At the start of the week it was Leigh Fallon, author of Carrier of the Mark, who was in the firing line, after an email attacking a reviewer was circulated though the Goodreads community. In it Fallon called for her readers to manipulate the voting systems in order to ‘bury this horrible toe rag ‘
Sadly, as it likely to happen when you send an email to your entire address book, it will eventually end up public, which was what happened here. http://www.goodreads.com/user_status/show/10254573
Now, having read the review in question I couldn’t see any point where the reviewer was nasty or snarky. She gave an honest review. She didn’t like the book and took care to point out why.
But the call to vote down the review seems to have had the opposite effect, with readers swarming en masse to vote up the review, so it appears at the top of each listing. Readers, it seems, don’t like to be told what to do, and they don’t like manipulation.
Sadly, it’s not just writers who have been displaying dubious behaviour this week.
Most recently agent Elana Roth, from Caren Johnson Agency and her client, Kiera Cass, author of The Selection, have been involved in some less than professional behaviour following a so-so review from Wendy Darling.
Again, the reviewer took care to explain what she liked and what she didn’t, and gave very detailed reasons. In all, it was actually a great and very detailed review.
However, within 24 hours of the review going live, Elana Roth took to her Twitter feed to attack the reviewer, calling her a ‘bitch’ and again calling for her followers to manipulate the voting systems.
You can read the original review and the Twitter screenshots yourself here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show.html?id=231455953&page=6#comment_43376093
Now, in this situation most professionals would apologise, but no, Roth took a further jab, this time at readers:
Her comment about ‘unpublished writers’ is both incredibly patronising to readers and incredibly inaccurate. There are many published writers and many non-writers who are equally disappointed. But it’s the suggestion that anyone who finds her behaviour unacceptable is somehow motivated by jealousy that is truly pathetic.
What shocks me in these sort of instances is the apparent ignorance of the way they reflect on the individual, and those associated with them. In this instance not only does it show Roth to be very unprofessional, but it also reflects badly on the agency she works for.
And that’s something anyone who uses social media needs to realise – you are on show for the whole world to see and potential clients and employers are looking at that and judging you. THINK before you post, and ALWAYS keep your rants to yourself.
Sadly, for me at least, that’s a couple more books I won’t be picking up, regardless of how good they might be.
Remember, before you respond to anything, close your eyes and count to ten. And if you can’t trust yourself to manage a professional Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads account, then you probably shouldn’t have one.