I'm new to the book blogging community and one of the first major things that I came across shortly after joining our loverly community was the recent drama pertaining to less than glowing reviews, authors behaving badly because of said reviews and agents suggesting only "liking" the positive reviews. Basically, the Drama Llama's are out in full force again. I don't like it and I want no part of any author that "low blows" the consumer. After reading about the situation on several blogs it has gotten to the point that I have actually created a "Black List," it even has it's own page on the blog.
I have decided that I will no longer put money towards authors who maliciously attack book bloggers because they happen to post their honest opinion of a book that they have read. You can apologize all you want but the fact of the matter is you attacked the consumer, the person who is out buying not only your book but other books as well. There are a TON of authors out there and more than enough books to go around. Not to be rude but even authors are replaceable.
I was pretty conflicted when I read Maggie Steifvater's blog post about the situation. Yes, she made many good points that I agree with but then there were the points that I felt belittled the work that put in on my blog. At points in the post I felt that Maggie was saying that only professional reviewers, literary publications and things of that nature are the only way to go. That book bloggers only post blog posts about books. That our content doesn't even come close to a "review." I love reading another book blogger's opinion of a book. I'd rather read a book blogger's review than a long lengthy diatribe in some literary magazine. Honestly, from what I've been reading and seeing in comment sections as a result of Maggie's post, many book bloggers believe that Maggie wouldn't be where she is without book bloggers. Oh and just to throw this out there...100% of the books that I purchase are because of a review I read on a book blog OR from family and friends. I've never read a literary magazine and I NEVER will.
I feel that as a result of all the drama that has been circling around these negative reviews it is going to cause a lot of new book bloggers to post only positive reviews. I think that defeats the purpose of book blogging. To me the purpose of book blogging is to post your honest opinion of the books your reading...The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. If you don't love a book a negative review done correctly (i.e. no personal attacks, cussing, nasty animated .gifs) can be a helpful tool to an author, or it should be anyway.
In regards to all the bad behavior I've been reading about. I think that the Golden Rule should apply here...You know...Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. I bet there would be considerably less drama if bloggers, authors and agents alike remembered that. At what point are we going to get back to the books exactly? Why is it so hard to take the high road?
Did you know about the drama? What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think that book bloggers are reviewers or are we just bloggers who post about books? Have you ever "Black Listed" an author? Have you ever read a book based on a bad review?
Parajunkee's "What is a Review?" post...Contains many links to reviews that are part of the drama.
A&E Kirk's "Do Book Blogger's review" guest post...Contains more links to more sources.