Authors Under Attack by Cyber Bullies

I usually don’t jump into controversy or follow the crowd on anything. But this time, I feel the need to add my $0.02. As my Daddy used to say, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I haven’t been attacked, and hopefully won’t be:) But I see an injustice, and I have an idea how to fix it. So here goes:

Recently, there’s been quite a bit of noise about groups of ‘readers’ on Goodreads attacking authors. These ‘readers’ leave one-star reviews with abusive tirades on all of the ‘target’ author’s books, and sometimes take the battle into social media as well. Now, if they read the book, and just didn’t like the book, it’d be one thing. But many of these ‘readers’ haven’t read anything by the author. They’ve taken a personal dislike and turned it into a vendetta designed to ruin a career. They count on the anonymity of the internet to protect them from justice while they engage in abusive bullying that devastates another human being.

In response to this kind of shit, authors, bloggers and real readers have banded together with a petition to ask Goodreads to enforce their own policies against abusive, libelous and inflammatory remarks. IMO, they might as well petition a tree to move. Goodreads doesn’t care what authors think, as long as traffic keeps going up and advertising dollars keep coming in.

If you want Goodreads’ attention, cut into their bank account. Petition the individual authors who advertise on the site to pull their ads and boycott further advertising. The New York Times advertises there, and there are also movie ads. Those are the people the petitions need to target if anyone wants the attention of Goodreads.

Just like any big business, Goodreads pays attention to revenue. All the petitions in the world, and blogging about battles and bad reviews and tantrums only increases traffic to the site, which is a good thing for them. They aren’t going to put a stop to something that makes them money.

So, if you want them to enforce their policies and put a stop to the cyber-bullies, trolls, and others with nothing better to do with their lives than attack other people they don’t even know, you have to negatively impact traffic and revenue.

Instead of ranting and writing petitions, convince authors, particularly NYT bestsellers, to stop advertising on Goodreads and stop funding the abuse of other authors.

Just sayin’.


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About Kenra Daniels

I write steamy Paranormal Romance and Erotic Romance. I live in a very small town in rural northeastern Kentucky, right at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, with my very own Romance Novel Hero (aka Hubby) of 26 yrs. We're raising our 3 little grandsons - 5y, 3y, and 2y old.
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15 Responses to Authors Under Attack by Cyber Bullies

  1. Keta Diablo says:

    Well, this is nothing new, sad as it is. I’ve seen it so many times on Goodreads and that’s why I stay away from that place for the most part. I’m not sure who you’re talking about this time, but I did see some brouhaha about an author who spoke up because someone rated her book and it hadn’t been released yet. Many reviewers ganged up and gave her book 1 star ratings (because she dared to speak out.) The reviewers (allegedly) said, “We can rate your book whatever we want.” WHAT! Even after not reading it? This is not a review, it’s a lynching.

    I guess this is what it’s come to, for many reasons. I saw a blog post the other day from a well-known promo site that took authors to task for daring to speak up to reviewers/bloggers or complain about their reviews. And the post was from an AUTHOR! This is only one reason why this behavior continues. I agree, authors need to stick together and let Goodreads know there are two sides to this equation – Authors and readers. Without both, we wouldn’t have books to review or sites to review them on. I doubt this will ever change. Sad.
    Keta Diablo recently posted..Book and Trailer Showcase Magazine – @BTShowcase!My Profile

    • Hi Keta, That is the author I referred to… some pretty rough things were said to her. I saw screen caps of some after the initial cleanup was said to have scrubbed worse.

      But you’re so right, it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last. The first time I saw it, back when I first realized there were writing communities online, (I probably shouldn’t admit it took me a while to make that connection, lol.) I was amazed something like that would be tolerated. Since then, it’s a different author nearly every week, and those are just the ones that catch attention.

      I don’t imagine it will ever change either. Completely agreed. Sad.

  2. Bravo – instead of just complaining you have come up with an idea – although trying to organize writers is like herding baby puppies. Maybe – just maybe – somebody will lead the charge.

    I tweeted and will promo this in my groups.
    Victoria Adams recently posted..Brenda Dyer’s Prophecy Child and a review on Victoria’s Pages of RomanceMy Profile

    • Hi Victoria, and thanks! At least baby puppies tend to stay put, lol. I’d rather try to herd cats than organize writers! *shudders at the thought* Let’s hope someone will take it up and lead the charge, though I seriously doubt it. That someone would have a big ol’ target painted on their head. Pretty serious deterrent…
      Kenra Daniels recently posted..Authors Under Attack by Cyber BulliesMy Profile

  3. Mart Ramirez says:

    Victoria Adams sent me. Very well-said. I’m with Victoria. Bravo for not just complaining about it but for coming up with a solution. That’s so true. Horrible that people are doing this. Absolutely horrible.

    • Hi Mart, and thanks! I agree it’s horrible for a group of people to persecute another person, to deliberately set out to crush them. The really alarming thing is that it isn’t confined to the book world.

      Every time we venture online and interact in a group setting, we open ourselves to this kind of behavior. And when it carries over into real life, too often there’s a tragic ending. The whole thing terrifies me for the world our children are growing up to inherit.
      Kenra Daniels recently posted..Authors Under Attack by Cyber BulliesMy Profile

  4. Hi Kenra,

    This post is well-thought out and offers an intelligent solution. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Natasha Larry recently posted..Book Spotlight: The Dome by Nova SparksMy Profile

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  • Just Sayin’

    I'm a Romance Author - mainly Paranormal, but nearly all with fairly graphic intimate scenes. Those scenes serve to further the development of my plots and characters and are not included haphazardly to sell books or arouse readers.

    I probably COULD tell the stories without the graphic parts, but I CHOOSE not to. I want to show the full scope of the developing relationship, and leaving out some of the most powerful and meaningful moments will deprive the reader of a measure of understanding and emotional reaction to the characters and their stories.

    Since I write books intended for adult readers, I often have material on my website that is entirely unsuitable for younger readers. If you're under 18, or if you're easily offended by open discussion of sexual situations with frank language, you might want to look the other direction.