Comments: 17
Krazykiwi @ Kiwitopia 5 years ago
Heh, there's so much going on there. On top of the actual issue at hand, the comments are hilarious. A good deal of Strandberg's post makes it very clear that replying to reviews causes far more harm to everyone than any one bad review will. But then...

Greg gets mauled by Elle Casey who along with Hugh Howey is poster child for the "Reply to every review". Both used to do exactly that, postive, negative, whatever and *encouraged other authors to do the same*. Even now, after both Howey and Casey are far too big and important to keep doing it, any time a brand new author asks on kboards if it's a good idea to reply to reviews, one of the first posts will be someone screeching BUT ELLE CASEY DOES AND SHE'S RICH AND FAMOUS NOW!!11!! AND HUGH TOO!!1!! Those get followed by a few dozen posts saying "don't be stupid, of course don't reply to reviews", but you can definitely blame Casey for at least a few of the new breed of indie authors who think it's a fine and wonderful thing to do.
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
I'd love to see the math behind that $23,000 in damages from one negative review. What the heck does that author have to complain about if he's so steadily making money he can claim that? And, once the review goes past the book into other stuff, why not just have amazon remove it as not about the book?

I love when they scream to sue for slander (verbal falsity with damages—that damages attracts some ignoramuses even though doesn't apply to online anything), libel ( written or online falsity—good luck proving someone's opinion of a book is false), defamation of character (good luck proving a consumer product opinion is), harassment (the lawsuit side of that has very specific requirements, one of anything even a book review not exactly in those requirements), bullying (just *gag*).

Okay, stupid lawsuits get heard all the time so I'm not saying there's anything anyone cannot sue over. But these fact-resistant bunch are likely taking it to the internet because (a) they really think they'll get somewhere (b) intimidation tactics to scare off negative reviewers or (c) they actually did check with a real lawyer who explained the facts so the internet is the only place they get taken seriously.

I get immune to threats of lawsuits (I do some work enforcing some policies and legal compliance that seems to attract); everyone who calls is a lawyer or has a lawyer and usually stops talking or hangs up when I tell them I need to transfer them to legal or to give me their number and legal will call them back.

I think it's currently a gray area if bloggers have the same first amendment protections as journalists (not a lawyer but so far in a lot of instances looks like courts have said "yes" and treated as editorial opinion).

It is amusing how all these BBAs have the same playbook. They really need to spend less time convincing each other of things and exchanging reviews while campaigning for up/down review voting and gaming the consumer book review sites. More writing practices, more editing, ...
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
Never mind about wanting to see the math. I just saw the fine print on kbauthors and the sales figures (data) are provided by the author. *snort* I think there are times of years book sales naturally increase or decrease (and oneTuesday a month the big five do a lot of their new releases which should increase browsing and sales)...

Sign me up to testify on the reviewer's behalf if it ever goes to court. I have no problem proving how many books with 1-star reviews I have bought and how many author-attacks-in-review-space books I make great efforts to avoid.
Howdy YAL! 5 years ago
Ugh. Please. I need some coffee. Internet lawyers in the morning is too much.
Khanh the Killjoy 5 years ago
Ha, I knew you'd chime in on this. Not a chance in hell, right?
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
He's also one that uses the kindle boards and other sites to support fellow authors who in turn review and buy his book. So if they are whining about suing, then, of course, he is supporting them. Even in U.S., I don't think the court system could handle it if a reader got sued every time their reading comprehension meant they came away with something from the book that an author (or publishers and others involved in book production) disputed. I've seen too many tests and experiments with dozens of participants reading the same article and remembering different things. Courts are probably used to the same issue with witnesses.
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
Of course, if Joe Nobody is right and every time I don't like a book I cost an author thousands of dollars in sales — what power. Maybe I should go back to reviewing the BBAs on goodreads and amazon. *sigh* I wish amazon let you leave a star rating without review.

