. The one that is supposed to be about readers sharing their opinions of books but has, sadly, become a huge advertisement. I was pretty excited a couple years ago, when I finally created an account there. But then . . .

First, Goodreads allowed someone who had NOT read my first book, Reduced, to rate and review it. It was pretty obvious that she hadn’t read the book, and so I complained; I was positive this was someone who had been bashing me personally, on and off, for a few weeks before the book was released.

Goodreads removed the review, but not the rating. I complained a second time when someone marked a book as having one star AND as on his or her “to read” shelf. How can you rate a book if you haven’t read it? Again. Goodreads finally got back to me and said that some members “rated” books as to how BADLY they wanted to read them. Um, okay. Whatever.

Once, I had “librarian” status there; then it disappeared. Goodreads never could tell me why, they just kept saying to re-apply; never heard anything else.

And every time I log on, I have at least 25 invites to “events” in which I have zero interest. Online “events.” Ugh.

So, not a fan.

Back to the email, and the point of this whole thing: Goodreads said that I had to “disclose” that I had published some books, according to the FCC, any time I rated or reviewed them. I had not done so. My bad. If anyone wanted to know WHO I was, they could click on my name and go right to my profile. It says there, in plain English, that I own Rocking Horse Publishing. Duh.

[I could also add a comment about how the US Government concerning itself with book reviews is just plain ridiculous, but that’s probably better left for another day and another topic.]

So this morning I have a message from an author about an anonymous blog post talking smack about RHP and the author and me. It was related to this “disclosure” mess, but led back to a review on Goodreads that was POSTED OVER A YEAR AGO.

The reviewer had said there were “errors.” I asked if she could send me a list, so they could be fixed. Truthfully, there were a few, but mostly it was formatting. The problem was that she didn’t SEND me a list, but added her response to the review thread itself. I was astounded, and pointed out, nicely, that I had expected a PM.

Here’s where it gets weird: someone else recently added to that year-old thread and said I shouldn’t have complained. Complained? I was just surprised that the reviewer had posted publicly instead of PMing me. And again, A YEAR AGO. I’d forgotten all about it.

And THEN—someone anonymously blogged about the thread. What? Zip back up to my title: Idiocy.

Here’s the thing: give it all five minutes of your time and move on. Consider the source—in this case, anonymity, a janky website, and something that happened A YEAR AGO. In Internet time, folks, that’s like a decade.

Oh, and Goodreads? If someone wants to know who I am, tell them to click my name. Look me up on Facebook, or Google, or Twitter, or wherever. And anonymous bloggers? Get a grip; you’re really not that important. Especially when you’re “anonymous,” your Goodreads profile is “private,” and you have nothing better to do than troll around, looking for something to cause trouble.

Why, then, am I writing about you? To show everyone how ridiculous you really are. And to laugh at you. Yes, I said that. And I’ll stand by it. We used to have a word for you, but I’m sure it’s no longer PC to use it: shit-disturber.

Writers, there are a lot of these folks hanging out online—I suspect they used to hang out in their mothers’ basements before the Internet came along. Now we have to deal with them. Yay.

10 comments on “Writer Wednesday—Dealing with the Idiocy

  1. Unfortunately, Amazon also allows reviews from people who haven’t read the books or who stop reading a few pages into them. Rowling got hit with a lot of reviews like that when she came out with “A Casual Vacancy” and people read ten pages and said, “WTF, this isn’t like Harry Potter, ero, it sucks.”



  2. Well said, Robin “:) There are always mindless s***-disturbing trolls attempting to aggrandize themselves –but in fact they simply destroy their own credibility instead. ~R


  3. authormjlogan says:

    I got an account there at some point, spent ten minutes and never went back. And trolls. People bored with their decreasing number of friends on facebook looking for other people to bug.


  4. conny1109 says:

    Darn it happened again, my comment could not be posted. 😦

    On Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM, Robin Writes


  5. I’m sure you’ve seen the petition circling that Anne Rice and others signed opposing the “bullying” of authors on Amazon. Agreed — but Goodreads sounds just as bad. And I had a TERRIBLE experience with Library Thing awhile back, after which I canceled my account and have, when asked, refused to recommend its use to any self-respecting authors. I guess they’re all the same.


  6. Mac Pike says:

    How do you stand yourself, reviewing something which you have not read? What is the point?


  7. Would this be the anonymous blogger who had slated my blog post (which, like the review is well over a year old), but had clearly NOT READ the post?? I would just say that the only reason I found said blogger is because they’d kindly linked to my blog, and several people have clicked on that link, so giving my blog a bit more publicity. I should also point out that my sales went up the week that they put up that post, and so did my number of followers… 😀


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