Bullied for a 1-Star Book Review… That I didn’t Write!

Hello loves, and Happy November! Boy, do I have a doozy for you.

I’d heard stories. I’d seen other’s make Facebook posts. I’d read articles. I guess, somewhere in the back of my mind, like the teenager who drives too fast all the time, I thought it would never happen to me.

And it did. BOY it did.

An author saw a 1 star review, did some searching, found me, and direct messaged me with the sole intent of berating me and telling me to change “my” review.

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

No, I’m not joking. I wish I were. So, sit down boys and girls while I tell you a story…

I met this “author” on Facebook. For the purposes of this blog, let’s call him Charlie. He started a website for indie authors in which you can post your book and your links with the goal of reaching others who like to support indie writers. Cool concept. I accepted his friend request and added Stealing Beauty onto his site. Awesome.

Then, I noticed Charlie always seemed to write posts intended to… “stir the pot”, so to speak – political, religious, sexist, you name it. He had a lot of comments from people who didn’t agree with him, and were pretty open in their dislike for what he had to say. Added to that, Charlie never seemed to have anything of note to back up his opinion. He’s one of those Facebook arguers – we’ve all seen them – who thinks just because he says it, it’s true. If you disagree, well, hell… YOU are wrong.

One day, Charlie made an outrageous claim about men and women, and their inability to ever be friends. He wrote a book in the same vein, using “sources” and “science” and arguing men NEVER read romance novels, and if so, it’s only to get into women’s panties, as well as argued women who WRITE romance novels have no idea about the “reality” of men.

He then went on to say – get ready (I’m paraphrasing) ALL men have a desire to rape women, and would do so if not for the consequences. In fact, ALL men see women as nothing other than a sexual conquest. He was adamant on the ALL factor here.

I kid you not. He then listed his book link saying to read it first, and then comment.

Well, boys and girls, a lot of us did. His “science” and “sources” were from places such as Wikipedia, as well as research studies proven to be invalid. He actually used a Vice Magazine article as a “source”.

I had a conversation with him, ignoring the blatant cry for attention in his post, to say some of his content was accurate, some truth, and he cannot use magazines as valid sources. I also argued the book was an opinion, not fact, and did not apply to all men. He disagreed, using the argument being a woman, I have no idea about men, he was completely right and I am wrong.

Whatever. I pulled up my big girl panties and moved on. I don’t have time for that. In retrospect, I should have blocked him. Alas, I generally give people the benefit of the doubt. You have to be a special kind of jerk to make it to my block list.

Anyway, here comes the good part. (Mind you, I’m leaving out a little bit of info to not bring his identity into this, as well as to paraphrase. If you want to see the full convo, it’s posted on my Facebook page here. ) A few days later, I have Facebook open while I’m writing my next novel (shame, I know. This is why it takes me forever!), and a message pops up, from him, accusing me of leaving a 1 star review on two of his books. Mind you, 1.) I didn’t leave a review. 2.) I didn’t know he wrote more than one book. I tell him it wasn’t me, and he proceeds to tell me how he linked it back to “my author page” based on what this other person liked. So – someone, who “liked” my Amazon author page, read his book (I checked, it was a verified purchase), left a 1 star review, and to him, the only possibility is me. I mean, who else BUT me would like my Amazon author page? Amirite?

I tell him again, sorry, wasn’t me. It may have possibly been a family member as I did tell my sister-in-law about the book (Personal Opinion – the book was poorly written, poorly researched, full of complete BS shrouded as truth, makes outrageous claims, and is offensive, and I told her in a “dude-you-need-to-read-this-shit” way). As we share an Amazon/Kindle log in, she could have read it. He then proceeds to tell me he gets 100 downloads a day, has over 10,000 likes, and obviously that means that he is right and the 1 star review is wrong. Mind you, he has 2 reviews on the one book I did read. TWO. And about 30 on this other book, which I had to search to see what it was even about.

He then tells me the review was “out of spite” and it needs to be changed. And if it wasn’t my “sister-in-law” – yes, he kept using quotations – it was me and I need to change it. He then went on to insult my intelligence as well as my writing – which hysterically hypocritically, he didn’t read.