Heck, maybe I should upload some dreck and make thousands even though I have no story or character ideas or anything original to add to nonfiction—too bad I know too many talented and even bestselling authors who cannot afford to quit their day jobs to fall for that one.

I doubt, considering how much reviews seem to matter to a lot of the spa, the question of suing or doing anything else to readers who voluntarily review would come up as often if sites made it harder for fake, circle jerk, paid and sockpuppet reviews to mix in undisclosed among consumer product opinions. Some of the very authors fighting to censor shelf names on goodreads are now not very happy with the one star ratings replacing shelf names (it's getting boring hearing how a one star rating is a fake rating). And some of these authors wanting to get rid of the real consumer reviews will start missing them once the activity from circle jerk and other reviews settles and they notice, hey, book buyers are no longer trusting those reviews so my sales except to review circle and buddies have dropped for lack of the marketing tool of honest reader reviews ...
Khanh the Killjoy 5 years ago
Think of how much money I've cost the authors whose books I've trashed. I'd get sued for everything I own. Which is nothing.
As both an author and a reader/reviewer I feel that if you fork out money for a book, or at least gave up precious time to read it the whole way through you earn the right to your opinion. The author didn't do you a favour in fact you did them one by giving up your money and or time, and so even though you might dislike what they have to say you can't begrudge them their right to say it.

In fact I find this article condescending because it assumes people are stupid, vapid sheep that go along with Amazon ratings etc. *ahem* 50 Shades of Grey proves otherwise.

For as long as I've lived, time and again, I've seen people actively pursue their own whims. People want to stand apart, stand out, they're opinionated and not even hundred one star reviews is going to stop them from doing anything. Yeah sure, you might hesitate, become wary but you do what the hell you want to do because that's what you've always done. If I like the look of a book, I'll read it and yeah then bemoan why the heck didn't I listen those one star reviews and if I don't think something is my cup of tea, I won't read it, even if it makes it onto the all time list of top 100 books you must read before you die.

Why do I read reviews? Because like many other people, it's a way to make something individual a group activity. It's comparing notes, NOT copying for the sake of homework that needs to be handed in. I understand that writing has become a way for some people to earn a decent living, not just acquire fans and fame, so that any loss hurts but success is a fickle mistress. People need to stop blaming others for their fate/ lot in life.
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
I have bought books because of details in a one-star review. And all the positive reviews, marketing efforts, sales data (with resulting "damages" *snort*), site recommendations and "readers also enjoyed" stuff can be ineffective in the face of my choosing my next read just because it was what I was in the mood for or a friend loaned it to me. I can be worse than a hungry teenager in an open frig looking for a snack when it comes to picking out the next read—and books are a matter of personal taste as much as one person not liking stinky cheeses yet another person adoring stinky cheeses.
Stinky Cheeses, hehe. I love it! Exactly, I found the whole tone of the article patronizing. Have they not met people? Maybe, but they underestimated how stubborn readers/reviewers can be, that's for sure.
Khanh the Killjoy 5 years ago
Yes, thank you. A lot of authors are of this opinion, and I'm grateful for that. These Joe Nobodys are rare.
Oh good God. How can this douche prove he lost sales from this one review? This guy really shouldn't be in the authoring field if he gets his feelings hurt so easily.
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
He can prove it because he gets to provide the data on those boards; it's not amazon or tax authority records, just his word.

That author has successfully leveraged the boards by telling other authors what they want to hear = large support group helping to game each other's books on amazon and other sites. His book is correctly categorized on amazon at least so being top 100 of disaster prep books is believable to me because of small number of books in the category and the way he leveraged other author support (some books deliberately tag themselves into esoteric categories to have little competition to make claims of top whatever in whatever amazon category, something he actually advises -- about like all the potential top reviewers on goodreads saying they live in Antarctica because less competition from that population).
Khanh the Killjoy 5 years ago
Too much of that going on lately. Ugh. Attention-seekers.