Loves…. my mind is officially blown. Let’s ignore his inaccurate accusation for a second. Here is an author who had gone out of their way to search for, find, and message a reviewer with the sole purpose of telling them they are wrong and to change it.

No! Just no!

How can anyone promote them self to be an ethical author, and do this to reviewers? It is NEVER ok to berate a reviewer for a poor review. In fact, one of the first bits of advice I was given once my book was published was never to argue with a negative review, and never to praise a positive one.

I’ve had a few 3-star reviews on my book, and you know what? They were INCREDIBLY helpful. They were well written, insightful, and quite honestly, brought up issues which I missed. I am so thankful for those reviews!

I’ve never received a 1-star review. Although, based on his responses to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually tries to leave one for my book. Or asks his “100 downloads a day” and “over 10,000 followers” to follow suit.  I’ll have you know at the time of this post, on Amazon my book rating is a 4.9 and in Goodreads a 4.8 – not bragging, just protecting myself! Lol. (But seriously, based on some of his comments, I can actually see this happening).

Just to be sure it wasn’t me having an off day, I posted the conversation. I did warn him, multiple times, I was going to – so in that sense I don’t feel I did anything wrong. The comments about the conversation were all in line with my train of thought. As an author, what he did was wrong. No two ways around it.

Now, you may be asking yourselves why did I write about this, especially after admitting I posted this on Facebook? Am I just being passive aggressive?

Well – maybe I am. I am a Scorpio and all.

My astrological bitchiness aside, I cannot believe someone, who is the “most humble person on the planet” – direct quote – thinks this behavior is alright.

So, here’s my bit of advice for aspiring authors. Do NOT do this. No. Never. No. If you see a 1 or 2 star review, leave it alone. Don’t comment, don’t get into a conversation “explaining” your point of view… just move on.

Reviewers – if an author EVER does this to you, you should put them on blast. Seriously. I’m not saying to be childish, and get into an argument, I’m telling you to tell them you’re going to post their comments for the public to decide. This type of “bullying” (I hate using that word when it’s not the true definition, but I honestly can’t think of another word right this second) is not ok. It’s NEVER ok, and they need to be made responsible. We cannot continue to allow people to think it’s ok to “bully” others for their opinions.

I can get REALLY meta on this topic, but I’ll save that for another time.

So before I go, I want to know if this has ever happened to you. Do you agree or disagree and why? Leave comments – I do love them. You know, as long as you don’t tell me to change my post 🙂

~XoXo

Jessica

As always, if you’d like to check out my AWARD WINNING BOOK (no, seriously! Best Erotic Romance by the Romance Writers of America – New Jersey Division and Best Fairy Tale Retelling by Reality Bites Magazine) click the links below.

STEALING BEAUTY - FINAL [EBOOK] - WEB (2)
Stealing Beauty – A Fairy Tales After Dark Novel
She wants him. He needs her. This time, it’s the Beast who’s going to attempt to tame the Beauty. Desire… danger… a whole lotta heat – this isn’t your childhood fairy tale.

A stubborn beauty….
Anabelle Lehala just wants to spend time with her best friend, finish law school, and provide a good life for her and her father. Her world is knocked upside down when she meets a mysterious, captivating stranger who tempts her like no one before. Refusing to be just another notch in his belt, Belle forces herself to stay away from him at all costs.

An egotistical beast….
Rich, powerful, and handsome, Aleksandr Wolfe has been accustomed to getting whatever he desires. That is, until he meets Belle. Immediately captivated by her, Aleks can’t understand why she won’t give in to the obvious mutual desire between them. Helpless to stay away from her, Aleks wonders if she’ll be the one thing he can never have.

The fight for her life….
When Anabelle finds herself in danger after refusing the advances of Gabriel Avenant, a man who believes she is his and his alone, Aleksandr vows to protect her. As their attraction grows, they each must decide if they are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice—their hearts.

Buy it from:

Amazon

Kobo 

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

1 comment

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  1. Jessica Collins

    WOW!! I called it. At approx. 8:30pm EST – about two hours after I posted this, there is a 1-star review on Stealing Beauty!!! It says: “Boring and Unorginal – I thought it was boring and formulaic. It’s the same thing you can read in a hundred other books. The characters were neither believable nor interesting.” Ladies and Gents… I called it. He left me a 1 star review.

    Like

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